Setting Music Free

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Question: I'm trying to make sure my students don't use copyrighted music in their presentations, but where can I look to find alternatives?

The IT Guy says:
Finding good copyright-free music to use in videos and multimedia presentations can be difficult, but it's important for students to understand that it's necessary for their work to be "exportable." You can get away with the Celine Dion song in your video if you're only going to play it back in the classroom or watch on your home computer, but if you want to be able to use it in the History Day competition or upload to TeacherTube, you need a legal alternative.

Two websites that I have been using are Jamendo and Opsound. Both provide music that has been licensed through what's called the Creative Commons. There are different levels of licensing, but virtually all the songs on these sites can be used so long as the artist is given credit, and you don't commercially profit from the project you create. (Jamendo does a great job of putting the exact licensing terms on each album's download page.) The two sites contain thousands of songs in dozens of genres, and if anything provide almost too much to choose from!

One word of caution, however—you will find all the same kinds of music and album covers here that you would find in a regular record store, which means you probably need to do some pre-screening of music for your students at school, or potentially need to do some downloading at home because of in-district filtering.

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