A Guest Post by David Turner
The internet has provided some excellent teaching resources for anyone who wants to learn, teach, or play music. Websites exist to help you do everything from learn to read sheet music to compose music of your own. Listed below are eight good ones:
SFS Kids (www.sfskids.org). What kid doesn't like purple skin tone and neat online gadgets with names like "the composerizer"? The San Francisco Symphony has put together a top-notch site that includes a music lab where kids can learn about things like rhythm, tempo, and pitch, a radio where they can choose to listen to classical classics like "Fanfare for the Common Man" or "Flight of the Bumblebee".
musicgames.net (www.musicgames.net). If there's one thing kids like more than purple people eaters, it's playing games. This site has gotten more awards for their games than you probably knew there were games, and with good reason, too. Play them online for free or choose to download and add save features to your game. With titles like "Alice in Vivaldi's Four Seasons" and "Mozart's Magic Flute," you can't go wrong.
Corridos sin Fronteras (www.corridos.org). A music site aimed primarily at Spanish-speakers, Corridos was part of the now conluded Smithsonian Traveling Exhibitions. But the site is still a great way to learn about a musical genre unique to the Americas, and you can even write your own "corrido" after listening to the samples—classics like the "Corrido of the Scolded Child".
New York Philharmonic Kidzone (www.nyphilkids.org). Although it requires Shockwave, the NY Philharmonic's site for kids is worth it. Want to meet some actual musicians? Find out more about a particular composer? Or just play lots of cool games? It's all here, and much, much more, on the well-designed, graphic-user-interface focused site.
Ricci Adams musictheory.net (www.musictheory.net). The home page presents you with three simple choices: lessons, exercises, or tools. An excellent resource for teachers to use as part of a music lesson curriculum, not so much for you to plunk Junior down in front of the computer.
Classics for Kids (www.classicsforkids.com). Another site that's directed more at teachers than kids, CfK gives you chance to find out "What it's like to be a composer," and sign up for their online newsletter for more ideas about how to have fun with music.
playmusic.org (www.playmusic.org). Intro page with little animated dudes (and dudette) playing various instruments. Click on any one of them and link to bio pages of famous musicians, websites to help you compose your own music, or orchestra journal articles. Included because of the graphics-rather-than-text that will appeal to many kids in the video generation.
Pattern Block Rock (http://www.philtulga.com/patternblock.html). When you're tired of trying to teach kids the value of a half note versus a quarter note, check out this site, which uses different color "pattern blocks" to play drum sounds over and over. Just what you needed after a day of noisy kids, right?
David Turner is very interested in helping students who want to pursue a music degree online.