Sunday, April 7, 2013

Royalty-free Music for School Projects

I've been thinking quite a lot this spring about how to teach students (and teachers!) copyright law as it applies to school. I'm concerned that many teachers don't know enough about copyright and how to model good practices for how to use materials and media appropriately. I've written before about finding good graphic resources that teachers and students can use for projects, but how about other media resources?

Thanks to my Twitterfriend, Sean Junkins (@sjunkins) for sharing this great resource for royalty-free music for school projects.

Royalty Free Music by Incompetech is provided by Kevin MacLeod, a musician who shares music he has written for free on his website. If you read through the FAQ on the page, he explains his philosophy for this sharing. He recognizes the need for high quality media--such as these songs--for students to use, but many schools simply don't have the resources to afford the high costs of licensing music properly according to copyright law. Since the costs for him are very low, he is willing to share this fantastic resource under a Creative Commons license--basically giving away the music for free so long as you credit him as the source. Pretty fantastic, isn't it? (Thanks, Kevin!)

The site allows you to search for a song by genre (rock? polka? disco?), by "feel" (eerie? relaxed? aggressive?), or even by keyword (I tried "banjo" and "atonal" and "orchestra" and got at least one result for each of these.) TONS of music available here!

Image by foilman (CC BY-SA 2.0) 
The music is downloadable in .mp3 format and can be used freely for any project. I'm thinking of student filmmaking or digital storytelling projects, where having background music can be a good thing but students might not have the skills to create their own songs. All that is required to use these songs is an attribution to the source; information about how to do this properly can be found here.

If you have students doing these kinds of projects, this might be a perfect resource for you and your students--check it out!


  1. Video makers and sound designers needs royalty free music for games. This is what they need.

  2. Finding free, legal music for school projects can be difficult but a one of the more common misconceptions about royalty-free music and sound effects is that they are always free to use in your production.

  3. Yes I totally agree. Great aricle!!

  4. My favorite is a rather obscure site
    They have some great songs.

  5. Music Screen website has a great collection of music and it is provided to schools for free under Creative Commons Licence. Checkout Music Screen website for free music.