Online Resources for Modern Band

Mike Lawson • Modern Band • April 30, 2020

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As we all enter into the second month of engaging with students online, some of the challenges and opportunities of virtual teaching have come to the forefront.

By now, most teachers are becoming Zoom experts, and have realized that running virtual rehearsals and ensembles is not quite as easy as Eric Whitacre might make it look! Each day we see music teachers engaging students during this challenging time through digital and remote learning.

Last month’s modern band article in SBO magazine listed online several resources from Little Kids Rock for teachers and students that can allow for online music teaching and learning. This month’s modern band article is dedicated to showcasing more resources for modern band music teachers to allow you to connect, compose, cover songs, and create community with your students. This is by no means an exhaustive list of resources and activities available to modern band teachers, but these are some examples and resources that have proven to be useful to music teachers in the past month. I hope that you continue to share your successes and challenges with the community of modern band teachers.

Databases of Resources

• Little Kids Rock’s Jam Zone-

LKR’s Jam Zone is the go-to online learning platform for modern band teachers and students

• Music Service Learning

Music Service Learning is curated database of free teaching resources, compiled in F-flat books and F-flat books and music education students from West Chester University

• Finding Music Resources

A project of the music education program at Gettysburg College, Finding Music Resources combines several videos and links for the music teachers as well as videos addressing aspects of philosophy and creativity.

Virtual Instruments

• Mimimoog Model D Synth

The famous Moog Synthesizer as an app on an iPad! Level: High School

• Korg iKaossilator

• Oscillator app that enables students to have fun in a friendly interface. You can also export loops as audio and use them in other programs. Level: K-12

• Io808

A web-based version of the famous 808 drum machine heard on so many classic hip-hop songs. A fairly advanced tool, may be best suited to older students. Level: High School

Virtual Rehearsal Software

Use these sites to help you run virtual rehearsals with your students.

• Virtual Rehearsals through Soundtrap

Use Soundtrap to conduct virtual rehearsals. Teacher Jake Sandakly walks teachers and students through the process with instructional materials. Cost: Free through the end of the school year

• Acapella

Virtually create acapella and instrumental videos. A great way to practice along with others virtually on a self-paced schedule.

Cost: Free

• Video Collage

Similar to Acapella, but you can import videos that are created from various people in different locations. You can find it in

Google Play or App Store. Cost: Free

Music Notation Software

Use these sites to help your students compose and write their own music or transcribe assignments that you give them.

• Noteflight

Music notation software that lets you create and collaborate with students on multiple devices. This is able to integrate with Google classroom and other learning platforms. Cost: Free for all students until the end of the year.

• Musescore

Music notation software that lets you create and collaborate with students on multiple devices. Able to integrate with Google classroom and other learning platforms. Cost: Free

• Flat

Web-based music notation and instructional software. Usually paid subscription, but free until June 29, 2020. Level: K-12

Digital Audio Workstations (DAW)

These sites allow users to compose music digitally using web-based interfaces without physical instruments. They are all currently free!

• BandLab

Collaborative music education creation site that focuses on creativity and collaboration from a distance. For free, you can create a virtual classroom, create assignments with deadlines, and let students complete things virtually from your own library of resources and tasks.

• Soundtrap

One of the most well-known digital audio workstations with plenty of free “loops” for students to use in their own creations, as well as synthesizers that enable composition and improvisation Plenty of tools to invite students into a digital classroom and complete assignments.

• Google Chrome Music Lab

Highly user-friendly and basic sound-input site that lets students add notes with various instruments and basic percussion sounds. You can save your work without an account and share it via a link.

• Launchpad

DJ mixing app and beat maker. Students can easily use a touchpad to mix and create beats in a visually and aurally pleasing environment.

• Splice

Beginner-level percussion and beat-making website. Simple boxes enable users to generate interesting and complex rhythms.

• Soundation

Similar to Soundtrap, this site offers a “drag and drop” method for inputting beats and musical samples to create your own compositions.

• Incredibox

Visually and aurally enjoyable beatboxer avatars that enable early music learners to experience creating their own compositions and using an entry level digital audio workstation.

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