(Apologies to David Bowie)
One way to move up the SAMR ladder is to have students create multimedia projects. Did you know there are lots of places where you can easily find free music and sound effects to include in your work?
Dig CC Mixter has thousands of songs, about 4,000 of which can be used at no charge. They are divided into three main categories: instrumental, music with vocals, and music for video games, and you can also search by genre, style, and/or instrument. There are additional filters to fine tune your results, and the download process gives an easy to copy citation link.
The Free Music Archive allows anyone over 13 to download songs for free and use them in projects. Their music must be approved before it’s published on their site and most pieces must be cited to comply with Creative Commons licensing requirements. You can search by curator, genre, or by recent popularity. Their FAQ for Educators will answer most questions about use by teachers and students.
SoundBible.com offers thousands of free sound effects, sound clips, and other sounds. Some of them are in the public domain, but others are licensed under Creative Commons and will need citation information, which the website provides when you click on the link to download the sound.
Purple Planet has free music arranged in different genres for you to download. There is no search function but it’s not difficult to find what you want. They ask you to link back to their website if you use any of their tracks, especially if you post any of their music on YouTube to ensure you are not flagged for copyright violations.
There are also several generous composers who have websites where students of any age can search and download free music to use in any way they like. All they ask is that credit is given when the project is published. Our favorites are Incompetech and Bensound, both of which offer a very large selection and can be filtered by genre. Incompetech also lets you search by tempo, “feels”, and length.
Note: If you are concerned about your students hearing inappropriate lyrics or simply taking too long selecting their music, you can download and share options for them to choose from along with a doc containing the citation information if needed.