The best royalty free Creative Commons music site for teachers and students

Inevitably at conferences or online people always ask, “Where do your kids get the music for their projects?”  While there are many sites offering “free” creative commons music, my class usually only uses one–Incomptech by Kevin MacLeod.  It is a site that has provided the music for 100’s of my kids videos.  Many have the music cited properly as Scott has requested…and many, many videos do not because they were made when we were just starting with digital storytelling and simply throwing someones music into the background to perfect the video.

Music is so important in videos.  Try watching a movie without the music in the background.  Try watching a video with fuzzy music and audio, or one with the improperly selected music. Can you imagine Star Wars without John Williams soundtrack?

I always tell my kids you do not want your first choice for music in your video.  as soon as your video starts and Lady Ga-Ga starts where will the viewers attention go??  Great movies soundtracks amplify a viewer emotions, and often dictate them.  I take my kids through the steps of picking music that adds value to their video.  At the beginning of the year they always play possible songs while watching the video.  In the beginning they can’t separate the fact that they would never listen to the song by itself versus is the song perfect companion for the video?  On Incomptech they inevitably always find the perfect song (although not always the one I would have picked!)

On Incomptech they can search by genre, feel, and can also see the beats per minute.  They are easy to download and there is a spot where you can click and copy exactly what Scott would like in the credits.  I love the cut and paste aspect of giving credit–it is easy to make sure the kids do it right.

cc music

While I have never met Scott, I have this weird appreciation for what he has offered my class for free over the years.  He has given my kids an easy way to make their videos sound more professional.  He has added class to my class and doesn’t even know it.

The other day while digging around on the site I noticed he is doing a Kickstarter campaign.

Without asking my budget consultant I clicked on the pledge button (Aimee, it’s awesome karma, just take it out of the food budget line this month).  I have really gotten to the point on the internet where I am now willing to pay for quality.  Since Scott puts out quality work for free I think this is the perfect opportunity.  I know I am not alone in using Scott’s work, just last week at Edcampseacoast a teacher featured the site during the smackdown.

So if you haven’t used Scott’s site I highly recommend it.  If you do use it please consider pledging to his Kickstarter Documentary.  This post is not endorsed by him or the filmmaker, it is simply a post reminding you to used quality music in your kids videos, cite it properly, and give back when able (Shhhh–that’s not really true.  I am actually writing it to attract the attention of the filmmaker hoping that he will interview one of my kids for the video to represent all the school kids out there using Scott’s music).

Here are some quick examples of my kids using Scott’s music in their videos:

And we even use his music when slapping our family videos together 🙂

Used for the intro & outros in all my daughter’s team videos:

Watch this video with his music on and off (music on and you’ll watch more than 60 secs!)

And who could ever forget my common core video before common core was a household word 🙂