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Chrome Music Lab
Pros: Super fun and inventive. Accessibly designed. Source code is available.
Cons: Learning might not go beyond playing around.
Bottom Line: This accessible site is sure to dazzle students, but will need some inventive teaching and a lot of support to lead to deep learning.
How Can I Teach with This Tool?
Chrome Music Lab is a free website by Google, featuring 13 different interactive musical "experiments." There's no instruction or supports beyond some simple iconography and tweets showcasing actual classrooms using the tool. The focus is very much on free-form play and experimentation, and on this front, it'll surely succeed, inviting students to explore and create. Teachers will likely, however, want to offer some guidance rather than let students run wild. Since there are only 13 experiments, start by playing around with all of them to see which ones connect with your curriculum, because those connections abound -- not just in music but in science and math. For instance, Oscillators can be a fun way to introduce the x- and y-axes and their usefulness for coding, and Chords and Sounds Waves can both be used to illustrate waveforms and frequency. There are of course tons of use cases for music teachers, especially for introducing concepts including composition, rhythm, arpeggios, and harmonics. It's one of those tools that'll inspire creative teachers and lead to great hooks for lessons but require a bit of effort on the part of teachers to make sure activities help students extract and apply meaning from their enthusiastic play.