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Sound Effects in eLearning: Top 8 Sample Music Sites

One of the important aspects of elearning development is music. Many instructional designers add music and/or other sound effects to make their elearning courses more interesting for learners. Music is the language of emotions. Most of us love music, as it eases tension and anxiety. So, why don’t we provide background music and/or other sound effects in our elearning courses? This will engage learners throughout the course, add an element of fun, and also increase learners’ attention.

It is also important to remember, we should add music and/or sound effects only when they enhance the learning experience. The unnecessary use of music and/or sound effects can result in poor learning experiences, as it affects the ability of learners to process information.

In this post, I would like to share 8 websites where instructional designers can find music for their elearning courses; helping them enhance the learning experience.

  1. Freesound.orgThey aim to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, and so on, and all sounds fall under a Creative Commons license. You can browse the sounds in new ways using keywords, a “sounds-like” type of browsing, and more, to find the best effects for your elearning course. 
  2. Free Music Archive (FMA): The FMA is an interactive library of high-quality legal audio downloads, which is run by the WFMU. WFMU is the most renowned free form radio station in America. Here you can find enough stock music to choose from for your elearning courses and also free music files. 
  3. Audionautix: All music in this online collection is created by Jason Shaw and released under the Creative Commons License 3.0. You are free to use the music (even for commercial purposes) as long as you provide a link to this website from yours OR credit them with the acknowledgement, “music by”. Music must be part of other created works and NO further permission is required. 
  4. iBeat is a production music repository that contains free instrumental music downloads under progressive Creative Commons licensing. This means some are in the public domain, some are available for commercial use under attribution, and most under a non-commercial license.
  5. PacDV: PacDV offers free music and sound effects to use in your videos, films, audio, and multimedia projects. The tracks are organized by mood or emotion such as lonely, mellow, serious, sweet, energetic, and so on. All they ask is that if you use their tracks, you link back to their site or mention them in your credits. 
  6. ccMixter: This is a community music remixing site, where you can find a lot of music samples that fall under the Creative Commons license. You just need to keep in mind that some songs might have certain restrictions, depending on their specific license, and each submission should be marked clearly with the license that applies to it. 
  7. Partners In Rhyme: Partners In Rhyme has been delivering royalty free music online since 1996 and you can find all sorts of great stuff here. Some of the royalty free music on this website costs money, but they’ve got a selection of free music loops and full-length tracks for free download as well. 
  8. Audio Archive: Here you can find a library that contains recordings ranging from alternative news programming, to Grateful Dead concerts, to Old Time Radio shows. Many of these audios and MP3s are available for free download.

The proper use of music and/or other sound effects enhances the effectiveness of elearning courses and delivers memorable learning experiences. Always remember it is important to add music and/or sound effects only when they result in better learning experiences.

Hope you liked this post. If you know any other music sites not included in our list, we would really appreciate if you leave a comment with a link!

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