Self-Grading Listening Activities with Google Forms

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” ― Victor Hugo

I like to have my 6-12 general music, band, and choir students do an online listening journal activity about every other week. We use a standard format to keep it straight forward and use a wide variety of music to have the students listen to. We complete these via Google Forms which is an amazing resource for just about any classroom. The 2nd best part of these listening journals? They are SELF-GRADING! (keep reading for the #1 best part of these listening journals – hint: THEY ARE FREE!) I insert a YouTube video into the beginning of the form – HOW TO video! Then, each activity has 11 questions.

Questions Asked:

  • What instruments do you hear?
  • Are there voices in the music?
  • What other sounds are in the music (if any)?
  • What type of group is performing?
  • What dynamics are used in this song?
  • Are the dynamics consistent from the beginning to the end of the song or do they change throughout the song?
  • What tempos are used in this song?
  • Is the tempo consistent from the beginning to the end of the song or does it change throughout the song?
  • When do you think this music was composed?
  • In your opinion, what emotion does this piece of music evoke?
  • Write one paragraph about this piece of music. Examples of what to write about: Did you like it? Why or why not? What did it remind you of? If it was telling a story, what would it be? Would you listen to it again? ETC.

Now, obviously some of these questions are opinion and/or subjective – therefore they are not “self-grading”. But, I just made the questions that have clear right and wrong answers worth points. The other questions were required, but were there more to get the students thinking about the music rather than worrying about the right answer. I would go back through and briefly read their responses to the other questions, just to ensure they weren’t simply going through the motions – overall I saw a lot of engagement from students while doing these! These even led to some really interesting class discussions!

The #1 best part? We’re giving ours away for FREE!

The best part of this blog post? I’m sharing 16 of my listening journals I created FOR FREE! All you have to do is sign-up for my newsletter and you’ll automatically receive a document that will allow you to make a copy of all of these into your Google Drive and you can immediately assign them to your students (via Google Classroom, emailing, or sending them the link). PLUS I’m including a blank one for you to create your own! These questions work with ANY piece of music so you can really use whatever you want the students to listen to! You’ll have to add the correct answers and adjust the answer key to make sure it grades it for you – HOW TO video, but it’s actually very simple! For a more in depth description and general overview of how to use Google Forms (and integrate with Google Classroom) check out this YouTube video.

Music Selected

When I said variety, I MEANT it! Jazz, hip-hop, concert band, choral, pop, acoustic, orchestral, video game soundtracks, country, and more… The list really just spawned from things I heard that I liked, things we were maybe looking into for band or choir. There is zero rhyme or reason to this list!

How do I get all this great free stuff again?

Sign-Up for our newsletter below and you’ll automatically receive an email containing a PDF that will link you to make a copy of all of the listening journals for the songs listed above. This is a great FREE product that we do not make available in any other way! We will also send updates on new products, future freebies, and info about upcoming sales. You won’t get a crazy amount of emails from us (maybe 2 a month) and we won’t give your email to anyone. PROMISE!

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E-Learning – Distance Learning and Music

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We’ve put together a list of materials that we’ve created and/or can be used for E-Learning/Distance Learning/Remote Teaching. This post is being updated as we create new content – to receive updates when we add new products – sign up for our newsletter below!!





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UPDATES (Recently Created/Added)

Theory Masters: Music Theory Curriculum – Printable PDFs and Digital Interactive Google Slides. This curriculum was designed to work in person and for distance learning. We have created 3 different levels to work for all ages K-12, you can purchase them as a bundle or individually as you need.  Each lesson contains instructions and guides on the page for students to be able to learn on their own or with a parent’s help. We have ALSO started making video lessons for each included lesson and plan to continue creating these throughout the year. View the YouTube playlist HERE.

Music From a Distance – A completely no prep packet for shorter term distance learning that can be used on Google Slides, TpT Digital or printed and sent home. Also includes several samples of our other products that work for distance learning.

Check out our growing list of Boom Cards! Boom Cards are digital interactive task cards that make learning fun and provide instant feedback for students.


FREE STUFF

We are giving away 16 FREE Listening Journals that use a variety of music, are ready for distance learning, are self-grading, and are done via Google Forms. You can’t go wrong with free things right? Find out more info in our new blog post SELF-GRADING LISTENING ACTIVITIES WITH GOOGLE FORMS.

I highly encourage everyone to take a look at my Noteflight Mystery Song Assignment Blog Post – This is a great FREE activity that teaches students about chord progressions, creating a bass line, etc. – It also helps them learn how to use notation software!  From there, if you want to continue along this path, I recommending looking into my Mystery Song Bundle.

A one week safety net review plan mostly using MusicTheory.net  This incorporates perfectly into Google Classroom with people dealing with a 1-1 computer situation.  You can literally copy and paste the information directly out of this and make assignments in Google Classroom!  View the Google Doc Unit Plan here.

Our growing list of fantastic free resources including links to many great websites that can educate and entertain students!  This is a bit of a catch all list – if you have suggestions to add please let me know!  View the list here!

Try some FREE samples of great products:
Music of Africa (Presentation & Guided Notes)
John Williams (Presentation & Guided Notes)
Color by Music Mystery Image


Project Based Learning – Middle School & High School


We have several projects geared towards Middle School & High School. Distance learning provides ample opportunity for students to work at their own pace on a project. View our bundle of projects (also available to purchase separately). Included in this bundle are a large scale Music Genre Research ProjectMusic Time Period Research Project, smaller Music Genre Presentation ProjectComposer Presentation ProjectMusic Culture Presentation Project, and an Instrument Presentation Project.


Presentation & Guided Note Units

All of these units are completely digital and ready for distance learning.  We have a Music Cultures: World Music Unit, Composers: Music History Unit, and Instrument Family Unit.  All units have Google Slide Presentations and guided notes (print and digital) to accompany them.  There are EXCELLENT links to YouTube videos for students to experience what is being discussed.  For a complete walk through of “How to use Presentation & Guided Note Units for Distance Learning” in multiple situations- read our blog post HERE.


Elementary Specific Ideas

We have three completely independent sing-along and activity books that could be sent home with students. All of the products come with sheet music, color by music pages, and other activities to keep students learning about music from home. Can You Count? is a song about learning the value of whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, and 8th notes . Name the Notes is a song about about learning the lines and spaces of the treble clef. Old Blue is a fun song about living with a faithful dog. These are great send home packets for elementary students. Each product also has a sing-along video hosted on Raonna Studio’s YouTube (linked below).

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I hope this list at least gives you some ideas to help during this difficult time! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

The 5 Minute Challenge

The 5 Minute Challenge is something I do with my students K-12, though mostly with K-8.  We use MusicTheory.com’s Note Identification Exercises. You can customize them however you would like in the top right corner.  I give the students 5 minutes, put the activity7 on the Smart Board, we make a loop around the room and GO!  If they talk, they get put on pause but the timer is still going.  I keep track of my scores on the white board.

I have each grade do an exercise that is appropriate for their level.  For these scores, my Kindergartners, 1st graders, and 2nd graders did ONLY the treble clef notes.  3rd and up did the entire grand staff!  As you can see, third grade is a little slow – but they are accurate!  7th grade is currently leading the challenge.

This is just a great activity to promote a little healthy competition among my classes.  I will say, that my high school choir does not do this very often, so please don’t judge me for their lower score!  As you can see, they don’t even have a regular spot on the board!  We’ve been swamped with contests this time of year, so they rarely get to do the 5 Minute Challenge.  Also – Kindergarten is on the bottom because they originally weren’t in the competition, later when they started learning the notes of the treble clef (yes, they CAN do it!) they joined.

 

 

 

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Classroom Tour

I have a bit of a unique classroom – it is half of what used to be one HUGE room.  A few years before me, teacher situations changed.  They took the music room, cut it in half and made separate band and choir rooms.  So, to get to my choir room, you actually have to walk through the band room – it’s a little different but it works!  Also, when I took these pictures we were prepping for a concert, so I had risers out in my room.  Typically I have chairs set out in rows.  But here is my classroom!

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I love my back wall!  My mother-in-law let me borrow her Cricut a few summers ago.  I cut out a ton of music notes.  Several of them didn’t survive the first year, but the ones that are still up have been on the wall for about 2 years now – not bad!  I also love my Boomwhacker storage (velcro on the wall, small strip of velcro on each boomwhacker – works great).

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Here is the front of my classroom.  This is where I spend quite a bit of time (the piano, the Smart Board, etc.)  You can also see our tubanos which we just got this year through a big Donor’s Choose project!  I leave the left side of my board dedicated to keeping track of our 5 Minute Challenge Scores (read more about that here!)  On the left side of my white board is my dynamics display.  These are great to have front and center in the room to help forgetful students.  Purchase them from my Teachers Pay Teacher’s Store HERE!

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Up next is one of my students’ favorite parts of my room – Dave, the minion!  I drew the minion and colored him in by hand (much cheaper than a big print).  This is another Pinterest find!

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This isn’t the prettiest part of my room – but it is definitely practical.  Here is the obligatory folder rack.  I get so much space and function out of this beast!  Choir folders, microphones for jazz choir (keeps them organized and protected), and my elementary folders.  Each class has a color folder (K=Red, 1st=Orange, etc.).  Each student has a folder with a number.  When my students need to get their folder they go to their slot number and find their color folder.  So each slot will have 5-6 different colored folders in it.  It let’s them find their folders quickly without taking up a ton of space!

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This is my “stuff” wall.  We have all our ballots from contests throughout the year, pictures from our events, our calendar, and our classroom rules.  You can purchase my classroom rules from my Teachers Pay Teachers store HERE!

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I can’t remember where I came up with this next idea – maybe it’s my idea originally – who knows!  On the back of my door I keep all of these little signs to tell my students what they need to bring when the come in to the classroom.  I put the signs I need on the opposite side of the door, they take a look and grab what they need for class without me having to say a word.  Works like a charm!  I now just use a whiteboard and write what the students need to grab when they come in the room!

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Only a few stops left!  This is my word wall and solfege display.  Sorry for the glare in the pictures!  Purchase my solfege display from my Teachers Pay Teachers store here!

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Our last stop is on our way out the door.  I have the students line up at this door before they leave.  If they’ve had a good day – their behavior was “Grand” and they get to move up in the staff.  Read more on my Grand Behavior system on my other blog post by click HERE!

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That’s it folks!  Thanks for sticking with me, and I hope you enjoyed!

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Grand Behavior

Grand BehaviorWe have all seen the “NOISE” post on Pinterest (when the students are making noise – they lose a letter).  I’ve taken that and combined it with a behavior chart!  I call it “Grand Behavior”.  It’s perfect because it also teaches the students about the grand staff!

When a class is misbehaving, or their behavior isn’t “grand” – they lose a letter at the whiteboard (bottom picture).  If later they show me behavior that is “grand” they can earn a letter back.  At the end of class time, if they still have all of their letters they have had “Grand Behavior” and they get to move up a spot on the grand staff.  I have them all start at the lowest line of the bass clef.  When they get to Middle C, they earn an incentive (center day, treat, game).  When they get to the top F of the treble clef, they also earn an incentive (similar).  After that, they have to start all the way back down at the bass clef. I usually get a little healthy competition among the classes!

Removing a letter from the whiteboard is a huge visual that all students notice without you having to use your voice.  As music teachers – we all know our voice is precious!

I created the chart using a whiteboard, painters tape, colored foam sheets, and magnets.  The foam sheets make very durable items.  I attached magnets on the back with hot glue.  These have lasted 2+ years.  The letters on the whiteboard are wooden letters you can buy at any craft store.  I spray painted them black, and hot glued magnets to the back of them.

Try it out!  Follow me on Pinterest for more great ideas!  Also, be sure to check out my Teachers Pay Teachers page for awesome products including several FREEBIES!

 

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American Folk Songs for the Modern Classroom

American Folk Songs for the Modern Classroom

American Folk Songs for the Modern Classroom
A collection of 20 folk songs and sing-along audio files to be used in any classroom.

2Hello readers!  I received a grant from the Mary Chilton DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Foundation to create a songbook of folk songs to be used in the modern classroom.  American Folk Music is an integral part to America’s culture and heritage.  Sadly, many of these songs are no longer being taught as they are seen as “too old,” or “not standards aligned.”  These songs are a huge part of our culture and used constantly within other compositions.  Students are missing out on the experience of them simply because they do not know them!

Check it out at my Teachers Pay Teachers page.  It is my featured free download.

These files are 100% free to you and ready to use.  Simply download and enjoy!

 

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