Involvement in music helps students gain cognitive abilities, critical thinking and verbal skills. Unfortunately many music classrooms funds are being cut first, making teachers unable to purchase the necessary tools such as instruments, music books, and sheet music. However, technology may be the solution to this. There are many great apps out there that are free or under a dollar that can teach students instruments, provide sheet music, help them record music, and learn about the evolution of music.
Technology that Teaches Music History:
- Classics for Kids – This website lets students explore classical music’s great composers through music and stories. It also provides teachers with lesson plans and activities that use classical music to help students learn (the content meets national and state standards). Students stay engaged with the classical music games online and allows them to compose their own music and share it.
- Science of Music – This helps students to explore music through online exhibits, movies, and questions. They can also compose, mix, dance, drum, and listen to music with this interactive website.
- Music Tech Teacher – This website was developed by a music technology teacher and teachers can find dozens of online music lessons, quizzes, and games that are great for helping elementary students be engaged in the classroom.
Technology that Teaches Students Instruments:
- JoyTune’s Piano Maestro – This app teaches kids how to play piano and read sheet music. It is very similar to the game rock band however it incorporates real sheet music and real instruments into it. It introduces one new sheet-reading skill at a time. Then it is the player’s job to read music in time and play the melody’s correct notes. It introduces skills and uses game based applications to reinforce learning, which is perfect for students.
- Pocket Guitar – Instead of picking a normal guitar students are touching the screen in order to play notes. There are six guitar sounds to choose from and students can customize the sounds to be acoustic or electric. Another great app to pair with this is Beginner Guitar Songs which helps you learn the guitar even if you have never picked up the instrument before through interactive lessons.
- Tuner and Violin Sheet Music – This app allows students to tune their violin as well as provides sheet music with instructions on how to play/read it. It displays songs in musical notation and also shows step-by-step instructions on how to play the notes.
People are seeing the benefits of music in the classroom and these apps and websites allow teachers to appeal to students of all ages and musical abilities. There are so many websites and apps that make getting access to music education easier. Even where there is not a classroom or there are not enough funds to provide instruments for students they can still engage in learning about music, reading music, and practice playing virtual instruments.