I usually just do a year-end list of The Best Art & Music Sites and many other topics, but it gets a little crazy having to review all of my zillion posts at once. So, to make it easier for me — and perhaps, to make it a little more useful to readers — I’m going to start publishing mid-year lists, too. These won’t be ranked, unlike my year-end “The Best…” lists, and just because a site appears on a mid-year list doesn’t guarantee it will be included in an end-of-the-year one. But, at least, I won’t have to review all my year’s posts in December…
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Here are my choices for The Best Art & Music Sites Of 2011 — So Far:
Artpad is a great simple application that lets you paint and draw, and then save your creation (not to mention letting you replay your creative process). It’s been on The Best Art Websites For Learning English list. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been functioning for the past year or two. I should rephrase that — you have been able to draw and paint with it for that time, but it hasn’t been able to save your creation. However, I recently checked it, and it all seems to be working again, and paintings are saved — each one is given a unique url address. With luck, it will continue to work….
ArtFinder is a new web tool that lets you discover new art and build your own virtual collections. You can take a survey identifying pieces of art you like and it will help you discover more like them.
The Google Art Project puts some of the most important art museums, and their collections, online with amazing features, including being able to create your own art collection. I’ve embedded a very short video from the site that shows what it can do — I can’t do justice to it just with words. I’m adding it to The Best Ways For Students To Create Their Own Online Art Collections.
There probably aren’t many people out there not familiar with Google’s famous Les Paul “Doodle” that let you compose music, record it, and then gave you a link to your composition. It was pretty darn neat (though, I also have to say, pretty distracting to students in the computer lab ) Even though Google has pulled it from its home page, you can still access it here. With luck, Google will keep it alive for a long time. If you want inspiration, you can check out 7 Les Paul Google Doodle Tunes From Mashable Readers.
American Sabor is a neat new site from The Smithsonian that’s designed to celebrate Latino music heritage. It has tons of multimedia features and a nice interactive.
Lyrics Gaps lets you choose a song and the language you want it sung in and then gives you the option of seeing/hearing it in different modes — karaoke, beginner, intermediate, expert. Apart from karaoke mode, you’re then shown a YouTube video of the singer, along with the lyrics on the side including blanks (fill-in-the-gap). I especially like the beginner mode, which provides several options to chose to complete the sentences. The higher levels don’t give any hints.
Instalyrics is a new site that shows you the lyrics to any song very, very quickly, along with a music video that goes along with it.
John Lewis Harmony lets you either choose your favorite song, or create your own with your keyboard, and watch different parts of a virtual house light-up to its beat. If you choose to create your own song, you’re given a link to share. No registration is required. English Language Learners could have fun by creating their own tune and then writing words that go along with it. Or they students could post their creations on a blog, and other students could comment on what they like about them.
LyricsNMusic is a nice site that lets you easily search for lyrics and you can a very clean and accessible copy. It also finds music videos of the song. What I particularly like about it, though, is that is shows the lyrics at the top and the video at the bottom, so you can play the music and show the lyrics without students getting distracted by the video. Other sites show the lyrics right next to the video.
Feedback is welcome.