7 Cool Things You May Not Know about Song Maker
Updated: Jan 28
A version of this blog post has been republished in the book, Technology for Unleashing Creativity, from Oxford University Press (2022).
Chrome Music Lab’s full potential is often overlooked by music teachers as a fun playtime tool. However, it has loads of potential as a cross-curricular STEAM resource and has gained popularity in recent years. One app in particular—Song Maker—is the most versatile app on Chrome Music Lab and it is certainly up there with one of the most useful and versatile tools on the internet, but few people know this. There are many unknown tricks and perks to this amazing little piece of software to keep your learners creating and arranging their own music. Here they are:
7 Cool Things that You May Not Have Known About Using Song Maker by Chrome Music Lab
Find Pitch and Tune
Click the ‘Mic’ button and let it access your microphone
Press the ‘Mic’ button at the bottom of the Song Maker screen and let it access your microphone. Once you do, you will see a microphone icon appear at the side of your screen, try singing or playing an instrument to see if it can guess right. It’s almost like a MIDI input device but without the controller. The more in tune, the easier it picks up your sounds.
Try composing with the pitch finder (Mic).
Check this instructional video
Have learners input notes using only their voice or an instrument of their choice. Once they have their choices, play it back in a loop (it will do this automatically) and play an accompaniment that fits while the loop is playing. If you are working in a particular key, this could work really well for reinforcing that particular key signature.
Help reluctant singers find their pitch by seeing if they can make one of the colours light up. This function is much more sensitive if the notes being sung are in tune. It could work for helping singers stay on pitch or for pitch training. Use an external microphone with an interface in noisier settings.
Have learners sing or play a simple melody to see if it will catch the notes, then arrange them rhythm to fit.
Have your group of recorder players playing the same pitch to see if they can keep their notes in the centre. Then, compose a piece of music together using the Mic function.
For ukulele or guitar players, have learners input notes into the app using their instruments, then find a chordal accompaniment to fit.
After inputting the notes, create a simple beat to go with it.