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Toy Theater Piano Puppet - Toy Theater

Grades
K to 8
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This simple, musical activity presents students with a simple toy piano (with colored keys). Students can play the piano, save it, and then play the sounds back. This website would...more
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This simple, musical activity presents students with a simple toy piano (with colored keys). Students can play the piano, save it, and then play the sounds back. This website would be extremely useful in an elementary or middle school music class, or a science class learning about sound. The Toy Theater Piano requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. The site takes a few moments to load, even on a quick connection.

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard to share the creative music composed by your students. Don't forget to plug in your speakers and turn up the volume! With older students, challenge them to recreate a famous tune.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sound Junction - Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (UK)

Grades
3 to 12
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Want to know how music is really put together? Do you love exploring and creating different sounds? You don't need to be a music teacher (or teacher of gifted and ...more
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Want to know how music is really put together? Do you love exploring and creating different sounds? You don't need to be a music teacher (or teacher of gifted and talented) to appreciate this site, but if you are one, you will want to mark this as a Favorite immediately. As the site says itself, "You can take music apart and find out how it works, create music yourself, find out how other people make music and how they perform it, you can find out about musical instruments, and look at the backgrounds to different musical styles."

Interact with musical instruments or create your own music and share your composition with others on the web. Lively, crisp sounds echo from this site so use your best musical "ear." Teachers can find many ways to collaborate with others around the world by clicking "Find music teaching resources," an area that even includes Sound Junction activities created by other teachers. Free membership allows you to save music you create and save your "journey" through the site's tools so you can retrace your steps another day. If high school music students are allowed to use personal accounts, they can create music individually or in small groups. Even working together as a class is a remarkable experience from beginner to professional level. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): sound (103), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Be sure to hook up speakers or headphones to share in class. Music teachers who have access to an interactive whiteboard or projector can enjoy composing music together with the whole class, then posting to the web for the school community to enjoy. Elementary students will develop a better "ear" just from the Music Explorer which will "feature" different voices from within a piece of music. Both Explorer and Composer require a "Sequence Xtra" plug-in (offered for free download). Teachers of gifted will want to share this resource with their talented musicians. There is so much in this site it could take months to discover it all.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Hyper History Online - The World History Project

Grades
6 to 12
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This comprehensive history/culture resource is the mother of all timelines with over 3000 years of history available in "synchronoptic" form, that is, in parallel timelines. Users...more
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This comprehensive history/culture resource is the mother of all timelines with over 3000 years of history available in "synchronoptic" form, that is, in parallel timelines. Users can view by searching year, event, people, stories, subjects, events, political movements, and maps. Constant updates to the events section and additional "people" lines ensure the timeliness of this amazing site. (The site does NOT include people who are still alive). The span of the timelines and people, events, and cultures is extensive. Timeline elements are clickable for more information. We recommend the site for grades 6 and up purely because of the level of exposure necessary to appreciate all the information and because of the reading level.

tag(s): biographies (88), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Use this site for context regarding what was going on all over the world at any given time, especially as you launch class discussion of a new topic or time period. Help students see relationships between what they know and what else was occurring at the same time. Use it to pose questions about how events and people may be related, as well. This site will work very well on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

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National Dance Education Organization

Grades
K to 12
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The National Dance Education Organization is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting standards of excellence in dance education. ...more
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The National Dance Education Organization is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting standards of excellence in dance education.

tag(s): dance (28)

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MENC: The National Association for Music Education

Grades
K to 12
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The National Association for Music Education web site ...more
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The National Association for Music Education web site

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Lovely Christmas

Grades
1 to 8
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This holiday website has a magnitude of information about Christmas. There are close to 100 articles of interest provided. Topics include Christmas around the world, crafts, cooking,...more
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This holiday website has a magnitude of information about Christmas. There are close to 100 articles of interest provided. Topics include Christmas around the world, crafts, cooking, entertainment, games, gifts, history and more! My personal favorite aspect of this website was the information provided about the Christmas traditions in America, Australia, England, France, Germany, Mexico, Scotland, Spain and other countries.

tag(s): christmas (66)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check out this informative website when planning holiday lessons and festivities. Have a worldwide holiday celebration with traditional activities from different cultures and religions or include some of these explanationa as readings during a holiday musical program at your school.

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Virtual Keyboard - Birmingham Grid For Learning

Grades
1 to 8
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Check out this virtual keyboard that allows users to select an instrument, chord mode, or drum pattern. The instrument choices include a piano, an organ, a saxophone, a flute, ...more
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Check out this virtual keyboard that allows users to select an instrument, chord mode, or drum pattern. The instrument choices include a piano, an organ, a saxophone, a flute, pipes, strings, a guitar, steel drums, and a double bass. Users are able to explore the sounds of the various instruments and click on the virtual piano keys to listen to the sounds. There are also detailed instructions included (click on the instructions button). This site requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

This website is perfect for an interactive whiteboard. Use this website to teach basic music theory, blending notes, and even how to make chords. Let the students use their fingers to make music by touch. Special ed techers may find that this tool motivates their non-verbal or autistic students as a reward. Be sure to turn up speakers or use headphones to control sound levels as you wish them to be!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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American Experience: New Orleans - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans have brought attention to this distinctive city. This site provides resources for helping...more
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The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans have brought attention to this distinctive city. This site provides resources for helping students understand its unique history from historical and cultural perspectives.

There are several great interactive resources provided including audio clips and commentary about New Orleans' great musical tradition, and a flash-enabled map showing the growth of the city over time. Whether you're interested in teaching music, particularly American Jazz, or the history of New Orleans' diverse melting pot of cultures or the politics of race in the Katrina recovery process, you will find good content here. Teacher resources include lesson plans on history, civics, music and geography.

tag(s): jazz (15)

In the Classroom

Share the interactive portions on projector and speakers or laptops, as you ask your students to propose a better way for government agencies to prepare for and respond to disasters. Using this site and many others, they can gather evidence to support their proposals. Don't miss the accounts by the Superintendent of the St. Bernard Schools as another source.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Music In Poetry - Smithsonian Institute

Grades
5 to 12
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If you want to get students involved in listening to poetry, try this site featuring real life SOUNDS of poetry in both ballads and the blues. Ballads are traditionally taught ...more
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If you want to get students involved in listening to poetry, try this site featuring real life SOUNDS of poetry in both ballads and the blues. Ballads are traditionally taught as story poems and, while this site does that too, it makes ballads more relevant to the music that kids listen to today. Use this site to teach about meters (iambic triameter and iambic tetrameter) in ways that students can HEAR. The images of the short films are great, too. The site includes readings and singing of great, classic examples of ballads as well as some rarer film footage of great blues singers (ex: John Jackson singing "Steamboat Whistle" at Wolf Trap in 1997). There is a wide variety of tracks to choose from and the site includes lesson plans.

tag(s): blues (19), poetry (225)

In the Classroom

Play the sound files on speakers in your classroom and be sure to include the link on your teacher web page for students to play at home, as well. If you are into podcasting, consider having students make their own recordings of ballads after hearing and studying these. Create podcasts using PodOmatic (reviewed here). The lesson plans are printable Adobe and work with units/lessons on Langston Hughes and the blues as well as the meters of poetry.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Art Presentations - Jefferson County Schools

Grades
K to 8
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This website provides ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations. There are well over twenty presentations on topics related to the visual arts and performing arts. Some of the specific...more
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This website provides ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations. There are well over twenty presentations on topics related to the visual arts and performing arts. Some of the specific topics include music careers, music and culture, rock-n-roll USA, art, impressionism, ceramics, art history and many others. Most of the PowerPoints are extremely well done, featuring graphics, sound, and a wide selection of information. You may need to have PowerPoint software on your computer to view these files, depending on how the site creators saved them.

tag(s): air (163), ceramics (5), impressionism (5), van gogh (8)

In the Classroom

Try these ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations on an interactive whiteboard or projector in your classroom. Some may also be well-suited for individual students to run on a single classroom computer for individua; exploration. There are games, resources and a lot of information.

The site includes a disclaimer asking to be notified if users find any unauthorized, copyrighted material. TeachersFirst recommends that you NOT download copies but instead use them online, just in case.

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Sing Along Songs - NIEHS

Grades
K to 8
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The National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services has indexed a plethora of songs and midis in the belief that music is good for health! Enjoy ...more
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The National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services has indexed a plethora of songs and midis in the belief that music is good for health! Enjoy the golden oldies, children's songs, holiday pieces, patriotic tunes, and everyone's favorites. Read the lyrics and sing along to the tune as it plays. Besides the genre categorization, the index also lists titles alphabetically. An additional feature is the "Guess this Tune" game. NIEHS carefully screens song selection so that teachers can be assured of the quality of the choices. This site requires Quick time. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): lyrics (20), songs (53)

In the Classroom

You might need headphones or speakers for this site. Songs are a wonderful tool to use with ESL students who often memorize songs more quickly than lists of vocabulary words. Singing helps improve accents as well. Primary grade teachers and those working with speech and language will also find this site useful. Be sure to include the link on your teacher web page for students to use independently.

Some of the songs would also be great background for a class skit or play in primary grades. Turn up your speakers and play a patriotic song as your students act out a patriotic skit in social studies class.

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One Station - WRN

Grades
6 to 12
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One Station offers "Diverse Views: Global Voices," or links to radio stations as well as specific shows in a multitude of countries. The opening page has broadcast language choices...more
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One Station offers "Diverse Views: Global Voices," or links to radio stations as well as specific shows in a multitude of countries. The opening page has broadcast language choices for selecting stations. The site includes summaries of content and evaluations of the reliability, frequency, and objectivity of the stations. Click to investigate a specific station and find clickable schedules for daily broadcasts. The "Listen Now" option brings the staion in over your computer. The WRN Podcast page offers listeners the choice of downloading as mp3s for later listening. The audio files are available using either Real Player and Windows Media Player. You can get these from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): chinese (50), french (89), greek (41), italian (34), radio (27), russia (38), russian (28), spanish (109)

In the Classroom

Use this opportunity to introduce your students to the sounds of other culture or to hep develop listenting skills in a world language. High school social studies classes will benefit from following currenet events stories as portrayed in othe English-speaking media.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Fling the Teacher - Mrs. Field - Music Teacher

Grades
6 to 8
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Fling the Teacher offers a variety of teaching topics and units for middle grade music classes. This teacher-created site from the UK offers topics ranging from African and Chinese...more
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Fling the Teacher offers a variety of teaching topics and units for middle grade music classes. This teacher-created site from the UK offers topics ranging from African and Chinese music to the Beatles and West Side Story. The site also provides lessons for teaching music theory as well as printables for each topic. Don't forget to have students try to "Fling the Teacher" - an automatically graded quiz for each level.

tag(s): music theory (41)

In the Classroom

Include the quizzes on your tecaher web page for at-home practice

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ESL Through Music - CASLT/ACPLS

Grades
1 to 8
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This compilation site describes websites that use music to teach language skills. Not only useful for limited English speakers, this site offers ideas for elementary teachers, as well,...more
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This compilation site describes websites that use music to teach language skills. Not only useful for limited English speakers, this site offers ideas for elementary teachers, as well, with specific songs and suggestions for including music as part of a regular lesson. You will find that addressing musical/rhythmic intelligence may draw in students who otherwise struggle. And all of them will find the different approach a refreshing change.

In the Classroom

Make music a part of every day teaching by using some of these great sites and ideas! Your music teacher may even be willing to reinforce both his/her curriculum and your by singing some of the songs in music class. Why not ask?

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Musical Freeze Improvisations - Matt Buchanan

Grades
6 to 10
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This lesson is intended to teach improvisation and invention, and to introduce the idea of creating story from movement, rather than the other way around. It also works well as ...more
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This lesson is intended to teach improvisation and invention, and to introduce the idea of creating story from movement, rather than the other way around. It also works well as a warm up. It is a variation of musical chairs, but the movement (not the freezing itself) is the important part. It is designed to show students the different aspects of body movement as well as different interpretations by different individuals. While great as a warm-up exercise, this also works well with students who are "stiff" actors or who find it difficult to be natural onstage.

tag(s): acting (27)

In the Classroom

As you read a piece of literature and discuss how a character's actions are part of the characterization, use improv to help students understand how much we learn about people through their actions. If you choose to extend the literature study by having students write a character study, they can use description of actions as part of that study, as well.

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Oxfam Education - Oxfam

Grades
6 to 12
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Oxfam's Teacher Resource site contains a wealth of information about global issues and human rights. There are lesson plans on fair trade, social justice, sustainability, and a new...more
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Oxfam's Teacher Resource site contains a wealth of information about global issues and human rights. There are lesson plans on fair trade, social justice, sustainability, and a new unit on global music. Given the nature of the issues explored, there is a special teacher's guide to teaching controversial issues. The link to "Mapping our World" takes you to a great interactive look at the world and the impact of maps on our view of the world.

tag(s): environment (321)

In the Classroom

Geography teachers will love the "Mapping our World" interactive. Teachers who focus on current events will find much to explore. Oxfam as an organization clearly has a political point of view, but the depth of resources represented is remarkable.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Song Lyrics: Using Songs in the ESL Classroom - Neil Coghlan

Grades
1 to 8
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Long known to improve accents and intonations, singing with limited English speakers also provides cultural knowledge, fun, and a whole-language way to assist students to memorize English...more
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Long known to improve accents and intonations, singing with limited English speakers also provides cultural knowledge, fun, and a whole-language way to assist students to memorize English in meaningful chunks. Mainly an alphabetical index to many enjoyable songs, this site also gives suggestions about how to use the lyrics to help improve the students' English.

tag(s): lyrics (20)

In the Classroom

Find lyrics to any song you want! Share this link with your students themselves, They may want to look up some songs they have heard and did not fully understand.

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Singing Science Records - Ballads for the Age of Science

Grades
1 to 12
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Listen to songs to teach important (and less important) science concepts. This collection of MP3 files was generated from an old set of records (yes, those round vinyl things that ...more
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Listen to songs to teach important (and less important) science concepts. This collection of MP3 files was generated from an old set of records (yes, those round vinyl things that had scratches). While the actual copyright holder information is a gray area, you can feel safe in playing the songs from the site. Most likely, these songs from the 1950s and 60s are past copyright at this point. In any case, you can click to play from smaller or larger file versions. Be patient while they load, even over a broadband connection. It will be worth the wait to teach parts of plants, the water cycle, weather, motion, energy, electricity, and MANY other topics with just a computer and set of speakers to help students retain the information. Most of the content is elementary to middle school age, but some is high school level. Learning support teachers seeking alternate study strategies will love this one!

tag(s): animals (289), energy (203), mammals (34), motion (61), plants (154), space (216), water (130), water cycle (33), weather (195)

In the Classroom

Include the links to specific songs for review on your teacher web site or play one of the songs as students enter the room (a sort of audio anticipatory set). You will definitely need to turn up the speakers. Elementary music teachers might want to pick up one of the songs while the students are studying these topics and teach the music and lyrics during music class!

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National Children's Folksong Registry - Education CyberPlayGround

Grades
K to 12
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Want to become a part of cyberspace history and preserve a part of our culture? Use your ipod, phone or computer to record the chants, songs, jump rope rhymes, or ...more
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Want to become a part of cyberspace history and preserve a part of our culture? Use your ipod, phone or computer to record the chants, songs, jump rope rhymes, or circle games that your students enjoy. Then submit them to the database so the students can hear themselves on the net.They can also listen to recordings made by other classes. Be part of a new way of recording oral history! Include this activity as art of your study of history and the songs people sang on the railroads, on riverboats, or as they immigrated.

tag(s): oral history (12), songs (53), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Before recording for the website use a tape recorder to have students practice speaking clearly when recording. Have older students teach younger grades a chant or song to record. Directions for recording are included on the site. Make sure you follow your school district policies for posting information on the web. Include a link on your teacher website for parents to listen to the class recordings.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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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