Adding Music and Sound to your Videos

A great soundtrack can really add to your movie or animation. Music can create feelings in the mind of your viewer, whether it is a feeling of tension or joy, it can help to create the emotions you wish to evoke. Sound effects can add an extra dimension to your video and help you to tell your story.

Music is copyrighted and this copyright is normally owned by the composer, performer or record company that has released the track. To use this music in your video you would need to pay money known as ‘royalties’ to the copyright owner or pay for a license which would allow you to use this music.

As this cost is beyond most young filmmakers and schools, there are many “royalty-free’ music and sound effects websites, that allow you to download music and sound effects either for free or for a one-off payment. Here are a few to get your started:

Free Sound Effects

royalty free music and sound

Free sound effects for personal use:


Free sound effects:


Paid Sound Effects

Paid (subscription):

Royalty Free Music

Free Royalty Free Music

Free royalty-free music for personal use:


Free and paid licenses:


Paid Royalty Free Music

Low price royalty free music:


The following two sites are more expensive but have very high quality tracks:


Paid (yearly subscription)


  • Note: Free sites (and sometimes paid sites) will often ask that you give a credit or “attribution” when you use the music on the internet or when showing your movies publicly. It is best to check the license details for the website or for the individual track before you download it, of how the copyright owner would like to be credited.


Lotti Kershaw is a former integration aide/education support officer who has a background in broadcast television Learn filmmaking from an industry professionaland runs her own video production company. She started Rock Paper Video to teach filmmaking and animation skills to children, so they can tell their own stories and make their own movies.

She is passionate about bringing video, special effects and animation into schools, and linking her incursions and resources to required curriculum outcomes, enabling teachers to teach media arts and cross-curricular activities through filmmaking. 

Lotti has worked in broadcast television in the UK, on programs for the BBC and major network television channels. She has credits on various TV programs, and has worked in many genres including documentary, drama, music, entertainment, live talk shows, reality TV, music programs and feature film, at different stages of the production process from pre-production to post production and even broadcast.

Rock Paper Video runs film making and animation workshops for children. See our latest workshops here