top of page


Join date: May 5, 2023



I am always looking for engaging ways to get students to listen to classical music with the same excitement I see when they listen to popular music samples in class! Thanks to the folks at the NYU Music Experience Lab (MusEDLab), there's a website called Variation Playground that can help create an authentic engagement with classical music with a little technology.

MusEDLab researches and designs new technologies and experiences for music making, creative learning and engagement with students, educators, non-profit and industry partners. If you haven't heard of this group, you might have heard of another project they created called Groove Pizza. For more ideas on how to use this free tech tool, check out this previous blog post.

MusEDLab’s Variation Playground is an interactive platform designed to coordinate with the New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts. Each playground gives students the opportunity to interact with different elements and explore their own musical ideas based on 3 well-known artists and songs: visit:

Benjamin Britten A Young Man's Guide to the Orchestra

Felix Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream: Music of Two Worlds

Antonín Dvořák's New World Symphony

As soon as you go to the site, time seems to disappear. There are so many options and so many things to try! All are free of course!

I also love that each playground can be shared back with the teacher once the students have finished creating. Student composers can share their creations locked, meaning everyone they link to gets a new copy, or unlocked, meaning the link can be updated. They can also add a description that appears when someone else opens the link, explaining their choices, thinking, or any other information you might want them to include.

Three ways to use variation pitches in your music classroom

Variation pitches can be intentionally added to your lesson plans, not only to engage students in classical music, but also to support the goals you are already teaching in your music classroom! Here are three natural connections and places this website would be a perfect fit to incorporate into your lesson plans.

New music download

New music download

More actions
bottom of page