Sunday, November 23, 2008

Learning Through Music

Who doesn’t use the Alphabet song to remember their letters? Music is such a great way to create long-term retention of important concepts and information. It is not that learning through music is the best way humans learn, it is just that it is so different from traditional methods that the brain builds extra connections to the experience. A lot of my success in teaching struggling learners has come from my use of music for key concepts. Be careful, if you use too much music in a short period of time, your students won’t retain. Pick key concepts you want to teach and give them repeated exposure. Don’t forget to instruct on what they are singing.
Here are two helpful ideas and links:

  1. Rhonda Schilling, from the Madison Metropolitan School District has created, through a grant, the Hip Hop Math Project. No matter what grade-level you are teaching, there is rap music for you. What is great is that she hired a professional rap artist to create recordings. In addition, the background music was created from a generic Hip Hop CD that can be purchased rather cheaply from Amazon. I have had a lot of success using the Mean, Median, and Mode track.

  2. Joe Crone has created a good amount of fun songs that hit on key concepts in a variety of subjects. He provides full lesson plans, vocal tracks, and background music. I enjoy using Geometry Park and the Capitalization Song with my students to great success. If you like him, your school and book him to do cultural arts programs.
  3. Ron Clark, winner of numerous teaching awards including the Disney Teacher of the Year, uses rap and music to help his struggling learners. He offers his original music through his site.

    For those of you, who are not musically inclined, don’t worry. The kids don’t care how horrific you are. Anyway, just make them do all the work.

    A useful opinion and review from Bryan

No comments: