Learning How to Play Guitar by Playing a Game

22 03 2013

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String Wars is a game that can be played using a real guitar

“The most enjoyable and effective way to learn guitar!”

So many of us are gamers and love music as well.  Stringwars is a great way to do both at the same time.  I can see it being a tremendous boost for getting students to practice.  When we are having fun learning it doesn’t seem like practice.  I unfortunately do not play guitar myself but I am going to get my students to try it out and see what they think.  You can even record your performance for assessment.  Great fun!  Learn to play guitar and enjoy music.  Try out String Wars





Guitar, Bass, and Drum Backing Tracks for Assessment

9 11 2012

I have had trouble assessing my rhythm section players when they play with other instruments as part of a band as the other parts are either wrong or too loud.  One of my guitarists found a solution online at “Songsterr”.  It offers a music minus one platform for guitar, bass, and drums.  They also have rhythm tracks.  This solution has been great.  It gives the students something to practice with as well as if you become a member it will also let you mix and slow down the tracks.  So you can make the drums louder or softer depending on the situation.

They also offer quite an extensive lesson section that teaches how to play different styles as well.   The music library is spot on for today’s youth and includes many of the favorites.  Check it out at “Songsterr”





Great Music Resources for the Classroom

18 09 2011


I have been making my own resources for a while now because I had a hard time finding published materials I was happy with. I finally found a great site called FUN Music Company. They have so many great resources and they fit the way I work because I can download them as digital files and print off whenever I want. Fun Music Company has a wide variety of materials to choose from. Everything from great printable theory books of all levels. Great for grades 6 through 12. They also have course materials for Rock & Roll, Instruments of the Orchestra, Jazz & Blues, Composers, World Music and more.

And, they are very reasonable priced for the quality and quantity of worksheets, assessments, lessons, workbooks, listening suggestions, log books, etc. etc.
Check out Fun Music Company and see what you think.





Lesson Plan Listening and Analysis – 14 Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Original

8 03 2011

Thanks to Stumble upon for a link to a great lesson plan idea. Great for listening and analysis practice. Listen to these examples of cover versions of famous songs and get students to reflect on what they hear and then articulate why they prefer one over the other. They can then find their own examples of songs that have been covered by other artists. A great way to be introduced to new music artists that you might not have listened to otherwise.

Make sure your music students use proper music vocabulary and the elements of music to describe why they like one version better than another. Get them to reflect and leave a comment on a blog posting.

Check out the original blog posting on the Live Music Guide





Let the students learn – try this gaming program and let the students find the answers.

28 11 2010

Sharendipity is a pretty cool game software that allows the user to create their own game. Get your students to make their own that incorporates topic ideas and vocab. Torch your written test, this is a great way to get students to create a much more interesting and personal product for assessment. Let them be creative, they might learn something. Forget your lesson plan. Let them create their own list key points for presentation via creating a game. Sharendipity Stop talking at the students and let them investigate and learn.





Using an iPad for School Counseling

7 09 2010

This post has nothing to do with music but I thought is was worthy of note.
Adam Clark the student counselor at Yokohama International School is piloting a program on the benefits (if any) of using an ipad for his work with students. Adam has published some of his findings thus far on his blog Freedom Philosophy in an article “Two Essential Tools for Counseling”. He is quite happy with the product thus far and describes many of the benefits he sees in using the device. Check out the full article here.





Learn Boost – Free Online Gradebook

12 08 2010

Learn Boost is a new online application for keeping grades. It is not only FREE but comes highly recommended by a few users I found online. They say it is easy to use with a short learning curve.