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Aurasma Brings Music to Life: It’s a Game Changer!

When comparing musical instruments and sorting them into orchestral families, how can we have our students actually see and hear the instrument being played to make the aural/visual connection? The magic of Aurasma brings music to life: It’s a Game Changer in the music classroom!! Aurasma brings music to life: It's a Game Changer!! 

Aurasma Brings Music to Life: It’s a Game Changer!

You can read about and explore other ways I’ve used Aurasma:

Augmented reality is my go-to tech tool when I need something engaging and memorable. Aurasma looks so much more difficult to use than it actually is, yet it provides maximum learning impact in my classroom.

Problem and Solution

How nice it would be to have orchestral instruments to demonstrate for my students; I used to play the clarinet, the oboe and the bassoon, but I no longer have access to those instruments.   I suppose showing a video would work, but that’s not very engaging nor unique. We could create QR codes to listen to musical examples, but that’s so ‘been there, done that!’   I wish I could get the high school band students to come down to demonstrate more often, but our schedules rarely sync. When comparing musical instruments and sorting them into orchestral families, how can we have our students actually see and hear the instrument being played to make the aural/visual connection. We can use Augmented Reality (AR) to bring music to life! Aurasma brings music to life: It’s a Game Changer!!

Aurasma Monster Musician Cards

Just in time for the Monsters of October, here is a FREE Augmented Reality Aurasma activity to do with your students. Augmented Reality is not just a gimmick; it’s purpose, in this activity, is to provide a visual and aural challenge for recognizing instrumental sounds and to group instruments in families. When it comes to exploring orchestral instruments in a technology-infused classroom, WOW your students with a magical augmented reality learning adventure they’ll never forget! It’s FREE and it’s a game-changer!

How to use the Aurasma Monster Cards

During the month of October, my music room is Monstrously Ghoul and musical instruments are Monstrously Cool! In this activity, what if the Monster Musicians became lost and needed help finding their families?  There are twenty (20) monster musician trigger images. When students use the Aurasma app to scan the monster cards, a video begins playing immediately. After a brief delay, there is a prompt:

Aurasma brings music to life: It's a Game Changer!! 

The students are trying to help the monster musicians find their family in the orchestra, so (hopefully) they are thinking, “Is it a woodwind, brass, percussion, or stringed instrument?” After a few more seconds of the video, another prompt appears:

Aurasma brings music to life: It's a Game Changer!! 

Working in groups, students will try to identify the instrument being played. To check their answer, they may tap the ? image and the name of the instrument will fade into view. Once they have identified the instrument and watched the performance, their challenge is to place that monster card in the correct family on a grid.

I’m sure there are other ways these Aurasma cards might be used. I’ve briefly introduced them to a few third grade classes who have been completely mesmerized. Coming on the heels of the terrific orchestra unit from last year, this is really going to take their learning much deeper! I can’t wait! Aurasma Brings Music to Life: It’s a Game Changer!

Aurasma brings music to life: It's a Game Changer!! 

Monster Musicians Activity Directions

Preparing the cards

  1. There are (20) twenty Monster Musicians cards. Prepare a set of cards for each team of students. (copy on cardstock, laminate, cut apart)
  2. Make a copy of the sorting grid for each team.
  3. Another option is to prepare the large Monster Musician cards and use them for a bulletin board display. Students will enjoy scanning these cards many times during their study of musical instruments. I’m even placing monster musician cards in our hallways so students may scan them while waiting in lines.
  4. There are four (4) answer cards. You may choose to add the smaller ones to the backs of the playing cards or post the larger cards somewhere around the room. These produce pictures of instrument families which students may use to check for hints or answers during the activity.

Prepare the iPads

The Aurasma app is a free download. Be forewarned! There is iPad prep work to complete BEFORE the activity.The prep work is mainly because the app has never been used on the ipads and permissions must be given for the camera and use of location – as with any new app.

From my experiences with Aurasma, it is best to prepare the iPads one week to use the following week. It only takes a few minutes, but it’s best to begin the lesson ready to go rather than potentially getting stuck helping three students whose camera was not “allowed,” or the internet connection is bad. Plan ahead: prepare the iPads before the adventure for maximum use of learning time. Just this week, I’m taking the last 5 minutes of each class to get all of my students connected to my channel. They are so excited about next week and the curiosity will only grow as word of the Monstrously Ghoulish mystery spreads around the school.

At the bottom of this post there is a PDF file that is useful to show the steps from an IWB. This video is for you to watch to see how easy it is.



I show this easy step-by-step image on my SMARTBoard and walk the kids through it very quickly. The students do fine with the directions.

Troubleshooting Hints

After having grades 2-4 help me prepare their own iPads for Aurasma this week, there are just a few things that might go wrong and these are the fixes:

  1. Reconnect the iPad to the internet / access point
  2. Tilt the iPad to scan. Lighting/ reflection / glare can affect the aura.
  3. If it doesn’t work, rescan the Zzaartmo QR code and begin again. That fixes 98% of the problems.
  4. The camera must be activated for the Aurasma app.
  5. Restart the Aurasma app.

Aurasma Brings Music to Life: It’s a Game Changer!

Your Turn to Try It!


Aurasma Brings Music to Life: It's a Game Changer!


Once you have the Aurasma app and have followed the Zzartmo channel, open the app and pass it over these images. The videos will begin playing after the blue swirl ends.

Aurasma Brings Music to Life: It's a Game Changer!

Aurasma Demo

If you would like to see a brief demonstration, watch the video below. It’s only a demonstration of my students (and their HR teacher) scanning the images, not the activity. They were too excited to do anything but explore during the last 5 minutes of class today. I created this video on my iPhone using Shadow Puppet.



Aurasma Brings Music to Life: It’s a Game Changer!

Aurasma really is a game-changer in my music room because it allows my students to enter into another world using technology as a tool for learning. Of course they love the magic of images coming to life. Even their teachers are mystified looking at the images for clues. As my students learn about the orchestra, they are going to compare instruments, discriminate between sounds of one instrument family and another, rank instruments from highest to lowest within each family, and categorize the instruments into groups. They will be able to replay each card as much as they need to complete the activity. Aurasma draws the students in… it keeps them engaged and eager to complete the challenge. I can imagine using these cards with multiple grade levels for many activities. Aurasma Brings Music to Life: It's a Game Changer!Think of all the learning discussions that will come from the performance videos: Were the students advanced? Did they play alone? What was the role of the second or third person in the video? What makes a great performance? Do you recognize any of the pieces? How did dynamics and tempo change in the music? How do we judge the quality of a piece of music or performance?  etc.

Go for it!

I hope you will download these images and use the Aurasma app to bring a bit of WOW into your classroom. It might take a little grit to pull it off, but it will be so worth it for your students. Remember, once you set the app up on your students’ devices, you can use Aurasma anytime. If you do use this activity, I would sure love to hear how it goes! The files are at the end of this post in the download widget.

Get your Geek on with Aurasma! Tag, you’re it!







Aurasma Monster Musicians ©2017 Cherie Herring

Aurasma Monster Musicians Cards to print
Aurasma Monster Musicians Cards to print
18.9 MiB
Aurasma Monster Card File Bundle
Aurasma Monster Card File Bundle
43.3 MiB
How To Set Up Ipads Aurasma
How To Set Up Ipads Aurasma
3.2 MiB
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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!

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