Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Composer Is Dead and technology coolness

Lemony Snicket, the author of the "Unfortunate Event" series, wrote a book called "The Composer Is Dead."

It is hilarious and is a great way to review, or even introduce, instruments of the orchestra.  I love that it groups them into families and adds just the right amount of humor.  The premise is that a composer was found dead and an inspector comes to interview the orchestra to find out "whodunnit."

This is a great book to leave for substitutes, as it even has a CD recording you can get with it, so all the sub has to do is push play and turn pages :)

A few years ago, I was surfing YouTube, and I found this great recording of the story.  It is in 3 different parts (a wmv file) so you do have to click "play" 3 times, but it is great!  I guess the girl who made it did it for a music education class in college or something.

My kids have always enjoyed watching this.  However, I must add a disclaimer that last year (and this is the first year this has happened) I showed this to my 2nd graders and I had 2 of them that were frightened by the loud music and images in certain parts.  I guess I would just suggest using caution.

A fun technical tip I have found is that if you want to show YouTube videos without all of the ads or even the suggested stuff at the end or down the sides, just go to this link:
All you have to do is paste the YouTube link in the box, click "Generate Safe Link," and it will pull it up in a new window, without all of the ads.  Amazing!  I love this so much!  There is also an option at the end to save your recording as either MP3 or MP4 - I haven't tried this yet, but it might be a great way to put something like this on a blank DVD for a substitute to use :)  Try it and see.

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