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Adapting a Musical - Kennedy Center ArtsEdge and Jayne Karsten, teacher

Grades
9 to 12
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Help your students explore the implications of developing a musical from a literary text or an historical event by trying out this set of lessons.The plan includes suggestions for immersing...more
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Help your students explore the implications of developing a musical from a literary text or an historical event by trying out this set of lessons.The plan includes suggestions for immersing students into the creative process of building a musical. Any literary source or sources already integrated into the curriculum could be used in this "test case" probe. Sources that do not seem to hold any promise for transformation are just as valuable as those that do. An ideal format would be to incorporate a text or texts that hold promise and one or more that seem non-transferable. Following are a few suggested titles that could be considered. Some seem rich in possibilities; others do not and may seem impossible choices. Creative students, however, may find possibilities in all of them. The plan includes a list of possible literary works from which to choose or get ideas and specific instructions on how the students could be divided to work together on specific tasks. It includes assessment.

tag(s): gifted (94)

In the Classroom

This plan actually incorporates activities for five 45-minute lessons. This activity would make a challenging interdisciplinary activity as a culmination of a unit in a history class or in a gifted program.

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Blues Classroom - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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A true American art form, "the Blues" makes a great interdisciplinary study, and this site's lesson plans provide a well-researched foundation for that study. Our only regret is that...more
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A true American art form, "the Blues" makes a great interdisciplinary study, and this site's lesson plans provide a well-researched foundation for that study. Our only regret is that sites on this subject so rarely include sound files for the music they're describing.

tag(s): africa (178), african american (114), blues (19), jazz (15), songs (53)

In the Classroom

If you elect to use this site, talk with your school's music teacher about resources that will let students hear samples of the music.

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Smithsonian Global Sound - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
1 to 12
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Listen to and learn about traditional music from cultures around the world and through the ages. Browse this amazing collection of downloadable tunes to find musical enrichment to enhance...more
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Listen to and learn about traditional music from cultures around the world and through the ages. Browse this amazing collection of downloadable tunes to find musical enrichment to enhance a unit of study. Full downloads in MP3 or FLAC format are available for purchase but each offering is accompanied by a free audio sample. Note: this site opens rather slowly.Be patient, especially if you are on a dial-up connection.

tag(s): songs (53)

In the Classroom

Search this site for songs to supplement your unit in a US or World history class. This teacher was able to find a song about the suffrage movement, and was able to teach the beliefs of suffrage through student analysis of the lyrics and tone. Be sure to search - there are literally tons of songs that can be used for a variety of curriculum.

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Virtual Vaudeville - University of Georgia

Grades
8 to 12
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Travel back to the nineteenth century for a simulated, 3-D tour of Victorian theater. Legendary vaudeville comedian Frank Bush is featured, along with an audience full of virtual spectators....more
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Travel back to the nineteenth century for a simulated, 3-D tour of Victorian theater. Legendary vaudeville comedian Frank Bush is featured, along with an audience full of virtual spectators. Take a tour of New York's Union Square Theater, and learn about the role this form of entertainment played in American society from its emergence in the 1880s through its demise in the 1930s. As students watch an actual "reenactment" of a typical vaudeville show, they can switch "viewer" perspectives, and experience the show through the eyes of the performer, the patrons sitting in the most expensive boxes, and those occupying the very cheapest balcony seats. Complete scripts and detailed notes on historical context are provided.

tag(s): victorian (21)

In the Classroom

Project this site in your classroom and follow with an analysis and discussion of how this form of entertainment mirrored the dynamics in American society during the Victorian era. How does this genre compare or contrast with contemporary American entertainment?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Folk Songs for the Five Points - Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Grades
9 to 12
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Explore the vibrant and diverse culture of New York City's Lower East Side with this beautifully designed multimedia site. Using an interactive map, visitors can click on distinct dots,...more
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Explore the vibrant and diverse culture of New York City's Lower East Side with this beautifully designed multimedia site. Using an interactive map, visitors can click on distinct dots, each representing a different audio sample at that particular location (steam coming through a manhole cover, the Second Avenue train, buskers, and so much more). Using the on-screen tools, visitors can toggle sounds on and off to create their own unique audio-mix. The resulting textures and colors are amazing, and students can spend quite a bit of time immersed in the rich cultural fabric of this urban neighborhood.

tag(s): new york (26), sound (103), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

This cultural gem should be experienced individually with headphones, and followed by reflection and discussion. Use as a catalyst to get students involved in listening for and recording the sounds in their own communities. What similarities and differences can be discovered?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Teoria - J. Rodriguez Alvira

Grades
6 to 12
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Music theory students can find loads of information and examples on this site - from the structure of scales and chords to illustrations of many musical terms. Use the interactive ...more
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Music theory students can find loads of information and examples on this site - from the structure of scales and chords to illustrations of many musical terms. Use the interactive tutorials and activities to construct and identify key signatures, learn about chords and modes, or practice rhythmic dictation.

tag(s): music theory (41), rhythm (20)

In the Classroom

Although this site doesn't permit visitors to write music or experiment independently, it provides a great opportunity to look, listen, and learn about the building blocks of music. Headphones required. Available in English or Spanish.

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Grammy in the Schools - Grammy Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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There are many ways to build a career in music. This site from the Grammy Foundation is dedicated to helping talented students find career opportunities, and to helping schools develop...more
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There are many ways to build a career in music. This site from the Grammy Foundation is dedicated to helping talented students find career opportunities, and to helping schools develop programs to encourage budding musicians. There are grant resources, career ideas, commentary from successful musicians, and lots more. Music teachers should keep this one in their favorites. REQUIRES FLASH!

tag(s): careers (135)

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Essentials of Music - W.W. Norton and company and Sony

Grades
8 to 12
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This comprehensive site provides students with concise information about musical eras, styles and composers. More than 200 musical excerpts are provided along with biographies of more...more
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This comprehensive site provides students with concise information about musical eras, styles and composers. More than 200 musical excerpts are provided along with biographies of more than 70 composers. This is an excellent research site for general music classes.

tag(s): composers (21)

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Monsters - Kennedy Center

Grades
9 to 12
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Using art, music, and literary classics, students explore the idea of "monsters" in society, analyze how they are portrayed, the purpose they serve, and why they are necessary. After...more
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Using art, music, and literary classics, students explore the idea of "monsters" in society, analyze how they are portrayed, the purpose they serve, and why they are necessary. After an introductory brainstorming activity, students read Beowulf and Grendel, watch and listen to snatches of monster-inspired music (Danse Macabre and Night on Bald Mountain), then apply research skills to design and present their own conceptual monster. Includes an assessment rubric, links to multimedia resources, and extension activities.

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Note Reading

Grades
2 to 12
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Practice note recognition with this interactive activity. Click the on-screen buttons or use the keyboard to identify notes as they appear on the staff. Teachers can visit the "Settings"...more
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Practice note recognition with this interactive activity. Click the on-screen buttons or use the keyboard to identify notes as they appear on the staff. Teachers can visit the "Settings" page to customize the activity. Headphones highly recommended.

tag(s): musical notation (37)

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Name this Tune - Musipedia

Grades
1 to 12
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This searchable collection of tunes, melodies, and musical themes provides a great resource for teaching counting and rhythm. Enter a keyword or phrase (or use the melodic contour search...more
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This searchable collection of tunes, melodies, and musical themes provides a great resource for teaching counting and rhythm. Enter a keyword or phrase (or use the melodic contour search if you're up to the challenge), browse to find the desired tune, then click to listen to and view the melody.

tag(s): rhythm (20)

In the Classroom

This would be a great activity on an interactive whiteboard to practice going from the tune you KNOW into notation and then to find related tunes. It will really focus students' attention on what they hear and force them to refine it.

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Paper Plate Education - Great Lakes Planetarium

Grades
1 to 12
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These creative and rather offbeat hands-on activities use common paper plates and a lot of ingenuity to illustrate principles of science, math, geography, music, and more! From plate...more
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These creative and rather offbeat hands-on activities use common paper plates and a lot of ingenuity to illustrate principles of science, math, geography, music, and more! From plate tectonics (no pun intended), to multiplication practice and physical fitness, this site provides an amazing collection of ideas. Instructions are provided for most.

tag(s): resources (112)

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Songs Inspired by Literature - Artists for Literacy

Grades
9 to 12
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If you find it difficult to motivate your high school students to read classic literature, try this site. Over two hundred songs and the works of literature that inspired ...more
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If you find it difficult to motivate your high school students to read classic literature, try this site. Over two hundred songs and the works of literature that inspired them are presented. Students will discover that Bruce Springsteen was deeply affected by John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, and Led Zepplin composed a song based on Moby Dick. High school-level lesson plans are provided.

tag(s): literature (276)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans on this site! Within the Educator's Resources are lesson plans about songs that have been inspired by literature. Pieces include "The Grapes of Wrath," and "Angela's Ashes." These would be a great way to get students hooked into the content!

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Keeping Score: MTT on Music - San Francisco Symphony

Grades
7 to 12
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This beautifully designed site takes visitors on a guided, multimedia tour of one of classical music's most enduring works - Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4. Click on the "Keeping Score"...more
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This beautifully designed site takes visitors on a guided, multimedia tour of one of classical music's most enduring works - Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4. Click on the "Keeping Score" link to begin the experience, and then choose the path you would like to investigate. Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas leads students through an engaging exploration of Symphony No. 4 while drawing biographical parallels to the composer's life. Another choice - "Primal Moves" - examines how music tells stories, unites people in times of sorrow and joy, and reflects the entire spectrum of human emotions. This is definitely a site that will lure your most resistant student into an appreciation of the power of music. Created by the San Francisco Symphony.

tag(s): composers (21), musical notation (37)

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Rediscovering Dave Brubeck - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Music teachers who cover jazz as part of their curriculum will appreciate this site, a companion to the PBS program of the same name. Most of the content is text, ...more
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Music teachers who cover jazz as part of their curriculum will appreciate this site, a companion to the PBS program of the same name. Most of the content is text, though there are a very few downloadable song samples that could introduce students to the variety of this jazz pianist's work.

tag(s): jazz (15)

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The Blues - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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The PBS series on "The Blues" combines history and musicology in a reverential treatment of this uniquely American musical form. The site includes biographies, some good analysis of...more
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The PBS series on "The Blues" combines history and musicology in a reverential treatment of this uniquely American musical form. The site includes biographies, some good analysis of the musical theory and compositional form behind the blues, and samples of blues songs that are in the public domain (These seem to work on Internet Explorer only). While you probably cannot make an entire unit out of this one, it would be a neat addition to a unit on African American culture, American music, or the history of the twentieth century.

tag(s): africa (178), african american (114), blues (19), harlem (9), jazz (15)

In the Classroom

A lot of this site has been altered so that teachers have to order the lesson plans and classroom sets from PBS itself. However there are still the biographies and resources list available. Have students select a blues musician to complete a brief biography on, using the list provided on this site as a starting point. There is plenty of information, and students with little inspiration are sure to find someone of interest here.
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Musicals 101

Grades
6 to 12
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This one's admittedly for fans of musical productions, but music and theater teachers will likely find a good deal of useful information and guidance here. The content includes sections...more
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This one's admittedly for fans of musical productions, but music and theater teachers will likely find a good deal of useful information and guidance here. The content includes sections on how musicals are written, staged, and produced, as well as a section on show rights and recordings. Bring your own makeup.

tag(s): acting (27), composers (21), dance (28)

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MusicTheory.net

Grades
4 to 12
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Here's an on-screen music theory resource with explanations, descriptions, and on-screen quizzes that range from the simple to quite challenging. This one works better as a review and...more
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Here's an on-screen music theory resource with explanations, descriptions, and on-screen quizzes that range from the simple to quite challenging. This one works better as a review and practice tool than as a self-study, but there's surprising depth to the presentations on all aspects of music theory. Well worth a visit.

tag(s): music theory (41), musical notation (37)

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Make Your Own Mozart

Grades
6 to 12
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You don't have to be a musician to like this one. It's a site that lets almost anyone compose their own minuet - and the results actually sound like real ...more
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You don't have to be a musician to like this one. It's a site that lets almost anyone compose their own minuet - and the results actually sound like real music. Creative math and music teachers will find ways to use this one, the rest of us may have to be content with just enjoying the sounds.

tag(s): composers (21)

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Fats Waller Forever - Rutgers University

Grades
6 to 12
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This site from the Rutgers Institute for Jazz Studies offers a "jumpin" tribute to jazz legend Fats Waller, complete with lots of music. Though the layout of the site is ...more
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This site from the Rutgers Institute for Jazz Studies offers a "jumpin" tribute to jazz legend Fats Waller, complete with lots of music. Though the layout of the site is a bit odd, there are plenty of sound clips and images - many from the collection of Waller's manager. Good background site for a discussion of jazz, black history, or American music.

tag(s): africa (178), african american (114), jazz (15)

In the Classroom

Use this site to showcase a prominant musician who was an integral part of the Harlem Renaissance. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to show students who Fats Waller is, and how he was similar to many of the other stars of his day. This would be a great resource for an American History or Music studies course.
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