Thank you for visiting the Song Wizard! This app is still under development.

Experiencing Difficulties? For Technical Requirements on the use of this page, click here

The button below will open the Song Wizard in a new tab suitable for full screen viewing

If the animation is not synching with the sound, simply press stop and restart.
This is a known issue and I am working to resolve it.

The Song Wizard is an interactive tool for teaching music using Boomwhackers percussion tubes in elementary school classrooms. It is designed to be projected in the classroom on an interactive whiteboard or smartboard so that it is visible to all students.

Each ‘ball’ on the threshold line of the interface represents a correspondingly coloured Boomwhacker which would be played by a student. The student is to strike their Boomwhacker (and thus play the corresponding note) when their ball drops to the threshold and illuminates.

The Song Wizard promotes making music in a group, as the Boomwhackers must be distributed among a number of students to ensure all the notes in the song are being played. It offers a menu of songs from which to choose. It has controls for adjusting tempo, volume and accompaniment tracks for these songs. For a full explanation of all features, see the next section entitled 'How To Use The Song Wizard'. 

The song wizard is the central tool in a series of Tutorials to help elementary teachers include more music making in their classrooms. For more information of the origin of this project, please see About Whacky Wizards.

The Controls

 

Song Menu – In this limited version of the Song Wizard, only Simple Scale and 9 other songs are included. (It takes a few seconds to load each new song). Registered users have a greater assortment of songs to choose from.

Play/Pause Button – This will start or pause the song  and the accompanying ‘ball drop’ animation. Note - sometimes the animation does not synch with the music. Simply stop and start over again if this happens.

Stop Button – This stops the player and resets the song to the beginning.

Step Back/Forward Buttons – These buttons rewind or push up the song by 10 seconds respectively. Sliding the Time Slider Can also be used to cue the song.

BPM slider – This controls the speed (or Tempo) of the rhythm. BPM stands for beats per minute.

Main Volume – controls the volume of Boomwhacker track in the song. This can be muted completely with the Mute Button ().

Accompaniment Volume – controls the volume of Accompaniment track in the song. This can be muted completely with the Mute Button ().

Note Names – This will toggle the note names (letters) on or off for students who may do better simply focussing on their colour.

Ball Drop – This will toggle the 'ball dropping' animation on or off to increase the challenge level of the song.

Loop Song - This will toggle on a feature that will simply loop the song over and over.

Accelerate Loop - If Loop Song is selected, toggling this switch will accelerate the song by 10 BPM upon every repetition.

 

How to Play Along with The Song Wizard

Each student will have either one or two Boomwhackers to play in each song. For more instructions on how to distribute the instruments among students, please see the next section.

To play the Boomwhackers, students simply have to strike them against any relatively hard surface. The preferred method is to have the students sit on the floor in a semi-circle facing the projected screen, and have them play on the floor in front of them, but your circumstances may not allow for this.

Other possible ways to play include:

  • Sit at a desks and strike the top,
  • Stand behind the desk and strike the top.
  • Kneel and strike the surface of a chair.
  • Sit in a chair and strike against knees or thighs (not too hard!)
  • Sit in a chair and bend over to play on the floor.
  • If only playing one Boomwhacker, students can hold it in one hand and strike against the other.

 

NOT RECOMMENDED - Don't play Boomwhackers against the back or a chair or any other sharp or cornered surface as this will dent them, ruining their tone and significantly reducing their lifespan.

Refresh the page in the browser to reset the Song Wizard to its default settings.

Typically, each player will have two different Boomwhackers, one in each hand. However, if working with younger students, you may want to have them only playing a single instrument (and you’ll want to slow the tempo down too!)

One of the best ways to pair instruments is using equal intervals, which are the distances between notes in a musical scale. They are named like finishing places in a race after the winner (second, third, fourth, etc).

For example, a fifth above the low C would be G (For a visual clue, look at the balls on the threshold of the basic scale. Start counting at the low C on the left and go up 5 balls to G. Intervals always include the first and last notes in the counting). Likewise, a fifth below the high C would be F.

If you want to try the default setting of the Song Wizard to play the Simple Scale, you’ll need at least four players. Try the following pairings:

Fifths

  • C & G
  • D & A
  • E & B
  • F & Hi-C

Seconds:

  • C & D
  • E & F
  • G & A
  • B Hi-C

Playing the Songs

There are 10 songs included in this demonstration version of the Song Wizard. Most of the included songs only use a range of 6 notes, from low C to A.
If using two Boomwhackers per student for these songs, either of the following pairings is suggested:

Fourths:

  • C & F
  • D & G
  • E & A

Seconds:

  • C & D
  • E & F
  • G & A

Don't feel that you have to use strict interval pairings. The important thing is to experiment, mix and match, and have fun.

Login to see a full tutorial about how to use the Song Wizard including a 20 minute instructional video. 

We hope to implement the following features in the near future: 

  • The ability to include Chromatic notes (Sharps and Flats)
  • The option to change the direction of scrolling from top-to-bottom to left-to-right.
  • A metronome feature.

For comments or feature suggestions, please Contact Us!

Technical Requirements:

We are experiencing some difficulties getting the Song Wizard to work in all web browsers, on all platforms.
We’re working hard to resolve this, but in the meantime, the following steps may provide a solution. 

This program seems to work best in Google Chrome, in both MacOS and Windows.

If experiencing troubles in Google Chrome you may have to specifically allow the site to play sound from www.whackywizards.com

  1. Select and copy the website domain from the top of the browser or here – www.whackywizards.com
  2. Click on the vertical ellipsis (3 dots) at the very upper right of the browser window. (Customize and control Google Chrome)
  3. Select Settings (⌘,)
  4. A new tab will open in the browser. In the Privacy and Security section, choose Site Settings.
  5. Under Permissions, choose Sound.
  6. Make sure ‘Allow sites to play sound (recommended)’ is toggled on.
  7. To add this site in particular, the right of Allow, click the ‘Add’ button.
  8. Paste the domain name into the field  – www.whackywizards.com – and click Add.
  9. Close the Tab.
  10. Refresh this page in the browser.

Microsoft Edge seems to work nearly as well as Chrome.

Currently, the song wizard does not want to work in Safari. Hopefully the next Safari update will fix this. 

In Firefox certain colours and buttons may not appear properly, and the sound seems to lag.

Internet Explorer will run the program very slowly. After pressing play on any selection, Stop and Reset for the sound to sync. 

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I am currently offering a free trial for those who are willing to help me generate potential customer profiles, a vital step in for qualifying for investments, loans, and other business development programs. 

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