Music and Learning and Discovery


One of the more interesting elements of reading on the Web is the way that hyperlinks send you off on a journey, and how readers can add in as much substance as the writer. This morning, I followed a trail that began with an email newsletter from Edutopia. The headline on an article caught my eye: Using Music in the Classroom. (written by Gaetan Pappalardo).

I love Gaetan’s work around music and learning (we’ve crossed paths before with the National Writing Project) and so, of course, I wanted to read what he had to say. In the piece, he gives pointers on some simple ways to incorporate music into a lesson, including using an instrumental piece for writing.

“I want my students to use their mind’s eye so I reverse the roles. Instead of writing music to the story, I want my students to write a story, a thought, a scene, or a list to the music.”

So, I am reading Gaetan, and then I scroll down to the comment section and there, I find a long list of teachers who  have been adding their own ideas about music and learning, and suggesting lesson ideas.

For example, I found a link to an article about the benefits of having music playing while students are studying (Study, Stress and Music by Michael Griffin) and a series of songs that could help teach about bullying behaviors, and a link to another Edutopia piece about music and social behaviors and then I found myself off at this post called Teaching With Tunes: 21 Idea for Incorporating Music Throughout the Curriculum by Fallwell Dunbar.

And then, it was back to Gaetan’s article and off again to see Benjamin Zander TED talk about music and passion (Passion being one of Gaetan’s topics on his piece).  There, I found the video embedded up above of Bobby McFerrin and his visual demonstration on the power of the Pentatonic Scale, and music and movement.

But I noticed that the sign behind McFerrin said “Notes and Neurons,” so I had to figure out what was up with that, which led me to the World Science Festival site about music and the brain. That is a site I have to come back to one of these days, but not now.

My journey came all the way around, as I write here about what I found. I love that discovery process that began with a headline and expanded out towards a whole session of learning and music.

Peace (in the notes),
Kevin

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