Integrating music reading and writing at the primary level
What thoughts, ideas and feelings are triggered by the mind-pictures?
Boys play. I sat on the beach watching a small wave grow larger and larger until it reached the shore and picked me up in a slow rise to outer space. From Music Writing to Reading-and-Imagining: The Connections The frameworks and skills learned in Music Writing also motivated a multi-sensory process that can be applied to reading.
Once I find a song I think may work, I use the site AZLyrics to search the title of the song so I can read all the lyrics in their entirety. They begin to visualize mind-pictures, feel feelings, conjure up thoughts and learn to translate them into words.
That is one of the great benefits of Music Writing: kids have used those visualization-reflection-contemplation processes and learning skills to generate amazing images in reading. Many do not get beyond the lavish illustrations found in early books, and fail to realize that, because of their maturity, they now have to visualize their own pictures in the mind.
Using the Close Reading sheet below, my students read through the songs with their reading partners three times. Daisies cry.
Integrating music into the elementary classroom lesson plans
Normally, when the song is played multiple times, my students start listening more carefully, and for the first time, many begin to realize there is more to the song than a catchy beat. I begin with single words nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs and go to two-word, longer, and complex sentences, paragraphs, and entire pages. Call me an educator, developer, researcher and experimentalist in the classroom. After listening to the song, my students write down the name of the song in the first column, what they think the song is about in the middle column and what they are wondering or curious about in the last column. Dogs fight. My favorite part of doing close readings with songs is when my boys and girls realize for the first time that their favorite head-bopping song actually has a story behind it. The project is not a patchwork effort like many short-term crisis prevention programs used in schools to plug up the holes left by societal problems such as drugs, violence and bullying. In my approach to reading, I define it as a process that changes words into images, feelings, thoughts and experiences: a silent, inner voice reads words, and the inner eye visualizes the words-as-images flashed on a TV screen, in what I call "the mind's magic reading theater.
After this introduction, my students are hooked and that's when we get going. The seagulls flew very low so the bathers could throw them breadcrumbs.
Music in the classroom ideas
Students melt. My students' responses to a questionnaire I gave them about Music Writing confirmed how contemplation enhanced their ability to find, visualize and reflect on mind-pictures via the inner eye and TV screen, and how this same process benefited their reading. After listening a second time, students complete the next row of the I Hear, Think, Wonder sheet, then talk over their findings with their partner once again. I ask my students what they notice about the lyrics. By Jeffrey Pflaum June 6, As an inner-city elementary school teacher for 34 years, I made up and tested my original curricula in emotional intelligence, character education, values clarification, writing, reading, thinking, creativity, poetry and vocabulary. The project is not a patchwork effort like many short-term crisis prevention programs used in schools to plug up the holes left by societal problems such as drugs, violence and bullying. Many do not get beyond the lavish illustrations found in early books, and fail to realize that, because of their maturity, they now have to visualize their own pictures in the mind.
Students contemplate, write about and discuss those experiences with classmates, creating more openness, honesty and sensitivity to themselves, others and the world.
While I apply many of the same principles I used with nonfiction text to look closely at lyrics, there are a few differences, especially when I get the lesson started.
I begin with single words nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs and go to two-word, longer, and complex sentences, paragraphs, and entire pages.
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