Sunday, January 22, 2012

Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra - Part One: Introduction and the Four Families

Benjamin Britten's "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" is one of the staples for introducing the instruments and instrument families of the orchestra to students. There are a lot of interactive websites out there that attempt to teach the instruments to students, but why mess with a good thing? Carnegie Hall didn't mess with a good thing; they improved it!

Carnegie Hall's "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" takes your students on an online safari to find all of the instruments in the orchestra in the wild. It is up to you, Violet, and her Uncle Ollie to find them, collect them, and guide them to the orchestra stage.

Through the game you follow the form of the actual music.  You start by listening to the full orchestra play the theme, followed by the four families playing the theme, followed by the individual instrument variations, and ending with the fugue.

This online adventure can take a long time to complete, so I am breaking it up into five parts:

1. The introduction and four families
2. The woodwind family
3. The strings family
4. The brass family
5. The percussion family and finale

Friday, January 13, 2012

IWB Music Going Social

IWB Music is now on Google+Facebook, and Twitter, and is ready to share great interactive music resources!  You can add +IWB Music to your circles by pressing the link here:

While you're on the page, you can also press the +1 button if you like something I have posted, or the "Share this page" button if you'd like to share it with your circles.  Those buttons will look like this:

If you like fun resources to use in your classroom, then you should also "like" IWB Music on Facebook.  Simply press the "like" button below, and feel free to press the share button to spread these great ideas!

Finally, you can keep up with all things new on IWB Music through my Twitter feed.  Press the button below to follow @WEBraune.

IWB Music is all about sharing great ideas, so have fun making and sharing music!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Les Paul Google Doodle recently posted their list of the 30 Best Google Doodles of 2011, and number 11 on the list (any Spinal Tap fans out there?) was the Google tribute to Les Paul's 96th birthday.  What a great way to make music history fun!

Your students can simply strum the strings to create music.  You can also discuss the major scale, intervals, and chords by playing the notes on a computer keyboard.  Each row will play the same scale, and you can press up to four notes at a time to create chords.

Finally, have fun recording and sharing your compositions!  Simply press the record button, play a song, and press the record button again to end your song.  You will be given a link with your composition to share with other students, teachers, parents, or friends.  Click here for an example of a little tune I made to sound a bit like The Who's "Baba O'Riley."  Try sharing your composition links in the comment section below!

Rock on, and happy new year!