Using Music in the Classroom
by Alan Haskvitz

In addition to your lessons, make sure you check out all the great free websites that you can use with your students. Here are some great sites that not only have music, but show students how it is created and even how to play certain instruments.
Here are the best sites I have found

General music sites
Classics for Kids
A great site for older students, it has folk music instruments, composers from the past and even games. If you are in the Cincinnati area, you can even have your own radio show.
Creating Music
Try this “online creative music environment.”
Free Kids Music
In alphabetical order; you can play these songs for your class.
PBS Kids Music
This site has both songs and lyrics from the PBS Store — all free.
Sing-Along Songs
Find lots of lyrics in alphabetical order.
Although music has an impact on the mind, little evidence exists showing it improves students’ success overall. However, research does indicate music has benefits in certain situations. Take your pick of the research and do your own study.
Research about music in the classroom
Does Music have an Impact on Students’ Development?
A survey article on positive effects of music
Music Education Can Help Children Improve Reading Skills

Although music has an impact on the mind there is little evidence in improves students success overall. However, it certainly does indicate the music does have some benefits in certain situations. Take your pick of the research and go your own study. In the meantime, here are some great sites that not only have music, but show students how it is created and even how to play certain instruments.

Best music link site

Everything here from sing-along songs to camp fire songs, to composing your own. Four pages of links.


Music for teaching


Music, instruments, and more

Creating Music

Great site where students can learn about most aspects of music, play games and create their own pieces.

Sing-Along Songs

Lost of lyrics in alphabetical order.

Free kids music in alphabetical order

You can play these songs for your class.

This site has both songs and lyrics from the PBS Store.

All free.

A great site for older students. It has folk music instruments, composers from the past, and even games. If you are in the Cincinnati area you can even have your own radio show.

Research about music in the classroom

A survey article on positive effects of music

Harvard Study with mixed results

Article saying it helps students in reading



By Alan Haskvitz, national inservice presenter

Help for teachers of music

and homeschoolers

I have an excellent site that includes lessons and a sheet-music generator—an easy-to-use tutor site. Good links and more.

Virtual field trips

For a complete list of

free teaching resources go to



Be warned: Always remember to check these sites carefully before letting a student use them as they can become a traget of those who want to take advantage of children.

Virtual field trips can enhance learning and provide individualization and recourses not possible otherwise. But be warned that virtual field trips are not uniform in quality. As usual, it is best to preview sites at length to make sure they meet your needs and don’t include links that lead the student elsewhere.

This superior virtual reality site allows students to pretend they are surgeons—very realistic.

Learning Via the Virtual Field Trip
Examples of evaluation rubric for a virtual field trip

Virtual Field Trips
Information outlining good and bad things about them, plus links

There are many more listed below by category.

General sites
Large link sites
Science related sites
Social Studies Related Sites

History, lessons, recipes, study abroad, crafts, and New Years celebrations and education ideas are posted here.


car reviews

Route 66 Sites to See Links
by The Car Family...voted best research automobile review column on the web.

For more car reviews and free educational links go to

If you are planning a trip on Route 66 here are the best links
From the Department of Transportation.
Huge link sites with everything for the traveller.
General Highway History Site
From the data on time periods and highways.
United States Forest Service in Arizona has this short story about the highway and how it got its number.
Updated government study of Route 66
Route 66 Magazine
Mostly commercial, but some handy event guides.
Route 66 Associations:
California Historic Route 66 Association
Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona
National Historic Route 66 Federation
New Mexico Route 66 Association
Oklahoma Route 66 Association
Route 66 Association of Illinois
Route 66 Association of Missouri
Route 66 Weather and City Sites
Texas Old Route 66 Association
Preservation Organizations:
California Route 66 Preservation Foundation
Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program
Virtual tour of Route 66
Route 66: The Television series
Route 66 Dust Bowl
Mainly about the exodus rather than about Route 66.
The Great American Footrace Along Route 66
The most famous race ever. From Los Angeles to New York.

An interesting site. Look at the differences between the Lincoln Highway, Roue 40, and Route 66.

What else, the words to the famous Route 66 theme song.

The Bentley Continental Flying Spur

The Car Family

Internationally syndicated

For more car reviews and free educational links go to
The realization of what you are driving while at the wheel of a Bentley Flying Spur sedan comes the moment you pull up to the stop light and note that the value of the other six cars waiting for the light to change are less than the value of your Bentley. And why not? This is the penultimate sedan. It makes the ponderous Maybach, outlandish Rolls Royce, and indistinguishable
Mercedes-Benz S65 pale in comparison despite the fact that all three cost more. Not to mention that the Bentley is said to be the world’s fastest sedan with a top speed in excess of 190 mph. No amount of Grey Poupon can cover up that performance.

As an owner, you are the man, big daddy, in the catbird’s seat, on top of the world. The Bentley is the hammer and deserves a lane for itself on every highway so the working stiffs of the world can see what they are working towards.

Okay, we were smitten, but why not. This is a family man’s dream. An other worldly fast vehicle that can hold five adults in comfort, has a large cargo bay, a wood and leather interior that is elegantly understated, massaging heated and cooled seats, a V 12 engine that can get you to 100 km in about five seconds, and a stereo that is terrific. All you need to do is pony up the $172,000 (US), extend your gas credit card limit and hide that radar detector.

Mom’s view: The Bentley engine makes the best sound of any vehicle in the world. It is a combination of Orson Wells, Barry White, and James Earl Jones. When parking at night the Bentley is surrounded with puddle lights that make you feel much safer. Did I love driving this creation? You bet. It parks very easily, the valet always places it in front, and the acceleration is smooth and adult. And, just in case you forgot about the famous California crash of an Enzo Ferrari, well that two-seat, million dollar sports car gets to 60 mph about a second quicker and goes 20 miles per hour faster than the Bentley. The Flying Spur sedan is nearly as fast and costs hundreds of thousands less. Of course, obectivity doesn’t matter in cars of this magnitude. However, I wouldn’t want to be the Ferrari owner who spent a goodly amount to own a super car only to find he’s not able to accelerate away from a middle aged woman driving a big sedan who is adjusting her massage seat.

Of course, as any woman knows, nothing manmade is perfect. The car tires are noisy over rough pavement, the Bentley feels and is 5500 pounds heavy, the gauges are difficult to read, and the GPS simply does not work well. Oh, and the worst problem is that I can’t afford one.

 College going male’s view: The Flying Spur is a math trivia fan’s delight. What sedan has 552 horsepower, a V 12 engine, twin turbochargers, 479 lb-ft of torque, all wheel drive, four bi-xenon headlights, a top speed of 194 mph, weighs 5500 pounds, uses 11 cowhides for its interior, has a six speed automatic transmission, 48 valves, 19-inch alloy rims, two batteries in the trunk, does 0 to 60 mph in five seconds, four-zone automatic climate control, holds six CDs in the glove compartment mounted changer, has 16-way power front seats with three-position memory, holds five adults, and is a long 208.9 inches?

The rear seat is the best. You have controls for the seating position you want, your own temperature controls, and the rear windows go down all the way. There are even side and side curtain airbags all around. The car’s heating and cooling system is quiet and efficient and with all wheel drive this car could be used in the winter without any loss of comfort. In fact, if I owned it I would drive it everyday, especially since the three year warranty has unlimited mileage coverage. Of all the cars in the world, the Bentleys appeal to me the most and I didn’t have to go to college to figure that out.

Young working woman’s view: “Want to go for a drive in my Bentley?” Come on ladies, who is not going to have to check that out? It appeal is not in its understated design, but the uniqueness and how comfortable it is to be with. Feeling troubled? A quick, and I mean seriously quick, ride to the mall and your problems dissolve before you reach the shoe section. I love the massaging seats, but most of all I like the way it sounds. Undeniably, Bentley has all the traits of a perfect mate.

Dad’s view: Nearly invisible to the masses, the Bentley Flying Spur is quite capable of creating a new generation of A type personalities with its effortless power. Two levers in back of the steering wheel can control the transmission. It becomes positively addictive to seamless downshift the big sedan from speed or maximize its power with upshifts using these paddle shifters. This is a world-class transmission, and, for that matter, a world-class power train. We seldom recorded over 15 mpg, but at least we knew that we were getting full value for those petrodollars. The Bentley has several ride controls, lowers itself at high speeds, and accelerates like a jet. The trunk is easy to open, holds a massive amount of Big Bertha clubs, and only the placement of the cupholders and ignition key on the left side of the steering wheel provided bothersome. Of course, with time this wouldn’t be a problem to master. Overall, one of the world’s truly great cars and a bargain, too boot.

It has a slow and deliberate pace when just starting out, almost as if someone left the electronically activated parking brake on. Once under way in commuter traffic it plods along diligently. The tire noise can be masked with the superb stereo, but the reality is the wide grippy rubber is just doing its job. If you want quiet switch them out, but don’t expect the same handling prowess. By the way, there are four setting for the suspension system which you control from the dash monitor. We kept it on comfort for most of the time and when we did challenge the road we set it for a firmer ride and there was absolutely no lean on corners. For a car this large this is remarkable. The more I drove it the smaller it seemed to be.

Due to time constraints only once did I really explore its potential and I was a little disappointed. It just simply went fast, very fast, with little or no sensation of speed. Jet like acceleration is the only comparable feeling. Yes, we test tuners and Corvettes and even AMG and M products from Mercedes and BMW respectively, but none have the fluid and linear acceleration of this sedan.

When we were coming back from our photo session we had to pull over five lanes to get to our off ramp. It is one of those highways designed by people who never expected cars to actually use them. Anyway, I cautiously checked my side mirror and noticed a nice opening. Hitting the turn signals and not the shift paddles for a change (they are very close to one another), I floored the Bentley and felt essentially nothing until I looked at the rear view mirror. I was shocked. It looked like everyone had stopped behind me until I looked down at the speedometer and noticed that I was doubling their speed. I quickly let off the accelerator and blended into traffic. I was sold. This is a jewel. And, the brakes are every bit as good as the engine and the resale is probably going to be even better.

Family conference: If you can afford it, the Bentley Flying Spur is a must have. This is the best car in the world for those who enjoy driving, have the need to carry five adults and all their luggage, and find a perverse thrill in being able to fly under the radar. It is heavy on its feet, but once you get used to that it is unmatched for comfort and speed. With Bentley announcing its new convertible, this would be a great time to get on that waiting list too. For a list of vehicle websites go to and click on business.