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What Online Learning Tools Can Help My Music Students?

As a music instructor, you want your students to succeed. But like all teachers, transferring the enthusiasm to learn is often a challenge. If students don’t “get it” right away, there is a tendency to become discouraged; and in our modern, disposable society, sometimes it’s much easier for a student to drop a difficult skill rather than plow through the early problems.

But, you know how beneficial learning music can be. Not only does it provide a life-long skill, knowing how to read and play music translates into other academic achievements. Math skills especially are enhanced and improved through music education. So, what strategies can teachers use to maintain learning enthusiasm and help struggling students grasp the basics of violin? Online resources often offer the solution.

Since everyone has their own unique way of learning new concepts, including online learning tools into your teaching repertoire is a great way to reach struggling students, or help advanced ones progress at a pace they crave. This list of free sources can get you started:

Free-Ed.net offers a variety of musical workbooks and printable sheets for teaching children the basics of music notation and the fundamentals of playing the violin. Fun pictures to label and diagram the parts of the violin, along with easy to follow fill-in-the-blank worksheets and illustrations help elementary age students understand and incorporate the basics of violin. But, there are also beginner instruction books for older students as well, which convey the same information with a more mature outlook.

Opus Music Worksheets provides a range of free, downloadable materials for music instructors. Choose from a variety of age-appropriate resources, such as flashcards, worksheets, and entire books that can help you teach fundamental music notation, rhythm, and music theory. This resource is perfect for additional home practice and is great for young students. You can also download musical office supplies like letterheads and business forms.  

Making Music Fun is an educational site dedicated to offering free instructional resources for elementary school students and teachers. With over 600 downloadable worksheets, practice charts, and sheet music, and over 900 free music lessons, plans and resources, you can rejuvenate your teaching techniques and develop new, fun ways to reach your students. Choose from interactive games, full books, and a variety of history lessons that will enliven your students’ progress.

TES Teaching Resources gives teachers access to a plethora of free classroom resources including worksheets, games, study guides, and room visuals. It takes a while to get the hang of the site, but you can search by age group, file type, and category to find the most appropriate tools for your specific needs. This UK based site is used by teachers around the world.

Classics for Kids provides a wealth of free information for introducing classical music to young beginners. The site contains games and fun to learn biographies of classical musicians throughout history, and audio and video lessons that are effective for demonstrating musical techniques and terms. There are lessons plans, tips, and advice for parents and teachers in this free resource that is sponsored by the Cincinnati Public Radio and updated weekly.

HitSquad offers an extensive amount of free music software for students of all ages, and music instructors. Every form of stringed instrument software can be found among their archives along with specialized downloads for recording, metronomes, and synthesizers so that students can really allow their creative impulses full reign. Spend some time looking through the various applications for violins or another specific instruments and direct your students to specific downloads to achieve the most benefit from this massive resource database. Plus there are tons of forums that discuss the latest free software additions and musical products.

EarMaster is an online software program specially designed to teach intonation. For a very reasonable amount, student or teachers can access effective interval training and daily challenges that make learning to distinguish tonal variations easy and fun. Learn chord and ear scale training with interactive activities online. Teachers can access this software for about $5 per user, per year.  

The Science of Music Exploratorium offers an excellent home resource for music students. Learn to compose, mix, and experiment with different musical techniques and styles through fun videos, games, and online exhibits. This exciting, collaborative site will inspire your young musicians to expand their thinking when it comes to music composition and performances.

You can help fuel and encourage your students’ desire to play and create music by utilizing the vast amount of free resources offered online. This list is just the beginning. By exploring the various databases and software sites available, you’re sure to find some great additions that will make your classroom the highlight of your kids’ day. And, you’ll know that you are helping them build a lifelong love of music. 

Classroom resources for teachers