Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Nutcracker

I know, I know, I know... Winter break is just around the corner, and it is way too late to get started on a unit about the holiday classic, The Nutcracker.  I am writing this blog to simply share some of the great interactive Nutcracker resources that are out there either because I used them, or because I'm like you and just found them, too!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Introducing the Staff

Every Good Boy Does Fine
Memorize it.  Got it?  Good... here's your quiz.

BORING!!!  Leaning the names of the lines and spaces on the staff doesn't have to put your students to sleep.  There are tons of songs, video clips, games, and tools that can make it easy to remember those pesky seven letters.  Here are three of my favorites:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Creating Music - Block Game

image via

Click here to go to The Block Game

This game comes from the Morton Subotnick website Creating Music.  Use blocks to create simple melodies.  Memorize your composition, and then try to find it again by listening to it.  I used this game with my students when we were working on songs with Do, Re, and Mi.  Here is a description of each difficulty and level setting:

Easy - Level 1 - 3 beats with 3 pitches (Do, Re, Mi)
Easy - Level 2 - 3 beats with 6 pitches (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La)
Easy - Level 3 - 3 beats with 8 pitches (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do - full Major scale)

Medium - Level 1 - 5 beats with 3 pitches (Do, Re, Mi)
Medium - Level 2 - 5 beats with 6 pitches (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La)
Medium - Level 3 - 5 beats with 8 pitches (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do - full Major scale)

Hard - Level 1 - 8 beats with 3 pitches (Do, Re, Mi)
Hard - Level 2 - 8 beats with 6 pitches (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La)
Hard - Level 3 - 8 beats with 8 pitches (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do - full Major scale)

Sample Lesson Plan by Will Braune:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hands Symphony

image via
Click here to go to Hands Symphony

I just got re-certified in CPR yesterday, and it made me think of the great website.  The American Heart Association reminds us that hands can do incredible things!  Use loops of different hand sounds to create rhythmic patterns.  You can create patterns in hip-hop, dance, and Latin styles.  Have your students mimic the sounds together to create your own Hands Symphony in the classroom!

UPDATE: Unfortunately the American Heart Association has taken down the "Hands Symphony" website and has replaced it with a different kind of music-related site.  Hands Only CPR teaches you how you can help save a life.  The song they recommend you use to find the steady beat for chest compressions is "Staying Alive" by the Bee-Gee's.  It's not as cool of a site (for a music educator,) but it's still pretty groovy!

Rhythm Trainer

image via

Click here to go to The Rhythm Trainer

This is one the sites that I use on a near daily basis.  It can be used with the whole class on an Interactive Whiteboard, or it can be used by each student in a computer lab or wireless laptop lab.

There are two modes to the site.  In "Mode A," the students listen to a rhythm and transcribe what they hear by pressing each beat's rhythmic pattern.  In "Mode B," the students are shown a rhythm, and are given four audio examples to choose from to make a correct match.

I use this site mostly on my IWB at the beginning of each class.  It's a fun way to get the class started, and the students are learning to identify and read rhythms.


Welcome to IWBmusic!  This site is designed to help music educators find quality interactive web-based resources for their students.  I have been using my school website for a number of years to post these links.  I am hoping to branch out and help more people find great sites more easily.  Enjoy!