Transferring skills and habits from music classes to other contents and life
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Education World: Teaching the Mathematics of Music

Education World: Teaching the Mathematics of Music | Transferring skills and habits from music classes to other contents and life | Scoop.it
Could music exist without mathematics?...

In this short article, Chad Criswell addresses how possible it is to combine music and math into an effective lesson, simply because so much of music is based in math. Beginning with teaching the relationship between math and music, he starts by breaking down the beats within a bar of music further and further, combining division with rhythmic length. Then, you can use these musical terms or knowledge to teach mathematical concepts. For example, addition and fractions can be taught by adding different beats together. The truly wonderful thing about this concept is thateverything is based in 4/4 time, which is the most common time signature in music, as well as the time signature in which almost all pop music is based. This means that there is an almost infinite amount of music that could be used to teach these concepts with which the students would relate and hear quite often.

There is also a link attached that sends you to many free music worksheets that address both this concept as many others. However, it would appear that the link is broken, inhibiting some further progress.

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Cross Curricular Music Lesson Plans & Worksheets Reviewed by Teachers

Find cross curricular music lesson plans and teaching resources. Quickly find teacher resources that inspire student learning.

This website is a huge and valuable resource to any teacher, and a quick search narrowed the site so that it fits my topic perfectly. After searching for "cross curricular music," this site provided a total of 117 lesson plans that address music and other contents simultaneously. These lesson plans address everything from creating your own musical instrument from scratch, to American Indian Flute and Math, to lessons on Michael Jackson. Even if these lessons don't fit your needs exactly, they could easily lead you to ideas that might be perfect for using music to help address other contents more effectively.

In addition to the lesson plans, this resource also helps to find worksheets and articles relating to the topic you search for.

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cross curricular connections

cross curricular connections | Transferring skills and habits from music classes to other contents and life | Scoop.it
cross curricular connections...

This website provides resources that connect music to communication arts, math, scienc, history, and foreign languages because each of these contents are naturally a part of the study of music. I believe the intent of this website is for music teachers to find ways to connect to other contents, but I do not see why this could not be reversed as a way to connect students to better connect to these contents as well. The site also states how "Music is an emotional hok, which can create lasting memories and support schema."

I think that this site is geared more towards middle school levels than high school, however, many of these sources are mature enough for high school. For example, the site on "Fractions in sound" in the math section and many of the sceience resources are very complex and interesting to play with.

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Thematically Linked Integrated Assessment Tasks (General Audience)

Out of Maryland Fine Arts Education, we have an instructional tool kit which provides concrete examples of activities and units which integrate the arts with history, science, and other contents. The music example anaylzes the Great Migration in the United States through the influence of the blues, even allowing students to compose their own blues songs by the end of the unit. By analyzing this style of music, students also analyze the culture and lifestyle of African Americans during this historical period, providing context for their musical endeavors. Additionally provided are dance, theatre, and visual arts activities. Although it suggests that these activities are for 8th graders, I think it could be applied in high school or at least serve as a great example of how to use music to teachother contents.

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Tod Machover and Dan Ellsey play new music | Video on TED.com

TED Talks Tod Machover of MIT's Media Lab is devoted to extending musical expression to everyone, from virtuosos to amateurs, and in the most diverse forms, from opera to video games. He and composer Dan Ellsey shed light on what's next.

 

This is a remarkable video in which Tod Machover discusses ways that he is bringing music to all people. However, in the second half of the video, he allows Dan Ellsey, a 34 year old man with cerebral palsy to come on to the stage, and show how they have found a way to allow him to compose and connect with music. The majority of my curation sources have come down to a common theme: music is something with which we all somehow connect. Therefore, I would suggest taking what is presented in this video, and flipping it. Instead of bringing music to everyone, could music be an effective way through which we could connect other contents to our students? It is very possible that music provides the personal connection required to acquire meaningful understanding, perhaps even with our students with disabilities. 

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Music Education Can Help Children Improve Reading Skills

Music Education Can Help Children Improve Reading Skills | Transferring skills and habits from music classes to other contents and life | Scoop.it
Children exposed to a multi-year program of music tuition involving training in increasingly complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers,...

This article goes beyond the simple "music makes you smarter" concept by focusing in on vocabulary and verbal sequencing and piano instruction. Piro and Ortiz of Long Island University go farther in their research when they found that students who have had music instruction didn't necessarily have significantly higher test scores than their control group. They conclude with three hypotheses: first, because the children were tested after a holiday break, there is the chance that the absence of any music instruction for a length of time may reverse temporary benefits; second, a longer amount of music study may be needed to witness results; third, when the music instruction occured may be crucial (i.e. during times when there is more significant brain growth). Ultimately, Piro and Ortiz realize a significant concept - when to teach may be more important than what to teach in regards to "associative cognitive substrates", or how music may assist cognitive development in other areas of education.

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Music as a Language - Victor Wooten

Music as a Language - Victor Wooten | Transferring skills and habits from music classes to other contents and life | Scoop.it
Music is a powerful communication tool--it causes us to laugh, cry, think and question.

This mini lesson by Victor Wooten is very thought provoking, no matter what your chosen profession is. Similar to many other sources I have curated, he discusses how music works as a language, specifically comparing it to learning how to speak as a child, and while playing Amazing Grace in the background (which, by the way, is based in the pentatonic scale used by Bobby McFerrin in one of my other posts). Wooten talks about how for too long, music teachers have focused on telling their students what to play, instead of just letting them play and make mistakes. As babies, all of our mistakes in language were amazing and encouraged as a part of our acquisition of language. We were also conversing with adults (professionals), and not with other bables. This doubles understanding in how children who are raised in musical families tend to be better musicians (they are raised around those who are better, and thus learn through observation and interaction). This is a principal that could probably be applied throughout every content, encouraging students to push through and learn from mistakes, as well as keeping up with those who are more experienced and can teach so much.

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The_Premise_of_Learning_Through_Music.pdf

This article from the Journal for Learning Through Music provides examples of famous people who believe that music had a profound effect on their careers, as well as reasons they believe music has benefits in other contents, especially math and reading skills. For example, Albert Einstein was a violin player, and said that music was an important factor in many of his scientific thoughts. Bill Clinton believed that music was an aspect of education that promoted dedication to learn in other contents. 

Additionally, the article provides evidence of how music works to benefit improvement across contents. Music requires you to intpret a different symbolic language, is present in many interdisciplinary mediums, and encourages both social and emotional development moreso than many other contents.

 

 

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JSTOR: Music Educators Journal, Vol. 51, No. 4 (Feb. - Mar., 1965), pp. 176-178

This article from the Music Educators Journal makes many valid points regarding diversity in the classroom, as well as the relationship between musical skills and language skills. Ultimately, general music teachers are limited by the facets that define their school. In certain situations, they will be fortunate enough to work with more fortunate students. Other times, socio-economic difficulty may place certain limitations in their students' abilities or knowledge. While it is important to always bear these factors in mind, it is possible that by focusing on the language aspects of the music you are teaching, you may be able to help improve students' language use and literacy. Additionally, you will be able to use these language specifications to make important connections to proper musical knowledge and technique. 

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SchellenbergConclusionsConfusions.pdf

This essay discusses three conclusions regarding music lessons and intellectual abilities, as well as three questions that remain to be answered. The three conclusions discussed are the fact that taking music lessons has become positively connected with academic abilities, these connections are general instead of specficic, and that music lessons actually are not connected to social skills. The author notes that while these connections are noticeable, they are small enough that they may be insignificant. Next, the three questions present very interesting points. Mainly, the author asks why "real musicians" seem to fall behind others when being tested on measures of intelligence; whether the progress of connection moves from music lessons to intelligence or vice versa; and whether music lessons are connected to any general cognitive mechanisms. The ultimate answer to all of these questions is that the results are too small or unclear to give a specific answer, and that more research should be done to hopefully address these unknowns.

 

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Learning Through the Arts

This source addresses how learning through all of the arts (visual, auditory, kinetic) can be beneficial to personal development. The section specifically on music makes many interesting points and provides cultural examples that directly relate to education and life skills. First, the author points out that a large number of engineers are also practicing musicians. He also adds that there are potentially similar higher brain processes connecting some of the math done by engineers and music. Research also suggests that there may be spacial reasoning required to be successful at music, which also affects other subjects.

 

Culturally, the author discusses how India's graduate rate may be affected by the number of children that listen to ragas while growing. Additionally, a Japanese teacher discusses how having the children sing songs "elevates their powers of understanding." There is also the benefit of needing to work with others in order to prepare a piece, and the amount of practice and social attention it takes to work together for a perfomance. 

 

Finally, this source mentions the benefits of starting a piece from the beginning, and practicing it all the way through the final performance, and seeing the results of your work. Throughout the section on music, there are specific examples of non-music classroom teachers who use music to enhance their class experiences.

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Theory: Music underlies language acquisition

Theory: Music underlies language acquisition | Transferring skills and habits from music classes to other contents and life | Scoop.it
(Medical Xpress)—Contrary to the prevailing theories that music and language are cognitively separate or that music is a byproduct of language, theorists at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music and the University of Maryland, College Park...

This is a very cool article suggesting that music is actually a key factor in the development of language. The main argument made is that we "...listen first to the sounds of language and only later to its meaning." Without the ability to recognize and discriminate purely sound (with music being defined as simply organized sound), we would have no real way of developing our ability to communicate within our structured languages. Thus, it follows that there could easily be a connection between music and english courses, or simply between music and communication in general. Sound variety is very important in all stages of life.

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FRONTLINE/WORLD . Educators . Activities . Cross-Curricular . Music | PBS

On this website, PBS offers three lesson activities which all relate culture and history to music. The first activity focuses on experiencing the music of Mexico by analyzing their ballads, and discussing their cultural significance.
The second activity addresses how North Korea used music as propaganda and to reach specific social goals. Along with listening to certain songs, students discuss the implications and influences of the songs on social constructs and politics.
The final activity focuses in on the music of Iceland, focusing not only on cultural factors, but also how the music and ecomonics of different cultures affect each other. Finally, this lesson also draws in environmental factors that may affect the sounds that musicians create.

All of these activities contain links to external videos or articles that may be used to further enhance student engagement and learning.

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Across the curriculum: Trumpeting the learning message

Across the curriculum: Trumpeting the learning message | Transferring skills and habits from music classes to other contents and life | Scoop.it
Of all the ways to learn the "être" verbs in French, compiling sound clips of footsteps is not the most obvious.

This article from "The Independent" cites several more examples of teachers who are using music in other contents in order to better teach their concepts. First, at the Judd School in Kent, a teacher is using music software to make a series of sound effects which match the "etre" verbs in a French song. In wes London, a class is learning about the physics of sound by playing their own instruments into microphones and recording themselves in order to analyze the sound waves, as well as to compare the differences between musical concepts (i.e. loud and soft, or high and low). One final example is how a teacher has their students making a soundtrack to a video showing the courses of a river, which is part of a long geography curriculum.

All of the teachers in these examples discuss how these projects are much more fun and engaging for the students, improving their learning and recollection of the material thorughout the year. Additionally, the teachers acknowledge that sometimes thinking of students as simply visual, auditory, or kinaesthetic learners does not always work. However, cross-disciplinary strategies help quite a bit, even if it is by helping students "learn how to learn".

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A+ Schools Infuse Arts and Other 'Essentials'

A+ Schools Infuse Arts and Other 'Essentials' | Transferring skills and habits from music classes to other contents and life | Scoop.it
The networks, soon to be in four states, are guided by such "essentials" as the arts, teacher collaboration, and experiential learning.

Out of Oklahoma comes a wonderful example of the positive benefits of integrating the arts across the curriculum: the Oklahoma A+ Schools network. This article from Education Week details how the schools in this network use the arts, aligned curriculum, experiential learning, multiple intelligences, enriched and ongoing assessment, intentional teacher collaboration, organized infrastructure, and a stress free climate to create positive results for their students.

Some examples listed in the article are how students learn math by counting their steps in dance class, or how students chant and clap with poetry in English class. Some of the teachers and administrators in these A+ schools do admit that it is difficult to make the change into this type of curriculum, because you really need to produce results in order for people to believe it. However, these schools ARE producing the results, and it is a great example of the effect that arts integration can have on test scores and student engagement.

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Integrating Art Across the Curriculum | ECB Surf Report

Integrating Art Across the Curriculum | ECB Surf Report | Transferring skills and habits from music classes to other contents and life | Scoop.it
Integrating art across the curriculum: websites for teachers and students.

Provided by the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, this website provides links to other websites which teachers can use to teach their contents through art. There are more geared towards elementary and middle schools than high schools, but the ones that are designed for the high school level look very interesting. One sight analyzes the work of Leonardo daVinci through his art and science. Other sights lead to museums which examine artifacts and art to relate to history. One sight even explores economics by allowing students to create their own monetary system. Every resource seems to be a very engaging way to teach students various contents through arts integration.

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Piano Lessons

Piano Lessons | Transferring skills and habits from music classes to other contents and life | Scoop.it
Piano Lessons, Piano Teacher, Piano Teaching, Piano Pedagogy...

This is a short blog contributed to the International Journal of Music Education which discusses teaching strategies and gender effects in instrumental studios. Not surprisingly, most of the strategies discussed in regard to common core contents also apply to music lessons. A clear and organized set of goals helps move students from lesson to lesson, and positive feedback is much more effective than negative criticism. Additionally, there was a small amount of discussion on the importance of modelling in instrumental lessons, and that thisis the most used teaching method for advanced lessons. This may be a bit more convenient in a music setting, but I would wonder about its benefits in other contents as well.

Interestingly, it was suggested that male students are more likely to receive negative feedback, and both female teachers and students were more likely to be organized. While this may imply teachers should put a bit more positive energy towards their male students, I would more take it as a reminder to be consistently fair with ALL of your students.

Lastly, this blog addressed how more experienced teachers asked fewer questions than novice teachers, but their questions were more likely to address higher levels of knowledge. I think it is very important for even new teachers to remember they need to reach upper levels of thinking with their students, regardless of content.

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Center for Integrated Arts Education

Center for Integrated Arts Education | Transferring skills and habits from music classes to other contents and life | Scoop.it

Hosted by the University of Northern Colorado, this website is a great source of examples of schools that are benefiting from arts integration as well as some cool resources. Links are provided to schools throughout the country with arts integration programs that are having positive effects on overall academic achievement. Also included are links addressing grant writing and grant opportunities. Additionally, there are links to programs that you may be able to bring to your own school. This is a worthwhile resource to hold on to, both as proof of the benefits of the arts and how you may be able to use them yourself.

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Bobby McFerrin plays... the audience! | Video on TED.com

TED Talks In this fun, 3-min performance from the World Science Festival, musician Bobby McFerrin uses the pentatonic scale to reveal one surprising result of the way our brains are wired.

 

This is a beautiful video to watch. Singer Bobby McFerrin stands in front of an audience of strangers and, using a visual image and singing two notes, gets them all to sing a pentatonic scale (a five note scale that many hymns and folk songs are based on). He suggests that any audience he tries this with "gets it" and sings along, that somehow we all connect to this simple scale. While this video has no direct connection to music and education, I think it is important to recognize that music does resonate with everyone, and thus could always be a possible connecting point to facilitate learning.

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Mae Jemison on teaching arts and sciences together | Video on TED.com

TED Talks Mae Jemison is an astronaut, a doctor, an art collector, a dancer ...

Here, Mae Jemison gives a very good TED Talk about how, in our world, arts and sciences are separated and thought of as the difference between intuitive and analytical thinking. However, Jemison suggests that this is not the case, but rather that arts and sciences are actually more the same, and must be integrated more. Her talk covers a much wider array of concerns than simply the education related scope of this project, yet this is a very important aspect of education that is suffering. We need to encourage more cross-curricular engagements in schools, and find ways to help our students be both intuitive and analytical thinkers.

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WhatShouldBetheRelat.pdf

Here is a very cool article discussion how music learning can be related to sources outside of the school. The main areas of focus are through choice and diversity, technology, and the media. By analyzing current trends, Yarbrough is predicting that schools, regardless of whether they are public or private, are moving towards offering more choice in classes that students can take, thus creating more diverse students who can prepare themselves for whatever they wish to do in life (this can range from music to small business management). While this is an awesome idea, it does call into mind questions regarding the core curriculum that has been so firmly established. Technology is also a huge source simply because of its continued progress in the 21st century. So many possiblities have been opened up within the classrooms, and it provides a means of connecting with people and places around the world, bringing culture much closer than in the past. Finally, the media provides a context through which teachers might better connect their content to their students, and hopefully some mutual understaning will develop to the point that schools and the media could actually work together to make a positive impact on learning.

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music_and_cog_develop.pdf

This article addresses connectoins between music instruction and 3 other subject areas: spacial-temporal ability, math, and reading. For each connection, the author provides research that implies that students who have previously had keyboard lessons or music instruction do acheive more success. However, the research also implies that these results may be too small to be truly effective, and there are several factors that should be addressed, such as the duration of music instruction throughout schooling. Additionally, the author discusses the "Mozart effect", which ironically has no research whatsoever backing it up. 

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The power of music: Its impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people

Here is an article that summarizes this entire topic quite well. Ultimately, it discusses the connections between musical skills and almost every other life skill (literacy, numeracy, emotional sensitivity, social skills, etc). Additionally, and possibly more importantly, it discusses the fact that these connections are more likely to be effective on individual development if they are drawn from a positive experience. This suggests that music teachers must provide positive environments in which these skills are learned and then transferred from. 

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David Byrne on How Music and Creativity Work

David Byrne on How Music and Creativity Work | Transferring skills and habits from music classes to other contents and life | Scoop.it

This source is a quick literature review of a book called "How Music Works" by David Byrne, and specifically addresses the sections in which he discusses creativity in music. He talks about how composition and song writing are not necessarily purely spontaneous and emotional processes that result in beautiful music. On the contrary, there is the chance that composers and song-writers are more (unknowingly) fitting the molds established before them, and putting a little bit of themselves into  their work. Additionally, he discusses how in nature, birds have adapted their calls in order to encourage their survival. Music works the same way, changing to fit the mold of each successive generation's tastes. Finally, we can also apply this adaptive concept to our lives and schooling, accepting that we may need to think or act differently depending on the different challenges and subjects we face in our lives. Adaptation a key music and life skill. 

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