PINT-SIZED MUSICAL FUN FOR ELEMENTARY AND BEYONDBy Laura B. Whitmore
Shown above: LeapFrog FLY Fusion products
Here’s a cool, little product that can equal big fun in your elementary or middle school classroom – and it takes up no room at all! It’s from LeapFrog, a company known for bringing fun to learning. The FLY Fusion Pentop Computer is a small, pen-shaped device that can be turned into an all-out music learning, recording and playing tool using additional, inexpensive Music Studio PRO software and a palette that is printed on a notebook cover.
How is that possible, you may wonder? The FLY Fusion has tones built right in, and like much of LeapFrog’s other innovative products, the pen is mapped to what’s printed on the palette. It behaves in such a way that you can select sounds and tap keys to play new melodies, create rhythms and even record up to four tracks of music. It’s a great tool for introducing students to not only the building blocks of music, like rhythm and melody, but also the concepts behind multi-track recording, looping and even scratching.
This easy-to-hold product is especially fun for new music learners. They can take turns tapping along to rhythm patterns, building melodies with different sounds, or naming notes on the piano keyboard. Older students can set rhythmic loops going and play in bass and melody parts to record and save songs.
I handed the pen to my seven-year-old son and after scratching on the turntable for a few minutes and making a whole lot of noise, he settled in to tapping out familiar melodies on the keyboard. He was especially intrigued by the variety of sounds and how he could slide across and connect them with ease. He could play with the pen much faster than with his fingers on an actual keyboard. He even figured out the multi-track recorder and set to creating some original, crazy compositions.
My 12-year-old daughter took the pen in hand and immediately started tapping out the melody to Beethoven’s Fur Elise, the latest piece she had been learning on the piano. But she was soon attracted to the many beats that are available at a touch and the fact that the tempo could be easily adjusted. When they ended up fighting over who would use it next, I knew the FLY Fusion had potential.
Music Studio PRO palettes
Here are some ideas for using the FLY Fusion Pentop Computer in your music classroom or in the general classroom for a weekly music lesson. Remember, you can put the Music Studio PRO palettes on your projector so that all the students can see what’s going on.
- Clap rhythmic patterns and have students take turns echoing them back using the percussion instruments on the Rhythm Box Palette.
- Talk about the different instruments and their sounds. Have one student play some notes using a sound on the synthesizer and other students guess the sound.
- Talk about the different notes on the piano keyboard. Allow students to select a sound and play the notes that you call out. Then, let a student become the teacher. Project the palette so all students can see, have a student come up and play a note and the remaining students call out its name.
- Listen to the rhythm loops on the Rhythm Box and discuss what’s different about them. What instruments do they contain? What makes the sound different from each other? Have students take turns selecting a rhythm and tap a percussion instrument or play a melody along with it.
- Explain the concept of recording using multiple tracks. Teach students different simple melodies or rhythmic patterns and let them take turns playing or tapping the building blocks for a composition. Save the songs in the nine locations in the Digital Recorder section.
Plus, don’t forget that the FLY Fusion Pentop Computer has other applications too, including a French and Spanish translator, writing, Math, test prep and much more!
LeapFrog FLY Fusion Music Bundle
Turn your FLY Fusion Pentop Computer into an all-out music learning, recording, and playing tool with this bundle that includes Music Studio PRO software.
FLY Fusion Music Bundle BUY NOW... Only $0.00
LeapFrog FLY Fusion Notebooks
Digitize and store whatever you write in these powerful notebooks. Tiny dots on each page enable your FLY Fusion Pentop Computer to respond to your notes, drafts and even drawings to capture them for upload.
FLY Fusion™ Notebooks BUY NOW... Only $0.00
LeapFrog FLY Fusion Carrying Case
Carry your FLY Fusion Pentop Computer safely and in style with this specially designed carrying case.
FLY Fusion™ Carrying Case BUY NOW... Only $0.00