Whistle This!

Today I came across a website for (tin/penny/Irish) whistle players called Whistle This! which is based on an interesting idea: every two weeks a new tune is posted on the site with the sheet music, whistle notation and a recording. Visitors are invited to learn the tunes, record themselves playing them, and to send in their recordings, which others can then listen to and comment on. There is also a forum for whistle and music-related discussion. I plan to start learning the tunes and sending my recordings in, perhaps starting when the next tune is posted.

This concept could possibly be adapted for language learning. Instead of tunes you could have dialogues, extracts from literature, poems or short stories for people to learn, recite and record. Ideally you’d have native or fluent speakers providing the initial recordings. Maybe someone has already thought of this and a site or sites like this already exist, though I haven’t found any yet.

This entry was posted in Language, Language learning, Music.

9 Responses to Whistle This!

  1. That would be a brilliant idea for language learning! I especially think it would be appealing for people to use who are not keen on the idea of arranging face-to-face meetings with people they’ve been matched with on the Internet. That’s been the turnoff for me with a lot of language-learning services on the Internet–I have zero trust in them for security. Posting audio files anonymously would be a whole different ballgame. Heck, it might even help parents who are home-schooling children and would be especially likely to have safety concerns.

    Any idea if anybody is planning to launch something like this? 🙂

  2. parkbench says:

    Why don’t we do it as an omniglot team? I’d be willing to put down the bucks and for serverspace and the time.

    I can see it already–I think ideally, the concept would be something like: pairs would collaborate on an interpretable scene. IE, “two long lost friends meet in a restaurant,” or “a mother and child argue over the remote.”

    I could definitely see it happening. I’m officially, and optimistically, putting my hand in this.

  3. Zachary R. says:

    lol, it’d definitely be an interesting idea! Except, I have no means of recording myself on my computer :/

  4. Duncan says:

    I think this idea is inspired, and will have a look at how to do this – although I see also sorts of technical issues which may occur – not least the bandwidth required.

  5. Ramses says:

    Bandwidth isn’t a big issue, as sound files are pretty small in size and bandwidth is getting cheaper. I’m totally in for such a website, it would be great!

  6. Simon says:

    It’s great to see such enthusiasm for an idea. There’s plenty of space on the omniglot server, and bandwidth isn’t a problem as my monthly bandwidth allowance is 1000GB (a terabyte).

    Zachary – all you need to record yourself on your computer is a microphone. There’s some some advice about this on the Whistle This! site.

    Do any of you know about embeding media players in webpages?

  7. Zachary R. says:

    I know that Simon, but my computer=not suited for modern updates later than ’98 lol.

  8. d.m.falk says:

    Hhhhm reminds me of El Silbo Gomero…… 🙂


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