This “The Best…” list is a bit different from The Best Music Websites For Learning English. That list is geared both to helping student learn common vocabulary related to music, and to also help students use the lyrics of songs for listening, comprehension, and vocabulary knowledge.
This list is focused on free sites where English Language Learners and other students can easily create their own music, primarily instrumental, and post it on their own or a teacher’s website. Then, students can write and speak about why they composed it and listeners (as well as the composer) can share what it makes them visualize.
In addition to being free-of-charge, in order to make this site students must not be able to access inappropriate lyrics. Because of that criteria, I’ve omitted many sites that allow you to mix popular songs and create your own digital “mixtapes.”
Most of these sites don’t require any registration. However, those that do offer a quick-and-easy way to do so.
Finally, I have not listed these sites in any order of preference.
Here are my choices for The Best Online Sites For Creating Music:
The Minuet Mixer comes from the wonderful New York Philharmonic Game Room. Students can create and play their own minuets. The url for their compositions can be emailed and posted on a blog or online journal.
Once you go to Soundbadge, you have to answer several questions about yourself. Based on the answers, a unique musical sound is created. You can then email the url of your “soundbadge” and post it on a blog, website or online journal.
With the Carol-Maker you can compose a never-heard-before mashup of strange grunts with classic Christmas songs, and email it to a friend (or enemy).
Here’s another site where you can make your own music – this time from The Make Your Own Music Game. Email your creation for posting on a website or blog.
The Japanese Federation of Construction Contractors have created Build Up!. It lets you “build” a skyscraper of music made by construction tools. It’s pretty neat. Much of the site is in English, the part about emailing your creation is in Japanese, but just click on some things and you’ll figure it out.
Jam Studio and seems pretty easy to use. English Language Learners can very quickly compose a song, email and post the url.
I like two music games designed by a creative designer named Luke Whittaker. His latest creation is an amazing online video game called Sound Factory. It’s very hard for me to explain. Basically, you role-play a man in a factory who get to create music. That description, however, does not in any way do the game justice. There are a lot of instructions given in simple English, and students can email their final musical creation after they’ve finished the game. I also have listed the “Walkthrough” (answers) to the game on my website so students can doubly use it as a language development exercise. In A Break In The Road students can again create their own musical composition. It’s not quite a game, but I won’t even attempt to describe it. Check it out for yourself.
The BBC has a nice tool to make music online — 6 Mixer.
KissTunes is a great web tool that lets you make some music and lets you give it a name and describe it. Then, you get a url address for your creation where others can then leave comments.
The only way I can explain Glitchscape is it lets you make boxes and then turns them into music. You then get the url address of your creation for posting on a blog or website. No registration is required.
The American Heart Association has unveiled a web application that lets you create a “hand symphony” and send the link of your creation to a friend or yourself. It can then be posted on a teacher website or blog. It’s designed to promote the Association’s new hands-only CPR, and the site also has a one minute video demonstrating it.
At Isle Of Tune, you create music by creating a city. Yes, that’s right, you “drag-and-drop” different parts of a city — homes, cars, trees, etc. — and each one has a musical tone. Then click “Go” and the car prompts the different elements to do their thing. No registration is required, and you’re given the url address of your creation to share. As a bonus to English Language Learners, the different parts of the city are labeled, so students can pick up vocabulary at the same time. Plus, they can describe their musical creations.
Ujam recently became public. It seems pretty neat. Here’s how TechCrunch describes it:
All you do is hum, whistle, or sing, and Ujam can turn your voice into nearly any instrument and fix it so that it is in tune. You can also upload your own pre-recorded tracks or pick pre-existing tracks on Ujam from different styles of music (Kraftwerk, 80s Rock, Campfire Guitar). The Ujam music editor lets you change the instruments, tempo, pitch, and mix between vocals and music to create your own composition. Once you are done, you can save your songs and download them as MP3s for sharing.
Music Shake lets you create….musical tracks quite easily, which you can then embed or post a link to it. You can do those things for free. However, you have to pay if you want to download your music for use in a video or other presentation. In fact, they just created an education arm where schools could purchase licenses for all their students to do just that. I think it’s fine to just have students, especially English Language Learners, use it to quickly create music and then describe it and have students comment their classmate’s creations. You can learn about Music Shake at TechCrunch.
If you’ve ever tried Incredibox, you know why I call it the easiest and most fun tool to create music on the Web. If you haven’t tried it yet, do it now! They recently announced major improvements, including letting you save your compositions. You can now give them a title and post a link on your blog or website, or share in other ways.
As always, feedback and suggestions are welcome.
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