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The Music Box

The Music Box is a music education resource hub complete with interactive podcasts, printable lesson plans, movement activity videos, behind-the-scenes with musicians, and more!

The Music Box is an interactive music education podcast for kids, exploring fundamental music concepts through performing, responding and connecting. The current season is hosted by music educators Kiana Del and Fiona Palensky. Each episode gets listeners involved in making music, with short episodes that are perfect for a car ride or just hanging out at home. Listen and browse our resources below.

If you're a teacher who would like The Music Box LIVE in your classroom, schedule a visit here or email us at education@wuol.org.

SUBSCRIBE Apple Podcasts | NPR | Spotify | Stitcher | RadioPublic | RSS

TMB Takes a Short Break: Broke Down Somewhere near Jupiter

Multiple choice ANSWER! In Star Wars, the character R2D2’s expressive sounds were made by using...

a. a live parakeet run through auto-tune
b. a synthesizer mixed with a human voice
c. a broken computer from the 1950’s
d. a DJ’s remix of a squirrel yelling at another squirrel for stealing his acorn
Lessons and Resources Episode transcript
How Ben Burtt Designed the Star Wars Sounds
Season 6, Episode 6: Behind the Music: I'm a Producer!

Lessons and Resources Episode transcript
How to Get Kids Started on Music Production
Song Maker Chrome Music Lab
Online Drum Machine
What's the difference between mixing and mastering?
Meet producer and rapper Yons
Local Musician Shout-Outs from the Episode:
Meet rapper/lyricist Jordan Jetson
Meet producer and multi-instrumentalist Casey Powell
Featured Musical Excerpts: Inspiration - Yons (Spotify)
Symphony No. 5 - Ludwig Van Beethoven
Feel like Finn - Jordan Jetson
Sour - Casey Powell

Season 6, Episode 5: Pass The Melted Butter! Polyrhythms and Polymeters 

Lessons and Resources Episode transcript
Polyrhythmic Spotify Playlist
Africa for Kids: Teaching Kids Polyrhythms
3 over 2 polyrhythmic visualization
3 over 4 polyrhythmic visualization
Ploop: Online Polyrhythm Visualizer
Featured Musical Excerpts: Afro Blue - Mongo Santamaria Till the World Ends - Britney Spears
As This Moment Slips Away - Bad Plus
It's Gonna Be Me - NSYNC
Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers
Is This Love - Bob Marley
Fake Empire - The National
Mudande - Ephat Mujuru & Spirit of the People
Menu Di Ye Jewe - Babatunde Olatunji

Season 6, Episode 4:  I Scream! You Scream! We All Scream for the Drum Machine!

Lessons and Resources Episode transcript
Screamin' Drum Machine'in Playlist
The History of the AKAI MPC
Maestro Rhythm King MRK-2 demo
Roland TR-808 demo
Featured Musical Excerpts: Work It - Missy Elliott Sharp Dressed Man - ZZ Top
Blinding Lights - The Weeknd
Army of Me - Björk Leon Theremin's Rhythmicon played by Andrei Smirnov
Family Affair - Sly & the Family Stone
Textures - Herbie Hancock
Planet Rock - Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) - Whitney Houston
Videotape - Radiohead
Love Lockdown - Kanye West
Hunter - Björk
Vogue - Madonna
Workinonit - J Dilla
Don't Cry - J Dilla
Flim - Aphex Twin
Jungle Tools - Reizoko CJ

Season 6, Episode 3: Behind the Music: I'm a Recording Engineer!

Lessons and Resources
Episode transcript
Vocabulary list
Get to know Louisville's Anne Gauthier
Microphone 101: What is a Shure SM57?
All about the Neumann KM-184
All about the Neumann U67

Season 6, Episode 2: Improvisation Station!

Lessons and Resources
Episode transcript
Futuristic Online Synthesizer
Baroque Improv - The Brandenburg Concertos
How Baroque Musicians Improvised with Flair
Featured Musical Excerpts:
In C - Terry Riley
Anthropology - Charlie Parker
Didn't It Rain, Children - Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Doin' It To Death - James Brown
Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050 - Johann Sebastian Bach
Florid Organum, Melismatic Organum

Season 6, Episode 1: Music Doctors!

Lessons and Resources
Episode transcript
Brief, general introduction to jazz
Jazz facts for kids
An in-depth view of call-and-response from Masterclass
Featured Musical Excerpts: Moanin' - Bobby Timmons, played by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
Cosy in the Rocket (the Grey's Anatomy Theme) - Psapp

Special: Juneteenth Jubilee

Lessons and Resources
Episode transcript
A Juneteenth Celebration
How to talk to your kids about systemic racism
How Kids Can Be Allies
Kids Explain Allyship
The History of the Banjo
Who is Florence Price? - NPR
Featured Musical Excerpts:
Following the North Star - Rhiannon Giddens
Maple Leaf Rag - Scott Joplin
Symphony No. 1 in E minor - Florence Price
Meet the composer! Rhiannon Giddens
Florence Price
Scott Joplin



"I got to play a drum and even a piano! The game we played made me laugh so much! Are we going back soon?" - Pierce, Preschooler


National Arts Standards

MU:Cr1.1.K improvise rhythmic and melodic patterns and musical ideas for a specific purpose.

MU:Pr6.1.2 perform music for a specific purpose with expression and technical accuracy.

MU:Pr6.1.5 perform music, alone or with others, with expression, technical accuracy, and appropriate interpretation.

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If you have questions, comments, or concerns please contact education@wuol.org

Supported by PNC and the Norton Foundation