Artificial intelligence has become a hot topic recently and many people, educators included, are wondering, is this something we could and should be using? While that’s a loaded question, in this blog post I’ll share some popular AI tools along with a couple of suggestions for how music educators might use them. From there, it’s up to you to try them, experiment, and decide for yourself!
ChatGPT took the world by storm when it was launched November 2022 because of its wide range of capabilities. While not the first chatbot available, it was initially the most sophisticated. In basic terms, a chatbot is a computer program that simulates human conversation. Now, ChatGPT is one of several popular chatbots available, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
- ChatGPT was developed by OpenAI and is available as both free and paid versions. In the free version, ChatGPT is limited to information prior to 2021.
- Bard is Google’s AI chatbot. Bard can reference real-time internet searches, so in some instances, it is more accurate than ChatGPT.
- Bing Chat was created by Microsoft as a chatbot for their search engine. Bing is free to use, but you need to use the Microsoft Edge browser. There is a “Bing for All Browsers” extension, but it requires a Microsoft account for use.
- Pi AI is a chatbot that prioritizes conversation as opposed to productivity. Pi will help you find motivation, plan for an event or activity, prepare for an important conversation, or just vent!
Music-Specific Artificial Intelligence
There are several artificial intelligence tools that cater to musicians! They can generate music, isolate instrument and vocal tracks, and more. Here are a few options:
- Splitter AI can extract vocals, drums, piano, bass, guitar, and other instrument parts from uploaded audio files.
- Ecrett will create royalty free music. Users start by choosing a scene, mood, and genre, then can adjust the tempo and volume. Music can be created for free, but an account is needed to download or save.
- Moises is another tool that can isolate and separate instrument and vocal tracks in a song. It can also change the tempo and key. A Moises Teacher app is available.
- LALAL.AI is similar to Splitter and Moises in that it will separate and extract vocal, accompaniment, and instrumental tracks from a song.
- Sounddraw will generate royalty free music. Users select the song length and tempo, then choose from various moods, genres, and themes. A paid subscription is required to download and save any created music.
- LyricLabLite is a fun tool that will generate song lyrics and a chord progression! Choose the song’s mood and theme, select a style, and key, and LyricLab takes care of the rest. Additional features are available with a paid subscription.
- Eduaide was created just for teachers! It can help you create lessons, units, a syllabus, rubrics, SEL activities, ice breakers, and more. There is also a content generator, though music is not currently an option.
- QuestionWell will help teachers generate questions for students. Copy and paste a reading passage into QuestionWell and it will create multiple choice questions that can be used as-is or imported into Kahoot, Quizizz, Canvas, and more. A paid subscription provides even more options.
- AutoClassmate is another lesson planning tool that also can generate activities and would you rather questions. According to the website, there are additional features coming soon.
- Goblin Tools has many uses. It can break down tasks into a manageable to-do list, help formalize writing, estimate how long a task will take, and even plan meals based on available ingredients!
Other Notable AI Tools
- Canva Text to Image will generate an image based on a text description. Type what you want to see, and Canva will create it.
- Duet AI in Google Workspace embeds an AI tool in the various Google Workspace apps. It can help you write, visualize, and organize content. These features aren’t available to all users yet, but you can sign up on their website to gain access.
How Can Music Teachers Use AI?
There are numerous ways music teachers could use Artificial Intelligence in their classrooms and for personal use. Here are a few ideas:
- Lesson planning – use AI to generate ideas for lesson plans or sub plans. Teachers will still need to adjust the plans to meet the needs of their curriculum and students, but this can be a helpful starting point.
- Writing – use a chatbot to compose emails or other written communications. Tell the chatbot any details and important information, and it will compose the email for you.
- Summarizing – copy and paste a large amount of text into a chatbot and ask it to summarize. You can even specify an age or grade level that will read the summary.
- Use one of the music generators to create a soundtrack for student-created videos
- Use one of the track isolators to separate tracks to use for a remix project
- Song writing – a chatbot can create song titles or lyrics about a specified topic. Or have the chatbot create the first two lines of a song and students can create the rest.
- Use an image generator to create an image that will inspire a musical composition
- Have students choose a section of a piece, come up with words to describe it, and use an image generator to create an image based on those words. Extend this activity by having the rest of the class guess which piece/section is being described by the image.
There are important things to keep in mind when using Artificial Intelligence. First, it’s not always accurate. Chatbots have been known to make up information, and can rarely cite their sources. It’s a good idea to double check any information provided by a chatbot. For most of the AI tools, an account must be created. For this reason, most are not suitable for students under 13 years old. Before using any AI tool with students of any age, check with your school tech coordinators about any policies and rules. In situations where you are considering using an AI tool with students, adult supervision is never a bad idea.
That being said, AI can be helpful in making certain tasks easier, which can give us more time and energy to spend on things that are truly important. As I said earlier, I recommend you experiment, try it, and see what happens!
Additional resources about AI in education
- Chat GPT and AI in Education – from Holly Clark
- 5 Time-saving Hacks for Music Teachers Using ChatGPT and AI – from Midnight Music
- ChatGPT – from Amy M. Burns
- ChatGPT & AI: An Optimistic Outlook for Music Education – from Midnight Music
- Chat GPT For Busy Band Directors – from Lesley Moffat
- The AI Teacher – free eBook by Emma Pass