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Using Music in the Elementary Classroom

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Shannon Jacquemin

on 1 December 2012

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Transcript of Using Music in the Elementary Classroom

By: Shannon Jacquemin Using Music in the
Elementary Classroom Can you recite the alphabet? How do children learn? Real Examples Using music to learn a new language Real Examples Cont. The Experiment The Control Group Of course you can because years ago somebody taught you a song called ‘The ABC’s’.
I bet you never forgot it. Why is that? You sang it over and over and no matter how hard you tried you couldn't forget it.
Learning that song made you a better person. How? Because if you didn't learn the ABC's, you wouldn't know how to read or write. In Diana Langfit’s article "Integrating music, reading, and writing at the primary level" she states, “At the beginning reading levels, young children need many cues to help them make meaning from print”.
This basically means that children can stare at writing on the board for hours and not make any sense of it. But as soon as you put a catchy melody with the words or images on the board, they start to connect the dots. Once they learned the note patterns, they went on to the fraction part of the lesson. Used terms that conveyed the proportional quality of the notes such as 'whole note equals four of four equal beats' (4/4) and 'quarter note equals one of four equal beats (1/4).
At another school in the San Francisco Bay area, principal Kit Cosfriff believes her students have significantly improved on state achievement tests due to Academic Music. The percentage of the students’ average score went from 51% in 2006 to 75% in 2008. "Music can be a useful aid to language development in this specific area." -Robert Legg (Using music to accelerate language learning: an experimental study).
Legg talks about a study done in England whose goal was to discover whether using music could accelerate pupils’ learning of French vocab.
Hypothesis: By learning key words through song the students would learn them more quickly. 62 twelve and thirteen year olds were split into two groups; the control group (Non-music group) and the experimental group (Music group).
The students were given a list of English phrases and were asked to write the French equivalent in the column next to it. The non-music group studied words and phrases that they were required to learn. This included a short poem in French which included all the important words and phrases. The teacher used non-musical methods to teach the poem to the group. They read it out loud slowly, took notes as they read it, had question and answer sessions, and played memory games. Elementary school in Northern California, Researchers at San Francisco State University developed a program to teach fractions to third graders.
Tested 67 students, 94% Hispanic or Latino, and 68% English Language Learners.
Called Academic Music, assigned notes specific syllables that express durations. Quarter notes=“Ta”, eighth notes=“Ti-Ti”, half notes="Ta-a” and whole notes=“Ta-a-a-a”. (Used with clapping.) The Experimental Group The music group read the same poem, but this time the teacher did not give them time to study the words and phrases in the poem. Instead, the students rehearsed and performed a musical version of the poem. By the end of the hour the group had learned the song entirely. The Results . After the results of the pre-test were scored, it was obvious which group had learned more. The music group scored an average of 12.04, and the non-music group averaged at 11.83.
The results of the post-test seemed promising as well. The music group scored 42.15 while the non-music group scored 34.59. In Sandra Thares’ paper, "Using Music to Teach Reading in the Elementary Classroom", she says that "academic expectations have been increasing in every grade over the past few years. Because of this, kindergarten teachers are being forced to teach beginning reading skills to five and six year olds, who don’t have the ability to learn twenty or more sight words by the end of their kindergarten year."
But teachers have realized that using songs, rhymes and poems can be effective in helping students become better readers. When children are having fun, they are more interested in learning.
Music is essential in our every day life. We use it even when we don’t realize it.
“Songs can be effective in helping students to remember information in a number of different areas” (Thares 2010). Professional Opinions The education of generations to come is in our control. With the expectations of our students’ academic success constantly rising, it is up to our educators to do everything that they see fit to encourage our students to learn and have fun doing it. Integrating music into the classroom is a fantastic way to help students want to learn and remember what they’ve learned. Once you teach them a song, rhyme, or poem, they will remember it for the rest of their lives. There is no greater feeling than knowing that you helped that student become successful with nothing more than a song.
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