Posts Tagged ‘orchestra’

Explore Free Music Interactives!

June 22nd, 2013

Hi!  It’s Saturday, June 21, 2013 and time for Music at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

The Kennedy Center: Explore the Arts – Interactives

Age Range: 11 and up (middle school and up approximately, with parental supervision)

The Kennedy Center offers this website that provides interactive programs that allows students to explore a variety of musical genres.  When you get to the site you’ll see a menu that includes:

*1940s – Explore the societal changes taking place during WWII that were echoed in an arts revolution through music, dance, film, and more.

*The Music of Budapest, Prague, and Vienna – Learn about classical, orchestral, and operatic music that originated in these central European hubs.

*Jazz in Time – Discover the history of Jazz from the ragtime music of the 1920s to the diverse musical stylings of today.

*National Symphony Orchestra – Meet the musicians and learn about the instruments and history of the NSO.

*Perfect Pitch – Learn how instruments are made, create your own orchestral arrangement, and enjoy guided listening activities.

*The Sondheim Celebration – Learn about the storied career of songwriter Stephen Sondheim that includes musical theater productions of “A Little Night Music,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Company,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” and more.

Just click on a topic of interest and a new page opens where you can learn about music’s historical impact while enjoying engaging and entertaining interactives.


Symphony Orchestra Games & Activities!

May 11th, 2013

Hi! It’s Saturday, May 11, 2009 and time for Music at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

DSO Kids

Age Range: 6-12 (Designed for elementary school-age kids with parental supervision.)

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra sponsors this interactive, multi-media website that helps children learn all about the music, instruments, conductors, musicians, and composers associated with the symphony orchestra.

When you get to the site you’ll see a variety of features. You can click on any one to begin exploring the site, or use the menu at the top of the page that includes:

*Games – Match composers to their correct time period,  answer questions about composers, match music symbols, etc.

*Listen – Listen to excerpts from compositions and read the biography of the composer.

*Activities At Home – Learn to make your own instruments!

You can also take a virtual tour of the Myerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas. Bookmark this site, as you’ll need to return several times to experience all that is has to offer.


Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra!

January 12th, 2013

Hi! It’s Saturday, January 12, 2013 and time for Music at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Carnegie Hall: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Age Range: 8 and up (with parental supervision; non-readers will need assistance)

This website, sponsored by Carnegie Hall, offers a free, interactive, animated game based on Benjamin Britten’s composition, Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Children will learn about the instruments of the orchestra including the brass, strings, wind, and percussion instruments.

When you get to the site you must register (with a nickname and password) to play the game. You’ll learn about a symphony orchestra stage, the placement of the instrument families on the stage, and learn to identify the instruments and hear how they sound.

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.