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iTunes Music

Page history last edited by Peter Lomba 8 years, 3 months ago





Integrating music effectively into other content areas through the use of iTunes

by Peter Lomba



What is iTunes?


iTunes is a free application, created by Apple, that allows users to organize, play, and download digital music on the computer.  iTunes works on both Mac and PC computers.  iTunes can play music, video, and internet radio, and it is capable of storing digital books as well.  Music can also be edited in iTunes in a variety of ways, which can be beneficial for teachers.  Playlists can be created to organize music, and podcasts can be downloaded for free to supplement learning. 


How to download iTunes

The first step is to start up an Internet browser and go to http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/.


This will take you to a webpage that displays the system requirements that your computer must meet in order to download iTunes (requirements for both Mac and PC). 





If your computer meets those requirements, you can click the “Download Now” button on the webpage, and it should begin automatically downloading to your computer. 

The process of installing applications may vary depending on the hardware and the software of the computer you are using. 


Here is another video that explains how to download iTunes on a PC.



Once iTunes has been downloaded and opened, you can begin using it.

It will look like this:




iTunes is made up of:



The iTunes library is the main storage of music, movies, TV shows,

and Podcasts.  Everything you put on iTunes will be stored there

before you drag music into a specific playlist.


How to add music to your iTunes Library –




Playlists are found on the left side of the iTunes window.



By pressing the + sign on the bottom left corner of the window,

new playlists can be created.  You can name your playlists and

choose the music to put into them.  The music comes from your





The Control Panel:




On the control panel there are typically 3 important buttons. 


The play button—the single, large arrow in the middle of the 3 arrow buttons is the play button.  If a song is selected, pushing play will start the song from the beginning or from where the song was previously stopped. 


Forward button—the double-arrows pointing to the right is the forward button.  Pushing this will play the next song in the playlist.


Back button—the backwards button is the double-arrows that are pointing left.  Pushing this will start the song from the beginning if it is in the middle of playing, or it will switch songs from the currently selected song to the song previous in the playlist.



Editing Music in iTunes

You can also edit music in iTunes.  You can shorten songs, change the volume level, and the equalizer presets (bass, treble, etc. – how the song sounds).  This is an important tool when using iTunes in the classroom.


Here’s a helpful video on how to edit your iTunes music:




Podcasts (created from the words “iPod” and “broadcast”) are user-created multimedia programs that are available for free download on iTunes.  There are Podcasts on almost every subject imaginable, and they range from being 5 minutes long to over and hour long.  Many of these Podcasts are educational, and they can benefit and supplement learning in the classroom.


Here are some great educational Podcasts that can be found on iTunes:

- CNN Student News, Grammar Girl, BBC World News for Kids, KidCast: Podcasting in the Classroom (http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/kidcast-learning-teaching/id81662781)


Here are two great videos on using Podcasts in the classroom:




Here is an article that highlights some Podcasts that are helpful for teachers:









How iTunes can be used in the classroom!


-       Music is a great way to stimulate creative expression in the classroom.  One way that music can be utilized through iTunes is by playing short songs that students can free write to.  Instrumental music works best because there are no words to distract from students’ thoughts.  After editing instrumental music pieces—shortening them on iTunes—play the songs (they can be anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes long), and have the students write in their personal journals, and let the music move them and guide their writing.  Change up the songs with different styles and tempos, and soon enough, students will have a handful of short pieces of writing that can help them get started with writing longer pieces.


-       After learning about historical figures and time periods, have students use iTunes on computer lab computers to create their own playlists.  These playlists can be songs that they think the historical figures would’ve listened to in their time, or songs that they think the historical figures would listen to if they travelled through time and ended up in the 21st century.  This lesson makes students think critically about what they know about historical figures and time periods, and it keeps them engaged through the use of music that they enjoy.  This can be used for just about any content area. 


-       When teaching math, counting beats in songs is a great way to get students thinking about addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  Music can be played through iTunes, and students can count up the beats and measures that they hear.  They can divide the measures into beats, and they can multiply the number of beats per measure by how many measures there are in the whole song. 


-       When teaching P.E. (physical education), being able to play music through iTunes is a great way to get students physically active.  Setting up obstacle courses that require students to stop at every station, do the activity they find written down there (jump-roping, pushups, jumping jacks, Frisbee throw, volleyball, etc.) while music is playing, and change stations when the music stops is a great, fast-paced way to keep kids active and having fun.


iTunes makes all of these lessons easier and more effective than they would be without this application, because of the ability to organize songs and to be able to play them, pause them, and choose the part of the song that you want to play in a quick and efficient manner. 


Here is a nicely made video on how to use iTunes in the classroom:




Some great articles on using music and iTunes in the classroom:






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