There are many great ideas floating around social media as everyone adjusts to virtual teaching and learning. We thought we’d highlight some of the free resources shared online that have been garnering many likes in the music education community. Plus, we’ve included some popular posts from the past that can generate other ideas for at-home learning. If you know of other free resources or ideas that have worked well for you, please share them in the comments.
Most Popular on Pepper’s Pages
Pepper’s music sharing initiative has received the most reactions on our Facebook page in recent days. It allows you to digitally share sheet music you bought in the last four years, as well as any new purchases. Based on agreements with many music publishers, temporary access to over 200,000 digital titles is available through June 30th. More information is available at jwpepper.com/sharemusic.
Pinkzebra’s free virtual choir template for GarageBand (also free) likewise prompted many shares on Pepper’s Facebook page in recent weeks. As noted in our virtual classroom blog, virtual productions can be quite challenging and may not work for many groups. However, this app may help for some projects. Other free options:
- Acapella app
- Zoom – To use this tool for the arts, The Royal Academy of Music in Denmark has posted a YouTube video that shows how Zoom’s sound settings can be best utilized for music. It’s also helpful to follow the recently promoted safety rules to protect everyone’s privacy. (Teachers are reminded to adhere to school policies before using any conferencing system with students.)
For other grid views that can be used for class discussions or other projects, there also are tools, such as:
- Google Meet with the free grid extension
With any online tool, time lag in audio means that groups can’t sing or play instruments together live in separate locations without having major synch problems. Therefore, a number of ensembles are utilizing the mute function. Here is one shared article on the Philadelphia Boys Choir that shows how that group is handling rehearsal.
Make Your Own Instrument: In February, we shared a popular article about a guitar fretboard made of Legos, and in years past we featured videos on making instruments out of vegetables. Also shared was this fun video from Music Crowns on using tools to make music. An elaborate project may be too difficult for some kids, but the idea can be simplified to instruments they can make with everyday household items or materials they find in nature.
Name That Instrument: In January, many music teachers were cringing when Jimmy Fallon and Shaquille O’Neal participated in a random instrument challenge. This could generate ideas for a fun instrument naming game for students, particularly if less common instruments like the waterphone are added.
J.W. Pepper’s website has a host of music tracks that can be used for listening and music practice. In addition, the music community has really stepped up to provide many free performances online. Here are some of the popular options available online:
- 15 Broadway plays & musicals
- Broadway from Home: 157 musicals & shows
- Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Shows Must Go On weekly musical
- Free Online Learning from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
- Sydney Opera House
- The Metropolitan Opera – Free Student Streams
- Classical music concerts listing on ClassicFM
- Montreaux Jazz Festival – 50 concerts (free for 30 days)
- The Philadelphia Orchestra – Listen on Demand library & Learn sessions
- Boston Symphony Orchestra – HomeSchool
- New York Philharmonic – Plays On
- The Seattle Symphony – Free programming
- The Internet Archive of old vinyl records – Unlocked Recordings
- John Williams – 10 movie tracks
A site titled The Kids Should See This includes dozens of videos about music for children.
Pepper’s YouTube channel is filled with music videos covering a host of topics. Here are four recent videos with hands-on music lessons:
Music Warm-Ups & More
Some of the older blog content on Cued In and Pepper’s social media offers practical ideas that can be utilized at home. They include:
20+ Surefire Ways to Warm Up Your Choir – Includes some fun and flexible active warm-ups students can do anywhere – jumping jacks, stretches, balance exercises and more
Summer Resources for Young Pianists – Offers may piano exercises that can be completed by students who are home
Helpful Resources on How to Practice Music Effectively – Links to several articles that provide suggestions for music practice
Wingert-Jones Publications is also offering free online worksheets and listening lessons for band and orchestra directors.
General Resources for Online Learning
Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser from Conn Selmer recently released a video with suggestions for students during this time.
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) offered a free webinar on developing online music lessons.
Pepper’s Classroom and Choral Editor Tom Dean did a podcast with the Delaware Music Educators Association on distance learning. Listen to it here.
What we may need now more than ever is inspiration. Here are just a few stories we’ve shared on social media in the past year that showcase the power of music from the young to the old.
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