by Valerie Schuetta, M.Ed.
As an elementary teacher in a public school, I have seen many programs cut out over the years. Sadly, these are programs that highly benefit children including, science, physical education, music and art. With all the standardized testing that has become the norm, the big emphasis is on reading and math. Teachers are forced to find creative ways to teach some of these subjects, while integrating them into reading and math.
MusicLearningCommunity.com is a wonderful site that offers fun, interactive games from beginners to intermediate learners. Students can play these games at school or at home. This program is a wonderful teaching assistant for a general education teacher, a great additional teaching tool for music teachers, or an excellent music resource for any homeschooling parent who is looking for a way to integrate music into their child’s learning program. The creators of this site know what any seasoned teacher already knows: Playing games is an amazing way to help children learn music. Not only are the games fun, but the skills in each game build upon the last game and prepare for the next game.
This program is highly successful and students quickly adapt and become 3-5 months ahead of their peers in regular music programs. Because of its differentiation, it is also highly recommended for students with special needs.
MusicLearningCommunity.com has over 450 interactive games. These games include games that build skills in rhythm, scales, intervals, chords, tonal memory, playback, and understanding of musical terms and symbols. The games can be played on an Ipad, Android, or Smartphone. In the classroom, teachers can display the games on an interactive whiteboard or using a projector. Games can be played individually or with teams. In my classroom, we have Fun Fridays. The students have a voice in what they would like to do and playing the music games on teams is one of the more popular choices.
There are many great reasons to use this site. If you are a homeschooling parent who wants their child to learn how to read music, but you have little prior knowledge on the subject, MusicLearningCommunity.com is an excellent choice. Their Lifetime Musician Curriculum is cutting-edge and perfect for your student or young learner whom you can already tell has a musical learning style — that is, they see and hear music in everything they do. That is the beauty of the curriculum — it incorporates almost all of the senses, including hearing, seeing, and touching. It will cover all the different learning styles. You will see a major difference in the way your student or young learner takes on other academic tasks, including reading. The games, which feature animation, musical sound, sound effects, scores and times, will definitely sharpen your learner’s cognitive skills!
There are two ways to access the leveled games. The original way, by leveled music skill or The Lifetime Musician System. The Lifetime Musician Curriculum sequences games in order of difficulty by level, then organizes the games into assignments of 5-8 games. There is also a Score Report Button that will enable you to keep track of your student’s progress. Teachers and parents also have access to many resources, including printable teaching guides, student assignment sheets, and printable Lifetime Musician Games at a Glance checklists.
I tried a few open games myself and quickly became hooked. I played a game called Meteor Match, in which I had to quickly identify the notes. These included a quarter note, whole note, Bass (f) Clef, and Treble (g) Clef. I was amazed at how fast I learned the different notes and had to make sure I knew them for the next game.
Whatever reason you decide to integrate MusicLearningCommunity.com into your curriculum, you will not regret it. It has proven itself to be a highly successful website. Your students will quickly learn skills in rhythm, scales, intervals, chords, tonal memory, playback and understanding, and musical terms and symbols. They will have fun learning these skills, therefore, the chances are higher that these newly-acquired skills will become a permanent part of their background knowledge. VS