11 October Musical Freebies for iPads and More
During October, technology makes learning and creating so creepy cool… Here are a few of my favorite activities and links to find 11 October Musical Freebies for iPads and more. My students have “squeezed the goody” out of every one of these and I’d like to share the fun!! October is one of my favorite months for teaching because of all the imaginative things we can do with musical concepts.
Scary Dynamic Story
If you have access to iPads, look at the end of this post to find the link to a Scary Dynamic Story activity using the Explain Everything app. There is also a QR code students may scan to access this file on their iPad. What better way to demonstrate understanding of musical dynamics and actually hear the excitement created with musical secret codes than by telling a very spooky story? Here is a link to the original post. Listen to this story in the video below to hear the possibilities with the activity.
“In a Dark, Dark Wood” Dynamic Story
Alvin Schwartz’s spooky story about the shelf in the cupboard comes to life when first and second graders add musical dynamics to create the creepiest, scariest, most terrifying story ever in the history of the world. This story is a bit easier to read than the “Scary Dynamic Story” mentioned earlier; it might just be perfect for your beginning readers. If you want to use this with your students, have them scan the QR code and open the file in Explain Everything. The files are at the bottom of this post.
With these two stories we learned that the best story tellers are musical dynamic WIZARDS! With technology, we can really, really hear the difference dynamics make and we can practice, fix and gain confidence. Technology allows our students to go deeper, to experience more, and to shine individually.
Listen to this first grader… wait for it!!!
Ghosty Long and Short Rhythm Activity
Boys and girls love to create long and short rhythms with all sorts of things: worms and pom poms, touchy-feely trays I made with Dollar Tree finds, ghost patterns on the iPad, and creepy patterns on the SMARTBoard. Here are a few images, a video, and download at the bottom of this post.
If you want to use his with your students, have them scan the QR code to download the Ghostly Long and Short in Explain Everything.
This ended up being a really great rhythmic and vocal activity when the students used the laser pointer to record the sounds of big ghosts (whooooo) and baby ghosts (Boo! Boo!) Technology is such a great equalizer; every student gets a turn to sing and respond at the same time.
is also a great activity for working on Long and short rhythmic patterns. There are many ways to use this iPad activity. Students can record their chanting and laser pointing, they can play these rhythmic patterns on instruments, or older students can notate and perform the correct rhythm. It’s useful for many grade levels. I like having open-ended activities like this at my fingertips and loaded on my students’ iPads the whole month of October. Similarly, Here is a video of children using the iPad to notate the rhythm to “Pumpkin, Pumpkin.”
Bat Book and Spider Book
The first graders have been studying Bats and Spiders, so to help the teachers, I created two iPad books for students to use to share what they have been learning. The Bat book is in Book Creator and the Spider Book is in Explain Everything. These aren’t specifically related to music, but (since I created them) I piggy-backed on the units and included a listening walk and study of echolocation. We also used our dynamic markings to help make the reading of the poems more exciting. I’ve included these here so you can see the possibilities for designing interactive learning activities within each app and maybe a way to connect to the classroom.
There’s a Spider on my Instrument
Right after Halloween is over, run to Walmart and Target and scoop up all of the spider rings for next year. This is a terrific activity for allowing students to explore instruments and use their singing voice. I place various instruments around the music room and allow students to used their iPads to take a photo of the spider on the instruments. Pic Collage is a great app for gathering all of their spider images. As an extension, students can sort the instruments by hit, scrape or shake. In a 30 minute class time, this is a do-able activity.
Ghostly Vocal Sounds
Halloween is the perfect time to explore Ghostly Vocal sounds! Here is a simple SMARTBoard Music Lesson and vocal exploration activity for young children. Here is the original post and link to this file on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Peer Gynt Listening Map for iPad
The Peer Gynt Listening Map is a challenge the students love and ask for every year. “In the Hall of the Mountain King” is one of my students’ favorite pieces. I created this listening map using the Explain Everything app. To add the music, I used Audacity to split the music into smaller sections and insert a section on the same page as the listening map. Students had great fun trying to use the laser pointer to keep up with the melodic line. Once they felt confident, they could record the music and laser pointing at the same time. (In Explain Everything, most of the time the music and pointing is in sync, but sometimes there is a lag) You may download the QR code at the end of this post and have your students scan. download and open the listening map in Explain Everything.
Bach and Grieg Interactive QR Codes
Here is a video of my students’ reaction to learning about and hearing Bach’s music for the first time. Ear buds make the music extra impressive. I made the introduction videos using the MadLips app. I was by myself and inside my car where no one could see our hear me!
Skin and Bones Song Animation
Using Explain Everything, I created a visualization of “Skin and Bones” for the students to use with their favorite Halloween song. After students record their voice and movement, have them export it as a video to share with their parents. We use Seesaw and the parents love hearing the work of their children.
October musical freebies for iPads
The SMARTNotebook file (#11) contains the Pumpkin Stew activity that I have updated. As the versions of .notebook have changed, so has the stability of flash items. This version of the Pumpkin Stew song is not based on the flash random image generator and will be completely stable for your use. Students simply chose an item and follow the dotted path to add it to the stew.
SMARTBoard: October Musical Adventures
This SMARTNotebook file contains all of the links I have included fin this post as well as other links and activities you can use during your celebration of all things spooky. Some pages might make great substitute activities or fillers. There are also extras that you might find useful and fun. Here is a link to download this SMARTNotebook file. Should you have any problems with the download, please let me know.
I kind of hate to see October come to an end because there is always so much to do and so many ways to make discovering music exciting. We’ve also been working on composing with Garage band, but that’s for another post. I hope you will find something in all of this to use in your classroom, or at least get you thinking of ways you can modify it to suit your teaching style. Let me hear what you think of these. I have more if you are interested!