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University Professor of Music

Mark: Leave the sun

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Mark: Leave the sun drenched, arts infused west coast and rewrite in the middle of South Dakota, Missouri, Northern Wisconsin, the middle of North Dakota. Good luck!

Teacher and Educational Journalist

Wonderful "Mr. Leckie!" I get

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Wonderful "Mr. Leckie!"
I get renewed hope in education every time I hear about how someone is creatively bringing more music into our classrooms.

Thanks for sharing this.

Mark

Thank you for posting all of

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Thank you for posting all of the fantastic resources, Mark. And thank you for your contributions, Virginia, I had no idea someone had taken my dream job of selling parody songs as memory aids.

As a middle school music teacher, I know first hand how transformative music can be on a group of students. I have felt that shared sense of awe that comes from a class successfully creating music themselves. I wonder how to get my district administration to realize what we all know about the power of music.

New this year are school-wide goals that I must aspire to and I'm curious to see if I can affect this kind of change in my entire building, beyond the four walls of my classroom. One of our building goals is to increase school spirit, and I can think of no better way than through music. I've just had the idea to get students to write a school song. I think my ideas will snowball from here; thank you for helping me start!

Director of the Virginia Beach School of the Arts

Hi Caleb, Great comment! Yes

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Hi Caleb, Great comment! Yes music is an awesome motivator for the classroom because it brings the brain into balance. Have you tried http://www.acadamiacs.com/? I use these songs every day in my teaching & my students consistently are the highest scoring. Using music to teach academics works!

4th Grade teacher from Washington State

I couldn't agree more with

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I couldn't agree more with your blog! I think music is such a wonderful thing to add to lessons, and expose students to all different kinds of music. It is so important to give them opportunities that they may not get in their daily lives. Music has always been a big part of my life, and I really think that it can be a great motivator in the classroom.

Junior and Senior Language arts Teacher, North Dakota

Great point!

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I really appreciate both the article and Virginia's information. As a Language Arts teacher and avid music lover, I find that they combine quite nicely, so when I incorporate music into my English classroom, it just feels right. Now, as I do more and more research, I find support from blog entries like this one and brain-based research like Virginia alludes to.

Clearly, music remains an imperative part of every school's curriculum and should be included across the curriculum.

Teacher and Educational Journalist

Music for Learning and Life - Virginia

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Virginia:

Most of my writing is for Edutopia and you can access most of my columns from my page on this site: http://www.edutopia.org/user/79389. I also write a column once a month for the Marin Independent Journal and occasionally publish elsewhere.
I was a high school teacher and then a teacher educator for many years. In so called retirement, I've now gone back to my other love, journalism.

You can also reach me through Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/markpsf
I use that site for professional postings, for references to political issues, and for culturally related recommendations.

I always welcome dialogue about any of these.

Thanks again.

Mark

Director of the Virginia Beach School of the Arts

reply to re Music for learning and life

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Detox tea, funny. Yes, perhaps we are a little biased but I tell people what I do is not a real job because its so fun. 'I bet you feel the same way! And there is much agreement to your inquiry about music nourishing the soul and brain. That's actually very scientifically based. Making music aligns every nucleus in the brain to fire its neurons correctly - in teaching circles this is called "integrated thought." One of my friends is a professor at a medical college and the former dean of said institution. He said that before every lecture he plays the piano for 15 minutes because it makes him feel better. Our brains were hard wired to perform best when music is a daily part of our lives. I saw you are an educational journalist. Where do some of your article appear? I would like to read some of your work. Thanks for what you do & keep spreading the musical message!

Teacher and Educational Journalist

Reply Re Music for Learning and Life

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What a wonderful comment Virginia. Thank you.
That's also a great reference and the use of music to help the kids with mild ADD who often fall through the cracks is one that every teacher should know about.

Your posting is also a reminder to me of how much my own involvement helps my soul and brain. Don't you find this too? Writing this and then dialoging with educators like you is so renewing, so nourishing. When I write about the politics of education I often feel like I need to drink some detox tea afterwards! When I write and engage about music and kids, it reminds me of how lucky I am to be in this field.

Thanks again and continued good luck with your work in Virginia Beach.

Mark

Director of the Virginia Beach School of the Arts

Music for learning and life

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What a great article! Your work is tremendous and your purpose is wonderful! I hope this inspires more teachers to integrate classical music into their daily lessons plans. I especially like the few paragraphs about the underachieving kids who normally 'Fall through the cracks". You may be interested to know that when playing a musical instrument, the centers of the brain begin to organize and become more efficient. Because of this, no kid will fall through the cracks. A musical brain is a learning brain. Nuclei in the brain that are off or slow to "turn on" are activated by making music and that's why music is thhe BEST way to teach everything. In my classes I use many classical melodies (especially Beethoven riffs) from http://www.acadamiacs.com/. There are songs there EVERY teacher can use daily in their classroom. They are especially effective for students with ADD. Many of these students with mild ADD, underfocused or overfocused ADD go undiagnosed but with a little help from making music, their prefrontal cortexes effortlessly turn on. Talk about reaching a kid! Music in the classroom is the most powerful force a teacher ca use and you have superbly captured that in your article. Keep up the great work!

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