Now that my students are getting more comfortable making online slideshows, they’re also getting more interested in including music (and sound effects) into their creations.
Some of the online slideshow sites listed in The Best Ways To Create Online Slideshows already have music that can easily be incorporated into user-created slideshows, but with Flowgram you have to upload your own. There are quite a few sites with royalty-free music available, and a great resource to identify a bunch of them is Mathew Needleman’s Royalty Free Music And Images post.
However, I’m also looking for the easiest and most accessible sites that can be used by an English Language Learner or anyone who is not particularly tech-savvy. So I’ve pulled a few from Mathew’s list, and also included several additional ones. Mathew’s list, though, continues to be one of the best ones around and I’d encourage you to check it out.
I don’t really give details about the sites I’m listing here because they’re all very similar — the music and sounds here are royalty-free and it’s just an easy matter of searching and downloading them. Of course, credit should be given to the source when they’re used in online projects. I’ve also tried avoiding sites that have obvious content not appropriate for classroom use, but something might have slipped by me.
I also don’t believe that any of the sites here require any software download or registration.
Here are my choices for The Best Places To Get Royalty-Free Music & Sound Effects:
The Free Music Archive is the latest addition to this list. It currently has 5,000 free tracks available for download, and it’s super-easy to use — no registration is required. You can read more about it at Read Write Web. (Jerry Swiatek notes that there is some music here that is not appropriate for classroom use).
Musopen is the latest addition to this list. It describes itself this way:
“Musopen is an online music library of copyright free (public domain) music… Put simply, our mission is to set music free.”
Public Domain 4 U has music available for download from before 1922 that is now in the public domain.
Find Sounds is great. They don’t guarantee, though, that all their sounds are copyright free.
Mashable has just posted a great piece, 26 Places to Find Free Multimedia for Your Blog. I’ve already included here many of the resources they list. However, they also listed some sites that are new to me. I’m also sure that a ton of additional sources will be accumulating in their comments sections. Because of that, for now, instead of just selectively adding some of their sites here, I’m just including a link to their whole post.
I just learned about Audience Sounds from Nik Peachey. It has a nice collection of sound effects that are easy to navigate, listen to, and download. In addition to using them in student or teacher “creations,” another way I’ve used these kinds of sound effects is as a way to build student vocabulary. We first review what each sound effect is called; then the class is divided into small groups with each group having a small whiteboard; next, I play one sound effect; next, I give the class thirty seconds to write down what sound effect it is. People show their boards, and the teams that get it correct win a point.
Cut MP3 Online is a web application that seems to let you easily edit MP3 files. Though I haven’t tried it yet, it seems to me that it could be very useful. I’m adding it here since it could be a useful companion to those other sites. Please let me know your experience if you try it out.
Free Music Directory comes from Socialbrite, and lists a number of sources of royalty-free…music.
SoundCli.ps is a site where you can easily download sound effects.
YouTube Launches Free Audio Library With 150 Royalty-Free Tracks is a TechCrunch post about a definitely useful new resource at YouTube.
You might also be interested in these other “The Best…” lists:
I’m also adding a direct link to Darren Draper’s excellent post (including additional resources) called The Educator’s Guide To The Creative Commons.
Richard Byrne writes about Free Play Music, a useful resource for education-related projects.
As always, feedback is welcome.
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