This blog is taking me forever to write.  Not because it’s so difficult but because it’s Thursday night and I’m “Thursday Tired”.  The only level of tiredness that can trump “Thursday Tired” is “Friday Tired” which is why I try to save my social life for Saturday 🙂

When you work as hard as we do to get as tired as we get there are many many things that can be forgotten.  When you’ve got so much to do, researching details is just not important….. so in an effort cut down on your research time, I’m going to give you a list.

Now I have to tell you that originally I received this list at one of those gloriously useful music professional development days that my district provides.  All the music teachers gather and create a perfectly wonderful, enthusiastic, encouraging, relevant and useful MUSIC professional development.   Afterwards  I eagerly grabbed up all of the handouts, talked to all of the other music teachers, went out to lunch and enjoyed each others company and then POOF!  Just like that, it was over.  SCHOOL started!  All of those beautiful handouts got filed and put away and not thought of again….

….Until last night when I sat down to write this post……. I remembered that I already had a list like this….. Where did I put it?  Who compiled it?  I can’t remember…. I bet I’ll remember after I publish this post…. when I do remember, I’ll add an addendum.

Soooooo anyway, I’m going to tell you about BRAINPOP!

For those of you who DO use it, you’ll know that BRAINPOP! is not the “end all be all” of musical resources, but it is a tool…. one tool…. that we can add to our arsenal of gear that we use to teach children through music. If you don’t know about it, or didn’t know that it had music stuff on it…. NOW you know!

Many schools and school districts have purchased subscriptions to this site.  Right now, our subscription is hosted on our district library resource page.  I can access it from my teacher computer, from all student computers and at home for planning purposes.  BRAINPOP is a collection of online mini-movies, games and resources.  Each little movie has a quiz and if you have an activeboard you can hook it up so that your activevotes work with it.

Now I’m not gonna lie, in comparison to other subject areas and what they COULD have, the arts in general are still somewhat lacking.  But just between last year and this year, the number of music movies has increased, so I hope that they will have even more new ones in the future.  I wish they had more Brainpop Jr. movies but like I said, as time passes their collection grows.  I like them because they are short, concise my students like them AND we can use them as a tool without being dominated by technology overload…. after all in my class we are supposed to be MAKING music, not merely learning ABOUT music, so a tool like this is useful.  I’ve used them as an introduction to a larger unit, and I’ve used them as part of an assessment.

Below are the episodes currently available that are about music.


Learning Music: 

  • Clefs and Time Signatures
  • Musical Scales
  • Melody and Harmony
  • Reading Music

Musical Genres

  • 60s Folk
  • Country music
  • hip hop & rap
  • latin music
  • blues
  • jazz
  • harlem renaissance
Famous Artists and Musicians
  • Elvis Presley
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Ludwig Van Beethoven
  • The Beatles
  • Yo-Yo Ma
Making Music
  • Analog and Digital Recording
  • Brass Instruments
  • Percussion Instruments
  • String Instruments
  • Woodwind Instruments
  • Vocals


  • W.A Mozart
  • Musical Alphabet
  • Musical Instruments
  • Percussion Instruments
  • Pitch / Tone / Beat
  • time signatures and note value
  • woodwind instruments
As always, make it a great learning day!