NDE Music Classroom 2015

This has been a pretty crazy fall. One of my daughters was recently married, and the other is going back to college. The genealogy bug has hit again, so the music blog is neglected. I have started making lists of ideas, so I hope I can start posting more regularly. Here are some pictures of my room from August. It is already messier by now!


If you haven’t join the Pinterest craze, did you know that you can just look without becoming a member? Just click on the red link on the left. If you find something that interests you, you can either break down and make a board or simply bookmark the link on your computer. I have almost 12,000 pins, so I am more than a little addicted. The thing I like the most about Pinterest is the plethora of creative ideas. I have hunted music blogs in the past on Google but had very little luck. After just a few searches on Pinterest, I have dozens of them bookmarked. The thing I don’t like about it is that it can’t be organized. I have trouble finding the pins when I’m looking quickly for something.

Quick link to My Boards

6th Grade Keyboards

The Sixth Grade General Music classes were again the accompaniment players for the Sixth Grade Choir performance during Awards Day. For one class only of four different GM classes, we recorded the audio first. Each class was responsible for learning one part of the song “Home” by Phillip Phillips. For instance, one class learned the melody of the refrain, while another class learned the chords. Two other classes learned the chords of the verses, and a few brave students learned how to play the Clavinova with the bass and percussion sounds (unfortunately, I forgot to videotape that). After we recorded the audio, then I recorded them playing as video. I mixed the music altogether in Sony Acid Music Studio, then matched the video to the audio in Sony Video Studio. The added animations were by Digital Juice. Don’t be scared off by the price of DJ media. Sign up for their newsletters as they have sales every week. All their audio, video, and graphics are Copyright free. You can even use their stuff in commercial projects!

There are not too many chords in this song: mainly C, Csus4, am, F, and G. It’s very easy to learn in root position, but I wish we would have had time to learn the inversions which sit under the hand better. Hope you enjoy our chords and can at least hum the tune to “Home.”

A Mad MadPad App

I recently found a new iPad app that I LOVE! It is a lot of fun grabbing samples of music in our classes, and then using those samples to create some new music. The kindergarten took off with this app enjoyed hunting around the room for instruments and classroom items that would make unusual samples of sound. I added some of my iPad apps to the mix for some funky creations. Here is the link for the app, MadPad. Watch the playlist below of our Kindergarten creations. There are 9 videos, so keep watching!

The Sense of Pitch

Kim Komando had a link on her Cool Sites of the Day today that was pretty fun. It was a quiz about how some people on American Idol think they can sing, but really can’t. I don’t have perfect pitch, but I think I have relative pitch because after a while, I can start a song from memory without hearing an intro or a given tone. Unless I have a cold or sinus infection, I’m usually right 95% of the time. That’s why I was so freaked out when my left ear completely closed up in June! Anyway, here is the link for a test to see if you have a tin ear or not. There are 26 little snippets of tunes. Some stay right on the money, but others drop or raise a tone right in the middle. I actually don’t think it’s accurate though because people who get off pitch enough to drive me bananas only are off a fraction of a tone (in music it’s called cents). They wobble somewhere under or above the tune, but not a full half step away, such as these examples played on a keyboard.

This would be pretty interesting to give to my students, but it says: “You must be 16 or older to take this test. Tone recognition is not fully developed at younger ages, and test results may not be meaningful.” I don’t know. I have a bunch of kids with great ears, and then some who cannot repeat a pitch no matter how hard they try. We do crazy fire engine siren sounds, and some of them can’t make their siren move up or down at all. They don’t hear it. On the quiz I got them all right, but they are pretty easy. Give it a try!

Crazy Talk

I bought a new program this week at a good deal ($24.98). I now wish I would have gotten the Pro version, but was unwilling to part with the cash. It was a great deal though, and it has given me a lot of fun. It’s called Crazy Talk, and it makes regular portraits come alive. To make a picture become 3D (and then output it to video), you just have to drag some little dots to show where the facial features are–eyes, nose, mouth, and the outline of the face. You can also mask the background and replace it with another background or choose which part of the photo you want to be animated. There is a text to voice editor, but I don’t have but 3 options for voices. I’m sure I can find some voice profiles somewhere on the internet.