Active participation in learning is crucial to education. In this world of ever increasingly virtual and often sedentary educational experiences, music and moving is more important than ever. Making music takes the mind and the body to a higher level of focus, engagement and joy. As children become less active, not only in learning but all areas of their lives, music offers a unique gift for the classroom. While we do not desire a return to the past, we also donʼt want to ignore or discard aspects of the past that were beneficial to our children and our society. One of the most powerful of those traditions was classroom music making – singing and dancing. These are activities that create a sense of community and wellbeing, strengthen emotional ties, aural comprehension and cooperative skills, and enhance language, mathematics, science and social studies. Singing coaxes language out of the most recalcitrant speaker and enhances the language skills of the fluent (Brandt, 2012). Making music brings to physical life basic arithmetic relationships; organized movement develops geometric and spatial awareness. Singing, dancing and playing percussion instruments are whole body activities that engage the childʼs mind and imagination. Making music encourages participation in learning and independent thinking; it develops self-discipline and advanced aural skills (Booth, 2013). If we are to go strongly into the future, our whole bodies must come with us. It is through the whole body and all the senses that children learn. The younger the child, the more essential it is that every part of the body and sensory system participate. Research has shown that making music is a biological mandate for the human species. That means everyone can do it! In Music Moves Minds, teachers will learn how to integrate singing, movement and simple instrument making into the classroom, so that their children can walk into the future with alertness, poise and a light heart. Register on our website: http://literacy.rice.edu/workshops-rice
Authored by Rachel Buchman, Lecturer of Music, Rice University Shepherd School of Music
Brandt, Gebrian, Slevc. Music and Early Language Acquisition. Frontiers in Psychology. September 11, 2012.
Booth, 2013. On Active Engagement in Learning. http://ericbooth.net/on-active-engagement-in-learning/