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Google Earth Musicians

My music 6 and music 8 classes have recently generated .kml files for use in Google Earth. In the course of the curriculum, I do a general survey of 20th Century musicians/styles with the 6th graders and music periods/musicians with the 8th graders. When doing an activity like this there is so much information and the goal is for them to be able to distinguish the differences and be able to list the characteristics. This also broadens their knowledge about different musicians/styles. Instead of me telling the students factual/bibliographic information I wanted the student to find the information and then use web 2.0 software as a study guide for the material. As we all know, learning that is generated by students is a higher level skill, and of course all participated.

Google Squared Labs lets you list bibliographic information on a variety of subjects. Instead of me doing that, I gave each student an individual musician. The students then filled in a Google Document Spreadsheet in which they had to find the place of birth, date of birth, place of death, date of death, cause of death, and an interesting fact of a musician. I was then able to easily upload this spreadsheet into a Google Fusion Table and generated a .kml file by geocoding the places found on the spreadsheet.

By highlighting the file under Temporary Places within Google Earth, you can click through a tour very easily. If you click on the individual placemarkers you can see the information that students generated. I have also added video to each of the musicians. Since I have generated these files, it is easy to add other items to the actual placemarks, like characteristic, which I should have done - to further make the connection between the stated goals and target knowledge. As we viewed these files, students completed a worksheet through discussion which listed the material to be assessed. Through this activity the students were able to identify, explain, and analyze historical styles/genres and chronologically list important musicians for each of the periods of music history or 20th Century American music. As I was completing the activity the students broadened their appreciation of the role of different American music styles or music history periods and learned to recognize specific musical styles, genres, and musicians. It was interesting to have the students come up with the characteristics and factual information instead of me telling them. As the PA standards state: this was definitely "knowing and using traditional and contemporary technologies for furthering knowledge and understanding in the humanities."

To view the tours that the students created, you must download/save the files, (right click on the links below - choose Save Link As, Save As Type: Text Document). This only works in the Firefox browser. Once done with that, clicking on the file will open them up in Google Earth - this must be installed on your computer. Here is the link to download it: Google Earth If you want more information or are interested in doing this for your own classes, please feel free to contact me:
Composers-Music History
Musicians-20th Century


Ricci Adams' Music Theory- Extremely useful content! Ricci also offers the entire site to download
for offline use. Very nice tools and information for basic music theory instruction.
Dolmetsch Music Resources Pop in here and click around! These are fabulous resources for just about any type of music class!


This opera study guide was put together by the San Diego Opera as a support page for their school assembly program. The information and music provided here are great!

Go to the San Diego Opera Unplugged study guide! I also stumbled upon a neat Mozart timeline math quiz at their web site!

From the Integrated Academics wiki