Posts Tagged ‘orchestra’

Free Interactive ‘Hansel & Gretel’ Opera!

December 8th, 2012

Hi! It’s Saturday, December 8, 2012 and time for Music at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Creative Kids Central: Hansel & Gretel

Age Range: All (with parental supervision)

Kids of all ages can learn music appreciation while choosing different settings for their own animated opera based on the fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel.”

When you get to the site, enter your name (or pseudonym) and click “Next” to launch the game. A new page opens with the opera program containing a description of all three acts. Notice that your name is listed in the credits. Click on “Next” and the opera begins. You’ll hear the introductory music and see the animated presentation begin to unfold.

With each scene, you’ll hear the music from the opera “Hansel and Gretel.” The meaning and nuances of the music are pointed out by a narrator. The lyrics that are being sung are on the screen making it easier to understand the storyline. You’ll have an opportunity to engage in activities that include:

  • A Costume Designer – Select costumes for Hansel and Gretel.
  • A Choreographer – Make Hansel and Gretel do various dance steps.
  • A Set Designer – Choose the backdrop you like best.
  • A Property Manager – Provide props for the actors.
  • A Lighting Technician – Move your cursor to control the spotlight.

Then, during “Intermission,” try your hand at being an orchestra conductor! Learn about the instruments including strings, percussion, and brass.

When the opera is over, you can go backstage and see how the production was put together. Use the “spotlight menu” to learn all about:

*The Composer – Learn about the German composer, Engelbert Humperdinck.

*Opera – Find out what an opera is and explore links to opera websites.

*Fairy Tales – Get links to sites about fairy tales along with some downloadable activities.

*Voice Studio – Learn the definitions of a Soprano, Mezzo Soprano, Tenor, and Baritone. Visit a Master Class with Placido Domingo. Meet famous opera singers.

*Teacher Resources – Download free lesson plans for the opera along with games and activities to enhance learning. Take a fun quiz to see what you’ve learned!

This educational activity takes about 45-60 minutes to complete. Navigating this site is easy as long as you follow each step in the order presented. I didn’t find a way to fast-forward – and if you hit the back button at any time, you may have to start the presentation all over again. So, plan to visit when you have the time to really enjoy every step of the presentation – it’s fun, educational, engaging, and entertaining for the whole family!

Free Music Games & Activities!

November 10th, 2012

Hi! It’s Saturday, November 10, 2012 and time for Music at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

New York Philharmonic Kidzone

Age Range: All (with parental supervision)

Gather the family around the computer and turn on the sound to listen and learn all about the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra! You’ll learn about every facet of the symphony orchestra (and even music composition) through incredible games and activities.

When you get to the site you’ll see an animated picture of a symphony concert hall. Place your cursor over each person or thing in the picture and you’ll see some text identifying a menu item. The menu includes:

*Composer’s Gallery – Meet over 60 composers, read their bios, and listen to their music.

*Games Room – Play games to learn about instruments, music theory, composers and more.

*Dressing Rooms – Take a virtual trip to the backstage dressing rooms to meet renown conductors, musicians, and singers.

*Musician’s Lounge – Read interviews with the musicians of the orchestra and find out how they got their jobs.

*Instrument Storage Room – Discover every instrument of the orchestra including brass, string, woodwind, and percussion.

*Composition Workshop – Create your own minuet and other compositions. Find out what it sounds like when different instruments play the same piece of music. Learn about some kid-composers.

*Instrument Lab – Get free instructions for creating home-made instruments using common materials. Make a French Horn, Trombone, Kazoo, Bassoon, Guitar, Xylophone and more!

*Newsstand – Read stories and learn about music around the world.

*Videos – Watch videos of open rehearsals and musicians playing various orchestra instruments.

Click on the topic of interest and a new page opens featuring a multi-media treat for the senses! Bookmark this one to return often.

Free Opera Music & Lessons for All!

August 18th, 2012

Hi!  It’s Saturday, August 18, 2012 and time for Music at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Opera For Everyone

Age Range:  All (with parental supervision)

What a find! This website introduces everyone to opera by providing FREE digital downloads of the “Opera for Everyone” series of CDs along with a printable teaching manual! Your family can learn all about four classic operas: Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Verdi’s La Traviata, Bizet’s Carmen, and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.

The “Opera for Everyone” series of CDs is available for sale, but this website allows educators free access to the music and manual – and that includes homeschoolers!

When you get to the site, you’ll see a brief introduction followed by step-by-step instructions on how to download the teachers manuals in pdf files, and how to download the CDs (audio files) for PC and Mac users. The two main components include:

*Teaching Manual – This teaching tool consists of two documents containing info about the operas and performers along with suggested books and videos to use in conjunction with the CDs. It also provides the complete texts, in English, of each opera in the series.

*Download the CDs – The MP3 files corresponding to the tracks on each “Opera for Everyone” CD have been collected into files that can be downloaded. I found that the instructions here may be slightly outdated, since the files took far less time to download than predicted (maybe 3-4 minutes with a highspeed connection). Once downloaded, you can “play” the MP3 files in a media player such as the RealOne Player or Apple’s iTunes. You can also burn an audio CD from the MP3 files in the playlist you create for each opera. The site gives educators permission to create audio CDs for use with a CD player.

Then, you can use the manual to select tracks on the CDs to discuss the various operatic elements including the vocal and orchestral music, the visual aspects, and the libretto. Each track is written in English and the language of the original opera.

The manual also reviews “how the music (melody, harmony, rhythm, tempo, tonality) tells the story of each opera – how it expresses the emotions and drives the action forward.” It also explores these aspects of opera for greater understanding:

  • Parts of the Opera – overtures, acts, finales and:
  • Voices of the Opera – soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, counter-tenor, tenor, baritone, bass.
  • Vocal Pieces – aria, duet, trio, quartet, tutti (entire company), recitative, spoken dialogue.
  • Roles of the Orchestra – to accompany the singers, participate as one of the voices, and convey the fire and the feel of the music.

Whether you are a seasoned opera-goer or are brand new to opera, this series of classic operas along with the accompanying study materials will enrich your musical education.


Free Music Lessons, Worksheets, Games & More!

March 10th, 2012

Hi! It’s Saturday, March 10, 2012 and time for Music at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Making Music Fun

Age Range: 6-11 (Grades 1-6, with parental supervision.)

This ad-supported website provides engaging, FREE music appreciation resources including music lessons, interactive games, printable sheet music and music theory flashcards designed for kids.

When you get to the site you’ll see three menu choices that include:

*Oliver Octopus Arcade — Play music theory arcade games and learn to identify the whole note, half note, eighth note, etc. Learn note names for the treble and bass clef.

*Print It! — Get free printable sheet music that you can preview and listen to online. From beginner to intermediate players – you’ll find sheet music for the piano, violin, flute, recorder, trumpet and trombone.

Don’t miss the “Free Composer Worksheets” too! Print out fun wordsearch and dot-to-dot puzzles based upon your favorite classical composers including Bach, Beethoven, Bernstein, Chopin, Gershwin, Joplin, Mozart, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and more!

You’ll also find practice charts, theory worksheets, and even printable award certificates.

*Music Library — THIS IS AN AMAZING RESOURCE! Access an archive of FREE music lessons on video for piano, recorder, flute, clarinet, trumpet, guitar, percussion, and bagpipe. There are even video flashcards for learning music theory!

You’ll also find biographies of great composers in the baroque, classic, romantic, and modern music eras.

Learn the instruments of the orchestra (woodwind, brass, string, percussion, and keyboard) with highlights about their history, how they are played, how they are made, and other fun facts.

Don’t miss the “Homeschool Music Resource Index” of suggested music activities created just for homeschool parents. Print out music lessons that help children learn about tempo, rhythm, pitch, musical symbols, form, and much more.

There’s even a “Jazz Index” with lessons and resources for learning about jazz music and great jazz musicians.
This site provides the very best in blending music with educational technology.


Best Classical Music Website for Kids!

January 14th, 2012

Hi!  It’s Saturday, January 14, 2012 and time for Music at ClickSchooling

Recommended Website:

Age Range: 5-14 (with parental supervision; all ages can enjoy aspects of the site)

ClickScholar Gayle reminded me of this website that we featured in 2007 and is worth revisiting. She wrote, “ has live radio recordings as well as worksheets and interactive games highlighting various composers, styles of music and music elements. It is practically the only site we have used for music.”

The site, which is continuously updated, is a supplement to the “Classics for Kids” radio program. You will find information on stations that air the show at the website, and you can listen to the archived programs that bring great composers to life through music and stories. You can also download activities and lessons (pdfs) that focus on National Standards for the Arts and Music.

When you get to the site you will see the current month’s featured composer, and a horizontal menu tab below it that includes:

*On The Radio – Includes the current week’s radio show, an archive of past shows, and activity sheets that include wordsearch puzzles, games, and trivia.

*Composers – Read biographies of about 90 different composers (across a timespan from 1685 to 2010) including Bach, Bernstein, Brahms, Britten, Chopin, Debussy, Gershwin, Handel, Joplin, Liszt, Mozart, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Schubert, Sousa, Strauss, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Verdi and more!

*Games – Play fun, interactive, online games that teach rhythm and notation.

*More About Music – Hear music, learn the instruments of the symphony orchestra, explore a musical dictionary, and learn about musical careers.

*For Grownups – Access free lesson plans, activity sheets, and get tips and advice for music education.

Bookmark this one, you’ll want to return often!


Every Kid’s Mozart!

September 24th, 2011

Hi!  It’s Saturday, September 24, 2011 and time for Music with ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Age: 4-10 (designed for young children with parental assistance, and fun for all ages)

Gather the kids around the computer for a visual and audio treat about the music of Mozart and the instruments that bring it to life.

Sponsored by a company that sells classical music CDs and CD-ROM products for kids, this website also offers a terrific selection of free, multi-media resources that enable you to learn about the life and music of Mozart and the musical instruments of the orchestra.

When you get to the site, you’ll see information about the products for sale. LOOK over on the right side of the screen where it says “For a taste of what’s inside EVERY KID’S MOZART try these FREE samples.” There is a menu below it that includes:

1) Learn About Musical Instruments – Click on this item and a new screen opens that introduces the instruments of the orchestra including wind, string, and percussion.  You’ll hear each instrument play Mozart’s music while the narrator reads a clever poem. Further info about the instrument is displayed for you to read.

2) Play Our Famous Orchestra – Enjoy an interactive game that allows you to identify the different orchestral instruments.

3) Read An Account of Mozart’s Life – As you listen to Mozart’s music, read the pages of a simple biography of Mozart’s life.

4) Listening Lounge – Enjoy a variety of Mozart’s music.

These free activities serve as a wonderful introduction to the music and life of Mozart, as well as the instruments of the symphony orchestra.