How Does the Brain Learn Through Music?. Kansas State University Music Symposium 2008 Laurie J. Curtis.
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Kansas State University
Laurie J. Curtis
Choices, Changes, and Challenges Curriculum and Instruction in the NCLB Era
349 school districts:
Since 2002 62% districts reported that they have increased time for English Language Arts and Math
44% of districts reported cutting time from one or more other subjects or activities- decreases averaging 145 minutes per week (nearly 30 minutes a day)
These increases/ decreases were more prevalent in districts with schools identified for improvement.
“ States should review their curriculum guidelines to ensure that they encourage adequate attention to and time for art and music, and should consider including measures of knowledge and skills in art and music among the multiple measures used for NCLB accountability.”
(Research by Stefan Koelch)
Musicophilia is a “given” in human nature and is developed or shaped by our culture and the situations of our lives.Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, by Oliver Sacks
(musicians stating that they feel they can “hear” their instruments during mental practice.)
This music tends to slow down respiration, heart rate, and reduces stress.
This can also occur through the labeling of items in the room, literature shared, colors, textures, props, multi-media presentation.
The brain changes as a result of experiences. New dendrites are formed to “hook” new information to prior experience.
“Remember yesterday when we…”
Additionally- make sure your students can hear and see your love for the piece of music being explored.
Utilize the idea of brain plasticity and recognize that the brain is in a constant state of change in response to experience. Each brain is unique- assembly-line learning violates a critical discovery about the human brain.
How about a review?
The brain’s emotional center is tied to the ability to learn. Emotions, learning, and memory are linked. Positive emotions drive attention and memory (Wolfe & Brandt, 1998).
(Pantev et al. 1998)
How can the students integrate what they have learned in a meaningful way- design the program, write the selection notes, share in discussion of order of selections…
“There is just something about music that helps kids connect to themselves and the world at large. I’m trying to capitalize on that in some way.”