Using Technology in Center-Based Activities (Plus 20 Ideas For Your Classroom!)Sep 14, 2021
There are so many reasons to include centers in your music classroom! Besides allowing students lots of different ways to practice skills, centers have a few other benefits too. They are self paced and provide an easy opportunity for teachers to differentiate activities. Teachers can also provide a variety of tasks that tap into different intelligences as introduced to us by Howard Gardner. Lastly, centers can also help to increase student engagement, motivation and independence as the activities are not teacher-led like many of the other learning in our music classrooms.
Although I love using centers for all of these reasons, I have been so nervous about bringing them back post-COVID. With student health and wellness at the top of everyone’s mind, I have been struggling with how I can keep up with all of the sanitizing necessary to have so many shared supplies! Maybe it’s just me?
If it isn’t, I think technology could be the tool to help bring centers back into your classroom. I believe this because students have been learning how technology fits into their life as a student for the past few years. Whether this is 1 to 1 devices or a plan for using shared devices, it is probably something that already exists. By utilizing technology as a tool for centers, it does not have to eliminate other center materials and supplies but can certainly make it more manageable in our busy teacher lives.
So, what does it look like to include technology in center based activities? There are tons of different apps and ways students can demonstrate and practice musical skills using their device or even a shared device. The list of options is far too extensive to include everything but here are my top 20 ways to incorporate technology into center work.
20 Ideas to Use Technology in Center-Based Activities
- Create sound effects to go with your favorite story
- Design your own slogan with Little Kids Rock
- Use instruments from around the world to create music or, even, Boomwhackers
- Use task cards to guide students to compose and explore Chrome Music Lab,
- Introduce Mario Sequencer by having students complete these task card activities
- Create a composition using the ostinatos on Incredibox
- Make music and math connections by using Groove Pizza
- Play rhythms along with play along videos with Visual Musical Minds on Youtube
- Sing along with warm up videos on Youtube
- Practice correct breathing
- Write rhythm patterns or simple melodies using known syllables on your favorite whiteboard app, like Google Jamboard.
- Read about musician and write about what you learned
- Move to the steady beat of a song (jump, dance, march, clap, etc.)
- Dance it out with Go Noodle
- Listen to a song and draw a picture of how it makes you feel
- Listen to a podcast
- Learn about something new by watching an informational video
- Check out ThingLink to learn about the elements of music or tour an orchestra
- Brush up on your music reading skills
- Go on a Fliphunt!