Read about using music for learning success at The Learning Counsel
What does curriculum look like for today’s students? Ask them, and they’ll probably tell you it’s a combination of the same old textbooks, worksheets, web videos of a teacher at a chalkboard, or an online lesson with a text passage and questions. All too often, these are still standard practices in many classrooms across the country, so basic and familiar that even with technology, they fall short in effectively exciting students about and engaging them in their learning.
Now add music! Suddenly, a song becomes a fresh new way to learn, embedding lesson topics from simple phonics to advanced algebra. When synchronized to animated visuals, the song-video lesson is a short, self-contained pathway to rapid learning. As new mental pathways are activated, students see and hear the same topic in a new way, Any teacher who presses “Play” and watches students sit up, pay attention, tap their feet, and react to the music has experienced this transformation.
Through videos, interactive games, and online courses, teachers are integrating songs and music in general directly into their lessons and classroom activities, giving students the chance to join in. By using a song as an introduction to a new topic or to support the understanding of various topics being discussed in class, students are able to familiarize themselves with the relevant terminology and concepts in a familiar and more memorable way.
Since most of today’s digital natives grew up learning through catchy YouTube videos or watching cartoons on their parent’s iPads, even older students are comfortable with musical lessons. For example, the song and video, “Mean Median and Mode”, pulled from a course offered through Learning Upgrade’s online curriculum, is often used by math teachers to introduce basic measures of center to a sixth grade class.
Teachers working with a wide spectrum of learning styles are putting this new format to work, watching their students overcome many challenges or obstacles that once stood in the way of their learning or their interest in learning. Here are a few examples: