Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to receive some tips from technology wiz Katie Wardrobe, including this absolute gem of a site, Groove Pizza.
Run through MusED labs, Groove Pizza is a beat simulator that is extremely user-friendly, with appealing graphics for kids and (most importantly) the finished product is exportable for assessment purposes!
I have loved using this to allow my students to explore music technology through an inquiry-based learning approach (that certainly ticks off a few curriculum boxes for me, I don't know about you!) and has proved to be highly engaging, even bringing in my few surly football types who have been reluctant singers thus far.
As you can see from the graphic above, the simulator is presented like a pizza, cut into 16 slices (although this number is editable, to allow for different time signatures, yay!) and features an outer, middle and inner ring (think bass drum, snare and cymbal - although these features can also be altered!)
Students can create different beat patterns simply by activating different slices, or they can choose from a number of pre-set grooves. The "style" (ie. instrumentation) in which this groove is played can be altered, as can the tempo, swing, volume and time signature.
The finished product can be downloaded, emailed, tweeted and more!