Scouring the Internet

Is it only me, or does the internet literally suck you in? There are days when I don’t know how I arrived a link, but suddenly I’m in a wonderful place.  This morning I got a digest email from a Yahoo group to which I belong and in it the author mentioned tying therabands around table legs for fidgety children, with a link to Pinterest. That lead me to classroom resources, which led me to music resources, and suddenly I was in a new and wonderful place.

Now, a word of caution… I haven’t checked out all these links, so I don’t know if they are all good.  However, I’m going to treat this area like my bookmarks page; every time I see something interesting, I’m going to post the link so that I can go back and investigate it further.

And on a side note… Is it only me, or are blogs completely confusing? I found what I think is a really fantastic blog for PYP & MYP music teacher resources, but the person hasn’t tagged a single post, so I can’t find much on her site.  It’s COMPLETELY FRUSTRATING! I mentioned this to a techie friend of mine and he said you are supposed to RSS so that you get updates. But what about the archives? At any rate, I’m including all the cool resources I find, including those annoying blogs that look good but are too disorganised for my sanity.

Attention Music Teachers in China: Use a VPN for these sites! Many of them are hosted by Blogspot or YouTube, so they'll be blocked.

A blog with no archives or tagging. It’s hard to find anything, but what I do is solid gold. I think this blogger needs a solid lesson in “Approaches to Learning” because he’s seriously not meeting his SLOs. (evil laugh)

This has homemade gift ideas that moms can give teachers and coaches. However, some of the ideas are super cool and I can see me using them as well.  For example, there are great “volunteer” gifts that would be really valuable for those people who give up their time to support our school.

I think Bonnie (the other music teacher) would like this site better than me. It’s really good for Early Years or Primary teachers. I like those grades, but I’m starting to focus much higher now and so the resources don’t really suit MYP or DP.

This is a website that is solid gold. The resources I found were really great. Unfotunately, the website is trapped in the early 1990s. There’s so much clipart and the background is so busy that I literally get a headache trying to navigate. My advice to you is to get in, get the good stuff, and get out!

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My Favourite YouTube Videos

There are days in my class when something goes wrong and I need to entertain the kids for exactly two minutes.  Like when 3 kids have forgotten their recorders and the extras are at the back of the room but we need to open a new bottle of alcohol. Rather than having the class lapse into mindless chatter, I put on music YouTube videos that I’ve downloaded (since YouTube is blocked in China). Not only does this help with classroom management, but it also really engages the students.  For example, I had so many children wanting to take the ukulele home to practice after watching a 5 year old playing “I’m Yours” on his uke.

So here’s some of my favourite YouTube videos…

Paganini for Face
: Ashenzil of Quebec acts out a piece by Paganini using only facial expressions. I’m going to show this to the Drama teacher, because some of his facial expressions are seriously melodramatic and very cool.

The Music Duel – Jack and Kurt had a “music fight” to see who was better at arranging contemporary music for Orff instruments. My kids, of all grades BTW, absolutely love these videos. How did I find them? I had a PPP student arrange Canon in D for non-traditional notation and she used these videos as part of her investigation. 
Kurt: Baby on the Recorder (Justin Bieber)
Jake: Telephone on Glockenspiel (Lady Gaga)
Kurt: Moonlight Sonata on Crockenspiel (Beethoven)
Jake: Beat It on Gameboy (Michael Jackson)
Kurt: Zelda’s Lullaby on Ocarina (Legend of Zelda Video Game)
Jake: Only Girl in the World on Zither (Rihanna)
Kurt: Canon in D on Cellphone (Pachelbel)
Jake: Bad Romance on Squeakaphone (Lady Gaga)

One Man SATBs: I love those videos wherein one person will film all parts of a SATB and then splice them together.
Super-Mario Brothers: SATB with two vocal drums
Moosebutter’s John Williams Tribute: An a cappella choir sings and a guy lipsyncs for them on YouTube.