by Jennifer Robb
As you could probably guess from our logo, we place particular emphasis on the role of the Arts in STEAM education. While STEM has become a focal point for schools around the world, we argue that the Arts disciplines (which for us include Language Arts in addition to Visual Arts, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Dance) are invaluable for promoting creativity, diverse forms of expression, and a range of entry points for learners who may be underrepresented or otherwise uninterested in traditional STEM subjects. So whenever we encounter a tool that highlights the Arts, we get excited. And this week, we are very excited!
Chrome Music Lab is an innovative series of hands-on, digital experiments from Google that enable students to explore musical concepts in a variety of ways.
From bite-sized experiments focusing on a single concept (e.g., Rhythm, Sound Waves) to their comprehensive Song Maker that allows students to create, share, and download original compositions, Chrome Music Lab is an incredible tool to facilitate musical inquiry. Better yet, some of these experiments have explicit interdisciplinary connections (e.g., Strings, which highlights the mathematical relationship between the length of an instrument’s string and its pitch), and below the experiment, the developers have highlighted educators who have found cross-curricular applications for the app. For even more ideas, check out the Twitter collection curated by the Chrome Music Lab team of educators putting this awesome tech tool to use!
This web-based application is incredibly minimalistic in design, encouraging students to dive in and explore the various experiments without much overhead. The decontextualized presentation of each experiment also means that students’ engagement with the tool could consist of anything from independent inquiry to an exploration of specific learning objectives situated within a larger STEAM unit. However you choose to use it, Chrome Music Lab is an awesome way to engage with the science of music!
Can’t wait to get started? Midnight Music offers several lesson prompts for each of the 13 experiments featured on Chrome Music Lab. And if you still want more, check out these ideas from Nexus Education.
We’d love to see what you create with Chrome Music Lab! Use the hashtag #makeON to share your creations with our Virtual PLN or tag us directly (@steam3Dmakerlab)! Happy making!