Music Education


Music Education

Music to Calm the Nerves Louis, Elementary School Teacher: San Francisco, CA

“This can be used with students who have a hard time controlling their behaviors. After outdoor activities, devote five to ten minutes to sitting quietly and listening to calming music. This is an excellent way to help your students make the transition from recess or physical education to academics. It is also a great way to expose them to musical themes for appreciation…like any of the classics. This can also be used to channel students’ energy after a long test or long periods of seat work.”

Music Appreciation Nick, 6th Grade Teacher: Pittsburgh, PA

“Have a composer of the month. Place pictures of the composer or anything related to the composer on a bulletin board. Play the composer’s music during seat work or during free time. You can also have recordings on while students are entering class in the morning or after lunch and recess time. After a week, ask students to begin to identify some of the works that they are hearing. You can also ask them to write in their journals while listening to any of the works and express how it makes them feel. The key here is to marinade them in the composer of the month’s work.”

The Philharmonic Dream Pam, Intermediate Grade Teacher: Brooklyn, NY

“Put together a Philharmonic Team with instruments that students create from materials around the classroom. Instruments can be made from: varying amounts of water poured into glasses that can be tapped with spoons or pencils; metal table of chair legs that can be gently struck with a pen or pencil; small, loose objects placed in a box that is taped shut and can be rattled; or rubber bands stretched between objects of varying distances. Students can come up with more ideas.”

Use Technology to Inspire Music Patrick, High School Teacher: Phoenix, Arizona

“Take your students to the “MIDI Composer Showcase” for an experience that will surely delight their creative juices! There are programs for students to get started, as well as a step-by-step guide to getting their compositions on the internet! Students can listen to a variety of compositions and read what the authors have to say. They can then vote on their favorite compositions and send comments to the authors. It is motivating and gets students interested in the dynamics of music composition.”

Teaching new songs to little one’s Sallie Franks, Head of Department

“When I teach a new song to the 6 – 8-year-olds, I sing it to them a few times, coaxing them to join in. Then I tell that I had a very late night the previous night and that I’m feeling rather tired and may need some help. This is obviously not true, but the kids enjoy the dramatic approach. Then, I sing the song by myself and they have to listen. If I sing the wrong word, they can call out the correct one to ‘help’ me. Every time I stop to listen to the correct word, I begin the song at the beginning. In this way, the learners have loads of fun and they are encouraged to be alert and remember the correct words. To give you a really easy example, I may sing ‘ Mary had a little elephant’ and the children will tell me that it should be ‘lamb.’ My choice of ‘wrong words’ are often quite absurd and this leads to lots of laughter, while the correct words are being learned. ”

Create an Anthology of Great Songs Karen, Middle School Teacher: Boston, MA

“Create a website that lists all the greatest songs of all time. make up key categories that will feature the greatest songs of that category. For example, for the “rock and roll” category, songs by Elvis Presley could be featured, etc. You can use Backflip on this site to do this. All you would have to do is create the folders and then search the web and put links on your site. Your students can then add links that they find for any assignments that you give them. You can have students work in groups, or as individuals. Just think of what you can have in a year’s time! It could continue to build and build through the years that you teach and keep you connected to your students even when they graduate.”

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