Music enlightens and adds life to any activity, whether it's an in-class overhead presentation or a kindergarten lesson about the alphabet. However, it can be difficult for teachers to find useful and economical resources for music in the classroom because of licensing issues. Luckily, there are numerous websites and resources that offer free childrens music specifically for educational purposes. The following list represents five of the best resources for teachers to integrate music into the classroom without spending any funds.
- This website offers production quality soundtracks for free use in most non-commercial applications. This is extremely useful for teachers or even students who need some background music for a presentation slideshow, or even in-class activities where music could create an appropriate atmosphere. Grade school teachers could even use these soundtracks as part of a reading session, by choosing the appropriate style of music that goes along with the story that the class is reading aloud.
Download Production Music at FreePlayMusic
FreePlayMusic.com has over 6300 tracks of background music you can use in your classroom or even integrated into your classroom presentation. Search by musical style, like acoustic folk or ambient, or even find background music by "feel," like adventure or dark and mysterious. By using such music in your classroom you can add a great deal of excitement to learning, and it will help your students feel more immersed into the subject matter.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
- This U.S. government website provides a very long list of popular childrens sing-a-long songs. When you click on any of the titles, you're brought to a page with the full lyrics, and an embedded midi player that plays the song in standard electronic midi format. The tune lets children know how the song is supposed to be sung. Songs here include such popular sing-a-long songs as Three Blind Mice
, You Are My Sunshine
and of course, the ABC's Alphabet Song
Free Music at the National Institute of EHS
At the bottom of the page, you'll find an alphabetical and topical library of all of the children's songs, as well as a few additional features like "Guess this Patriotic Tune," or "Guess this Oldies' Tune."
Public Domain Music
- If you are teaching in a class of older students, and require free childrens music with songs that are more age appropriate for students in the upper grades, then the public domain collection of music is perfect. Here, you'll find MIDI music featuring some of the most popular composers and song genres throughout history. Songs are even organized by "era," including The Civil War Song Book
and music from 1800 through 1922.
Free Public Domain MIDI Files
The first page is deceivingly organized; because once you click on any one of the links you'll discover entire libraries of MIDI music available for your listening pleasure. Click on a composer, and you're offered a biography of that composer, and a listing of the music files. Click on any of the file links, and you're presented with a web page where the MIDI file is embedded and will start playing instantly.
- This site features a very wide selection of over 2,000 popular children's songs. If MIDI files don't have the sound quality that you prefer for your classroom or preschool, then this website is the place to go. It is primarily a resource to find song lyrics, but a very good portion of the listed songs also feature either a video or an embedded sound file that will play the audio for the song as well.
Free Children's Lyrics at Bus Songs
The thousands of songs are organized by genre, including food songs, holiday songs, learning songs and much more. When you click on a genre, you're provided a list of songs, along with visual indicators as to whether that song listing includes a video file, an audio file or both. This way you can quickly see where to go to get free childrens music for your classroom.
- This website, built by the League of American Orchestras, is a wonderful resource to teach children about the wonder and magic of the orchestra. At this website, children can take part in a number of fun online activities that teach them about music.
Activities at PlayMusic.org
They can learn about writing their own music, learn about composers, and all about the various instruments within an orchestra. Of course, by clicking on the "PlayMusic.org" link at the bottom, they are whisked away to the "stage" where they can click on any area of the orchestra and learn more about the part those instruments play within the overall production.
Listening to Composers
By clicking on any instrument link in the "juke box," the child can listen to music from various composers that highlight that instrumental group, such as percussion, brass or woodwinds. Shockwave is required to listen to the instrumental pieces at this site.
All of the sites above offer teachers, parents and even students with useful resources they can use to integrate music into the classroom and even into presentation materials. Teachers can use music to immerse the class into the subject in a way that wouldn't otherwise be possible, and students can integrate music into their class presentations - integrating a multimedia approach that will guarantee high marks. No matter what the use, music can serve as a powerful tool to enhance the classroom learning experience.