Incredibox

Lesson: Incredibox to the Rescue

A few weeks ago I wrote a lesson post Take it Outside 2021 and I was all set to host all of my classes outside during our testing weeks in the sunshine and the fresh air. Then, it was snowing and pouring rain and downright cold. I was forced to stay inside, traveling class to class, with doors open, keeping the children completely silent while others were testing all around us. 

Incredibox to the rescue! The free web-based version of Incredibox is a series of “loops” that musicians can use to compose their own arrangements. It is essentially, manipulation of layered percussive and melodic ostinati, and our musicians can’t get enough. The Little Kids Rock folks made the lesson preparation even easier with a set of YouTube videos that explain all the details in a kid friendly way. The feedback from the children is overwhelmingly positive and full of excitement at a particularly difficult time of year made even more challenging due to COVID restrictions and state testing.

This year I am traveling to classrooms and I see our classes for an entire week then rotate to the next set of classes. The children have 1:1 devices. Due to a shortened day, our lessons are thirty minutes instead of our regular fifty minutes. These lessons were taught in five consecutive days, and they will work well spread out over a rotation or weekly schedule as well. We never have testing on Fridays so we can make some noise at the end of the week.

Here is what we did: (This is exactly what I posted in the Google Classroom for our musicians)

Lesson 1: Introduction to Incredibox

Incredibox is another fun way to create and compose music without traditional instruments.

  1. Watch the three REALLY SHORT videos showing you what incredibox can do.
  2. Use the link to access the web-based version of Incredibox and mess around with creating and exploring all the fun ways you can create music using what you have available to you!

Links:

Into to Incredibox: https://youtu.be/IJuYyh0IFLE

Selecting a Version: https://youtu.be/VTeQPLVB5a0

Musical Elements: https://youtu.be/uU9UhEIal1k

Lesson 2: Incredibox Part 2

  1. Watch the three short videos on how to use Incredibox below.
  2. Move on to today’s assignment and turn it in.

Links: 

Sample Groups: https://youtu.be/aYj81fFIExg

Singing Characters: https://youtu.be/GRlYFdpZfF8

Stopping Singing Characters: https://youtu.be/tdESPEjVREE

Incredibox Composition Level 1

Watch the screencastify video below. I show you how to save, share and paste your link in the Google Classroom. (This is the ONLY video I needed to make for this lesson.)

Create Version 1 of your Incredibox composition. The music must:

  • Be at least 26 seconds long (Incredibox will not save it if it is shorter.)
  • Have at least two places where you stop a loop (character) and bring them back in.
  • Have at least two places where you change a loop. (Change a character’s shirt.)

I can’t wait to hear your creations!

Lesson 3: Incredibox Part 3

  1. Watch the two short videos on muting and soloing characters in Incredibox. 
  2. Move on to today’s assignment when you are finished.

Links:

Muting Characters: https://youtu.be/Xn7kVZ-ATOY

Soloing Characters https://youtu.be/xLuh-6mNw8Y

Incredibox Composition Level 2

Create Version 2 of your Incredibox composition. The music must:

  • Be at least 26 seconds long (Incredibox will not save it if it is shorter.)
  • Have at least one place where you change a loop (Change a character’s shirt.)
  • Have at least one mute
  • Have at least one solo

(I attach the save and share video from the last lesson for those who need a review.)

The music from yesterday was so much fun to listen to. I can’t wait to hear more!

Lesson 4: Incredibox Part 4

As a “warm-up” I have them watch this YouTube video using “Dystopia” as an example of a final product. https://youtu.be/sZCrrW3wZQ8

  1. Watch the video to learn how to unlock a chorus in Incredibox. This feature is super fun.
  2. Move on to creating your final mix when you are done!

Link:

Unlocking the Chorus: https://youtu.be/JeRb94ERCLg

Incredibox Composition Level 3 THE FINAL MIX!

Create Version 2 of your Incredibox composition. The music must:

  • Be at least 26 seconds long (Incredibox will not save it if it is shorter.)
  • Have at least one place where you change a loop (Change a character’s shirt.)
  • Have at least one mute
  • Have at least one solo
  • Include at least one chorus

Save your composition in the PRIVATE COMMENTS of the assignment. If you want others to be able to listen to your mix, paste the link in the PUBLIC COMMENTS of the assignment.

Lesson 5: DJ Party!

On Friday we are able to make some noise. I hook up my laptop to the projector and we listen to and celebrate as many compositions as we have time to share. The musicians volunteer to share by placing their link in the public comments. Below is an example of one of my favorite final mixes so far by a fourth grade student “Best DJ” https://www.incredibox.com/mix/89fa81af7a46e1c7f4ff-v2

Several of the children have purchased the app version to have access to all of the features and I have heard that quite a few parents have been creating mixes with their children at home! I was dreading attempting to keep all of the kids quiet off and on for four weeks and we are having so much fun. 

LeslieAnne Bird

LeslieAnne Bird is a music and movement educator at University Schools in Shaker, Ohio. She teaches general music and choir to fifth through eighth grade young men and is an adjunct Professor at the University of Akron. She has previously taught in North Olmsted & Cleveland Ohio as well as in Prince George’s County, Maryland. LeslieAnne is a national presenter. She has served as vice president and membership chair for the Greater Cleveland Orff Chapter and is currently serving as the content curator for the Teaching With Orff community. In addition, she is the owner and CEO of Three Little Birds Music Education Services LLC where she offers teacher training, coaching and musical experiences for children and adults. She earned Orff Certification from Baldwin Wallace University in 2014, and has completed Music Learning Theory General Music Level One, Level One World Music Drumming training, Level One Google Certification and has earned the Ohio Master Teacher designation.

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5 Comments

  1. Kathy Mitulski on May 12, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    My students love Incredibox as well – and these lesson suggestions are great – thank you! Unfortunately my school district recently blocked the site due to a parent complaint about ads that run within the app that apparently can’t be blocked. A colleague was in touch with the creators and it seems they don’t have control over this either – but they were grateful she reached out and were going to investigate ways to address this. If anyone has a work around – please share! I’d love to be able to get my kids connected again!!!

  2. Megan Snowman on May 13, 2021 at 7:09 am

    Where is the Screencastify video please?

    • Teaching With Orff on May 18, 2021 at 6:53 pm

      Hi Megan,
      LeslieAnne did not share her Screencastify video in the post as it contains identifying student information. These are the actual instructions given to her students, so her direction to “watch the Screencastify video below” is directed at her students not our readers.
      This video was the only one she had to create for this lesson. We recommend that you make your own video that explains to your students how to submit their work based on your school’s chosen platform.
      – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

  3. Greg Mueller on May 18, 2021 at 9:11 am

    I am also looking for the screencastify video

    • Teaching With Orff on May 18, 2021 at 6:54 pm

      Hi Greg,
      LeslieAnne did not share her Screencastify video in the post as it contains identifying student information. These are the actual instructions given to her students, so her direction to “watch the Screencastify video below” is directed at her students not our readers.
      This video was the only one she had to create for this lesson. We recommend that you make your own video that explains to your students how to submit their work based on your school’s chosen platform.
      – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

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Jennifer B. believes everything Studio 49 makes is of the highest quality with amazing sound. Never a “dead bar!”