Incorporating Music in the Curriculum with Digital Music Tools

Incorporating Music in the Curriculum with Digital Music Tools

Incorporating music technology into the curriculum is easier than you might think with these digital music tools. We’ll highlight digital music creation platforms, how to begin composing music with virtual instruments, as well as educational games for music. Nurturing creativity and musical talent using digital music tools and software is a great way to broaden the horizons in your classroom.

Digital Music Creation Platforms

Software to create and edit music digitally abounds. “DAW” stands for Digital Audio Workstation, and this type of software is used professionally to record, edit, mix, and produce audio.

  • BandLab
    • BandLab for Education empowers teachers and students with everything they need for collaborative, engaging and meaningful learning in the classroom. The cloud-based platform has online music studio, virtual instruments and premium effects.
  • Audacity
    • A great program which stakes the claim that it is the world’s most popular audio editing and recording app.
  • Chrome Music Lab
    • A website that makes learning music more accessible through fun, hands-on experiments. Many teachers have been using Chrome Music Lab as a tool in their classrooms to explore music and its connections to sciencemathart, and more. They’ve been combining it with dance and live instruments. Here’s a collection of some uses found on Twitter.
  • Garage Band
    • A fully equipped music creation studio right inside your Mac — with a complete sound library that includes instruments, presets for guitar and voice, and an incredible selection of session drummers and percussionists. With an intuitive, modern design, it’s easy to learn, play, record, create, and share your hits worldwide. There are also ways to make the program work for PC.
  • Audiotool
    • An award-winning, online digital audio workstation (DAW) that runs right in your browser. Without the need for installation, Audiotool gives you all the tools you need to produce music professionally and unleash your creative potential.
  • Pitch Shifter 
    • This free online tool allows you to alter the pitch of an audio file without changing the tempo.
  • Online Sequencer 
    • Choose from 13 instruments and place them on your sequencer to make a melody. If inspiration strikes, it’s a great way to sketch out a song. Online Sequencer lets you export your creation as a MIDI file. Then import that MIDI file into your DAW to develop your song idea.
  • Acid Machine
    • Use it to make an acid house track right in your browser. Acid Machine also has a drum machine to layer under your bassline, and you can export your creation in WAV format.
  • ocenaudio
    • A cross-platform, easy to use, fast and functional audio editor. It is the ideal software for people who need to edit and analyze audio files without complications, but also has powerful features that will please more advanced users.

Virtual Instruments

Virtual musical instruments are software programs that reproduce the features and sound of real-world musical instruments.

  • Muusica
    • In addition to virtual instruments, this website also offers lessons and exercises.
  • Spitfire Audio
    • Whether you’re a professional musician already, or a keen first-time user, they claim to create the best virtual instruments on the globe to suit your needs.
  • The Free Orchestra
    • 16 free cinematic instruments, ranging from soft strings to thunderous drums.
  • Virtual Musical Instruments
    • Their virtual instruments have been created so you can easily learn how to play chords and songs in no time, and then apply what you have learnt to real musical instruments.
  • Zebralette
    • A teaching tool, but also an incredible sounding synth in its own right. Surrounding Zebra’s spectral oscillator with a few core modulation options and effects make Zebralette highly capable. With unison options, 16 voice polyphony and two different envelopes, you have everything needed to create some marvelously complex sounds.
  • PatternSketch 
    • An online drum machine. The sequencer and drum kits let you create entire tracks. Students can collaborate with classmates and share their final products.
  • Text To Speech 
    • By typing in lyrics you wrote, then exporting the audio file in MP3 students create additional vocal samples for their tracks. Text To Speech lends vocals a robotic character.
Songwriting Aids
  • Autochords 
    • Select the key and mood you want, then Autochords suggests chord progressions accordingly. Students can choose between piano or guitar, then get a main progression as well as three alternatives.
  • Oblique Strategies 
    • This program provides short sentences to help you overcome creative blocks.
Incorporating Music in the Curriculum with Digital Music Tools

Igniting a Love for Music Education with Games

  • Musical Me!
    • Join Mozzarella the Mouse in a musical world with five activities that teach the fundamental components of music. 14 popular children’s songs are featured in this app, available on IOS.
  • Toy Theater
    • A collection for your elementary classroom designed to work on desktops, tablets and mobile devices. These online music games are perfect for building students’ interest in music while also teaching basic concepts such as scales, rhythm, and musical notation.
    • PBSkids has all kinds of apps, stories, and games for elementary aged kids. Their game section takes on the essentials of music education with a fun, multi-faceted approach!
  • Rhythm from Chrome Music Lab
    • A fun and simple game to integrate music into technology.
  • Typatone 
    • Type anything in and it will turn every letter into a beautiful sound. Switch the instrument to find what you like best. There’s tons of options.

Other Audio Projects Using Digital Music Tools

Coding & Music

If you are hoping to integrate music into your technology class, this is a great segue. In this Hour of Code activity, Mobile CS Principles, engage students in building a musical Android or iOS mobile app.

Multimedia Projects: Engaging Students in Video and Audio Production

Sound recordings can add depth to a video or stand on their own as a project. Challenge students to record and edit sound clips that tell a story or evoke a mood. They can use a basic program like Audacity to adjust levels and add effects, like reverb or distortion. Encourage them to experiment with soundscapes, audio dramas, or even music production.

Share compositions

Document your class singing, reading poetry, reciting mnemonic devices or whatever you like to share with others such as parents or a class in a sister school.

Record soundtracks

Complete animation projects by including dialogue, songs and more. 

Explore sound effects

Use free sound effects websites to include sound effects for those animations, or make sound stories for images. 

Dub and remix audio tracks 

Your class can download music and many other types of audio tracks from Creative Commons and Wikimedia.  Let them dub their own voices onto music tracks, or layer other sounds.  Programs like Audacity makes it easy to cut, copy, and paste music tracks to create remixes of their favorite songs.

Learn about audio file formats

For example, Audacity projects should be saved in two different formats: as Audacity project .aup files to allow future editing and revision, but files must also be exported to a final playback format such as MP3 or WAV. 

Brittany’s Own Geography Teaching Resources

Digital Music eBook

Introduce a lesson on creativity in technology with this eBook that teaches about the history and development of Digital Music. Share the PDF with students for a paperless experience or print the nonfiction text out as a booklet.


With this collection of digital music tools, you’re sure to find your classroom’s technology and music instruction can be in perfect harmony.

Incorporating Music in the Curriculum with Digital Music Tools

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