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Aurasma in the Music Classroom

Mustache Bulletin board

Using Aurasma in the Music classroom

Since the beginning of this year, Aurasma has been a big hit with my students; it’s easy to set up and it’s way cooler than last year’s QR codes. I’ve been using Aurasma in the Music Classroom to create opportunities for exploring those who write and perform music and to bring those musicians into my classroom in a very futuristic way. However, I’m most excited about how Aurasma will allow my students to creatively share their demonstrations of understanding and their musical compositions. Aurasma is extremely exciting!!

It all started when I first saw this bulletin board on Mrs King’s Blog and decided to take a different twist on the idea. Mrs. King is the Queen of Cute… I can’t come anywhere close to her crafty ideas – my attempts always look so academic – but thanks to Mrs. King for the inspiration to use Aurasma in the music classroom!

I mustache you a question… Do you REALLLLLY know these musicians?Aurasma App logo

Last year, we mastered creating QR codes to bring student work to life, to provide  links  to websites, and to distribute various files for download, etc. The students get it and most of our teachers get it by now. The EdTech conference at Harvard this past June was my first introduction to Aurasma (AR).

In year two of our 1:1 iPad school, exploring augmented reality (AR) as a creative way to provide enrichment experiences for our students is a challenge that just had to be accepted.  Aurasma, a free app for mobile devices, is also an online creation site. Aurasma is cool in the music classroom, and as my teacher friends are discovering, cool in the regular classroom as well. Aurasma takes links to a whole new level!

More than just a QR code

Aurasma BBoard Collage

Last year I created QR codes to link to MadLip composer bios and to an mp3 example of the composer’s work. With Aurasma, I am now able to:

  • Link those (QR) composers to modern-day musicians who perform their works
  • Create engaging opportunities for my students to discover a few interesting facts about modern-day musicians
  • Introduce my students to amazing young children who enjoy performing great classical music
  • Help my students make the connection that many musicians fell in love with music when they were the same age as my students
  • Provide listening prompts and questions that appear during the viewing of the performance
  • Have almost an instant interaction with the Aurasma Aura and move seamlessly from one Aura to another with very little load-time.
  • Share student work (Recorder Karate performances, musical creations and compositions, recording of examples, etc.)

How the children use Aurasma in the music classroom.

  • Each student has the Aurasma app installed on their iPad.
  • I displayed a QR code that automatically subscribes devices to my channel. The link for that magical QR code is provided when a channel is created.
  • As you can see in the picture to the right, once students scan the image using the Aurasma app, a blue spinning circle appears and then the AURA is present! Tadaaaa!!
  • Hammond LS Aurasma Channel QR codeOn some of the images, the Aura disappears as soon as the iPad is moved away from the image, but on many, if the student double-taps the iPad screen, the Aura goes full-screen and the student can move away from the image and still watch the video. That setting made during the creation of the Aura.
  • Students scan the trigger image and watch the video and/ or read the prompts as they are listening.
  • That is all the children have to do to use the app and  experience augmented reality.
  • There are many advanced features that can make the (AR) an actual interactive experience… I haven’t gotten that far with it just yet!
  • It is very easy to use, very engaging, and über cool!

Aurasma in the Music Classroom video

Here is a video of students scanning the trigger images and the Auras appearing. Sometimes it’s just easier to see it in action than to describe it.

Download my Aurasma in the Music Classroom trigger images and Auras.

If you are interested in using the Trigger images and Auras I have created, you may download them at the end of this post. Directions and the QR code for subscribing are included in the PDF. If you would like to try one out:

  1. Download Aurasma on your phone or iPad,
  2. Scan the red QR code shown above which will automatically subscribe you to my channel.
  3. When you scan the picture below, you will see the Dizzy Aurasma AURA.


Posts you might find interesting:

Here are a few blog posts that inspired me to explore Aurasma.


Music with Mrs. Dennis

Technology Tailgate

Education ambassador.com

Coming soon…

In my next post, I’ll give details about how to create the Auras and give a few time-saving tips to get you going. There are just so many possibilities for using Aurasma in the classroom, I can’t wait to share very creative and specific ways we are using Aurasma in other classrooms.

If you are using Aurasma with your 1:1 students, are you having them create their own on their individual iPads? What about their channels? I still have a few kinks in the process I’m trying to figure out. If you haven’t tried Aurasma yet, dive on in and let’s figure it out together!!

Game on!



Aurasma Musicians / Hammond LS channel
Aurasma Musicians / Hammond LS channel
Version: PDF / Aurasma App
940.7 KiB
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Cherie Herring

Music/Technology Integration at Hammond School
I teach elementary music, am passionate about integrating technology into my teaching, am obsessed with my SMARTBoard and iPad, and enjoy creating lessons and sharing ideas. I love technology almost as much as I love cheesecake, and with more energy and ideas than I know what to do with, I can't wait for the sun to come up each morning! I'm wife to Prince Charming and mom to three incredible girls who keep me balanced. . . sort of!

Latest posts by Cherie Herring (see all)

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Sarah Swango November 3, 2013, 11:33 AM

    I LOVE this! The link to download the trigger images is not working. If you have a moment, could you send the PDF to me? Thanks so much!

    • Cherie Herring November 3, 2013, 11:43 AM

      Hi Sarah! Thanks for stopping by. I just re-linked the PDF and it is working fine on my end. I’ll send it to you via email just in case.
      Sometimes, I find that my students have to scan the QR code twice to connect to my channel. I’m not sure why that is, but … if at first you don’t succeed…. try, try again! 🙂 I’d love to hear back from you if you use this activity with your students.
      Have a great week!, Cherie

  • Jen Shults November 6, 2013, 12:29 PM

    Hello! Thanks for sharing this great activity! My students love learning about the different musicians in a new innovative way. It has inspired me to create my own Auras. My only question is, do you find that some of the pictures don’t work? I can’t get a few of them to register (Adele, Bruno Mars, etc.). Are you able to fix those? Thanks! 🙂

  • Lauren November 19, 2013, 12:08 PM

    Thanks so much for this! We have our class set of iPads that travels from music to art to PE this year (3 weeks in each class). Aurasma is one of my FAVORITES, but I have had trouble figuring out how to share auras between iPads. Seeing this post is motivating me to make it happen!

    Thanks again for your WONDERFUL and INSPIRING ideas! 🙂

  • Amy M. Burns January 25, 2014, 9:15 PM

    Hi Cherie,

    Thank you for this post. I finally was able to get into Aurasma and am now making my bulletin board and the music page of my website come alive for my parents. Thank you for the idea!

    Plus, did not know you were using Quaver until reading an older post today. Not sure if you are on their advisory board, but I passed your name along to a music educator who is so that Quaver could connect with you. You would be great for Quaver!


    • Cherie Herring January 26, 2014, 5:16 PM

      Thanks for the kind words, Amy! Aurasma is still one of my favorite apps/site to use to bring music to life. The advanced features make it even more interesting. I end up creating the auras for my students… I haven’t quite figured out a way to have them create their own without it being so time-consuming. I’m working on a post now about my Recorder karate kids and I’m using Aurasma to make their belt-mastery pieces come to life. It has been a huge hit with the parents and staff. My students are emailing me their videos from home… successfully flipping the Recorder karate unit!!

      I do use Quaver and love it because it is a natural springboard into any technology tool I want to use.

      Thanks again for dropping by and for sharing my name!

      You are one of my heros!!


      • Anonymous November 11, 2015, 9:20 PM

        Hi! I’m loving these ideas! Have you posted about recorder karate already? I’m very interested in how you are using aurasma with that. Thanks so much!

  • Christine Skog March 14, 2014, 6:27 PM

    Hi there! I am loving this bulletin board! I can’t wait to put it up and use it the last few weeks of school. I had a couple of questions, though. First, we can only print in black and white. Is this going to mess with the Aurasma symbol since it’s purple on your PDF? Also, have the new pictures (Adele, Bruno Mars, etc.) been given life yet? Just wondering – this is so awesome!!

    • Cherie Herring March 14, 2014, 7:23 PM

      Hi Christine! NO, the color doesn’t matter at all. I haven’t given them life yet. IN fact, I had to remove the Bieber and Gomaz images …. for obvious reasons. I’ll work on them on Monday… that’s the next time I’ll be at home. Do you have other suggestions? Tell me and I’ll add them to the set. Also, have you seen how we are using Aurasma with the recorders? It’s truly amazing!! I’m making a note for myself now to fix these for you. thanks!

  • Deidre Marshall January 22, 2015, 5:17 PM

    Cherie, I love this idea and you did a wonderful job. I like how your auras are all different. I have been working with Aurasma for a year now but I am still looking for new ideas.

    After looking through your download, I’m curious how you attached multiple videos or the word pictures within the same aura. Would you be able to explain that?


    • Cherie Herring January 22, 2015, 11:56 PM

      Hi Deidre, First of all, I emailed (look for the fine print) and received a free upgrade. That upgrade gave me the option to have more than one overlay. I created images of the thinking prompts, and using the time options on the bottom, I had pieces enter several seconds after the previous overlay. It was a challenge to figure it out, but once I understood the timing I could get it to work. I really like the idea of prompts for thinking in the middle of the aura and my students had to keep watching and listening to answer the questions. Hey, if you are creating musical auras, share them! I haven’t created any more recently because of the Recorder Karate project, but I will go back and do more soon. I haven’t blogged about it, but I visited France for 2 weeks this summer and have been introducing the country to our students on “French-Fridays.” I created two huge Aurasma bulletin boards: one is all about French food – linked to videos of me actually tasting all the different meals and interviewing chefs, etc. the other board is all about same and different, with video footage I took of silly things like flushing the toilet, working the lights, children in school, a firetruck, walking on the cobble stone streets, kids on scooters, eating icecream, climbing, riding, etc. Aurasma is so cool for making images come to life, and for our school this year, making the country of France touchable. I hope that helps, I might could make a video walk through if you still need help with it. let me know if you are interested in a little more help. Thanks for dropping by!!
      Happy Friday!

      • Anonymous January 26, 2015, 12:26 PM

        Wow. The France idea is great. I have purely been using Aurasma to show off student work. For example, I am currently having students work on improvisation with the piano. I will put some auras on the wall of really great examples like the English teacher puts out really great papers. Something like that. I really like what you have done. It has given me inspiration. Hope all works out for you!
        Happy Monday! 😉

  • Patricia Hetland February 22, 2015, 6:25 PM

    Hi, Cherie. I can’t tell you how many times I refer to various posts in your blog to help me figure out how to do great things in my 5th/6th General Music classes.
    I was wondering: Do you have to deal with Youtube being blocked on student devices? I have access to a cart with enough iPads for a class, but Youtube is blocked on all student devices, and many of the sample videos I want to use with Aurasma are, of course, Youtube videos. Any ideas?
    Thanks for everything you share.

    • Cherie Herring February 23, 2015, 9:30 PM

      Hi Patricia, I’m so glad you’ve found helpful ideas on my blog. Our school, fortunately, does not block YouTube – they tried to once, but all the teachers raised cain and protested. We ended up sending sites and YouTube channels that they put on a safe list. Here are my suggestions: In order for Aurasma to work, the video has to be in the cloud and have a url address. What if you downloaded the videos and stored them in your Dropbox or some other cloud service. Store them in the PUBLIC folder and they will play instantly. I always download the videos I use with Aurasma because I want control over what is seen. Often, I will edit the video to just the part that is important for the activity. Here are a few links with suggestions for downloading the videos:
      Obviously, you will need to do all this from home. When I create my Aurasma videos of my recorder students, they are stored in my Dropbox, not youtube. The problem is your will run out of storage in Dropbox pretty quickly unless you purchase additional storage or use another cloud service. I got frustrated and just bought more storage… ugh!

      I hope the dropbox suggestion works for you. Please let me know if it does!! I’m genuinely interested!! – Cherie 🙂

  • Carola August 2, 2015, 9:28 PM

    Where can we find the worksheet for this fantastic activity? I know I have seen one but can’t seem to find it now.

  • Amanda August 14, 2015, 8:04 PM

    Hi there! I think this is absolutely wonderful, and can’t wait to try it with my kids! I was wondering, as a new teacher, if I might be able to ask for a list of the names of each musician. I am not familiar with them all, and as a teacher I had sure better know! 🙂 Students can have their electronics for the activity, but at my school phones are prohibited for teachers, so I wouldn’t be able to hold mine up at any given time. Thanks so much for your help, and wonderful ideas!!

  • Linzie July 13, 2017, 1:20 PM

    I cannot find the PDF to download 🙁

    • Cherie Herring July 14, 2017, 12:36 AM

      Hi Linzie, I just checked and the PDF is attached in a download widget at the bottom of the post. Please click on the title of the post and it will take you to the original post. http://www.cphmusic.net/2013/10/aurasma-in-the-music-classroom.html

      I don’t know why the download widget didn’t show up when you were reading the post… hmmmm! Please let me know if you still have troubles. Are you going to try Aurasma?

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