Musical Stories and Games on the Web

Interactive websites are a useful place for children to learn about music, because they allow them to be hands on with their learning, learn in a fun way with games, and hear the music while learning. The lines between learning and playing games are growing more and more faint in the eyes of many children as more educational sites are created on the web. These sites are beneficial because they allow children to take an interest in things that they normally wouldn’t, because there is a fun aspect to them. The following sites are helpful resources for children who are drawn to music and want to learn in an enjoyable way.

BBC for School Aged Children
BBC Radio’s section for school-aged children is designed for ages 4-11. It features many different ways to listen to music and play games that focus around music. The School Radio feature includes many different lessons and discussions about music for school aged children. The Traditional Songs and Rhymes feature is purely music for younger kids. Mostly, children under six will enjoy them. The Tune In feature focusing on Scottish music, and allows users to listen to and make their own music. The Jack and The Giant Beanstalk feature tells the classic story using musical videos, and is most appropriate for ages 5-7. Similarly, The Heroes of Troy feature tell the story of the Ancient Greeks and the Trojan War though musical videos. This site has many useful resources for school-aged children while listening to music.

Famous Composers
Famous Composers is a text-based site, that lists more than 100 composers with a concise biography about each one. This will be most useful for students who are looking for comparisons of several composers. Each bio tells about the composer’s early life, his or her musical accomplishments, later life, and death. This site is a helpful place for older students to find information for projects or essays on composers.

Arts Alive - Music
The National Arts Centre of Canada’s music section on their site features many different resources for youngsters of all ages to use while learning about the orchestra. The Music Resources section has many different tools for teachers and parents to use to encourage children to take an interest in classical music. The Instrument Lab lets one listen to all of the instruments in an orchestra and see them up close and from all angles virtually. The Great Composers section has timelines and bios of many famous composers, and lets one listen to some of their compositions. The Activities and Games section is where all of the site’s games are. Here, children can compose songs and quiz themselves on composers and instruments. These resources are for any student who seeks to learn more about music or who enjoys playing music related games.

San Francisco Symphony Kids
SFS Kids: Fun and Games with Music is a flash-based site that features many games for children to play. The Listen section plays all the types of orchestral music for students to listen to. The Conduct section allows children to play a conductor of an orchestra and decide which sections will play. The Compose section allows children to compose their own music by dragging different sounds together and playing them back to see what they sound like. This fun and interactive site is helpful for kids of all ages.

Music History Flashcards
This set of over 200 flashcards of music history terms teaches students everything they could need to know about music theory and history. Quizlet allows students to learn terms with traditional virtual flashcards, with the term on one side and the definition on the other side. The site will even read the terms to students, so they can master tricky pronunciations. There is also a game section titled Gravity and Match that lets students play while learning the terms in a fun way. The Live feature of the site allows students to play games with the terms with a group of friends. They can challenge each other or work together to learn in a term building format.

Music Teacher’s Games
The Music Teacher’s Games site has numerous games to help students memorize different things that will be useful for band or orchestra classes. There are games for memorizing the names of each note to improve music sight reading. The games also give more points for answering quickly, so students are encouraged to improve speed as well as accuracy, and will eventually reach the speeds necessary for playing music. There is also a free online metronome and a section of free music that the site creator provided. This is a great resource for music teachers, as it helps them to teach students in an enjoyable way.

by Caroline LaMotta