NewsBlog Editor’s Note: We are pleased to introduce to you Justin Stanley, a new CMIE Guided Intern working as Documentation Specialist for Larry Scripp’s Introduction to Music-In-Education course this Fall.
Professor Larry Scripp introduced a number of concepts this week in his class, â€œIntroduction to Music-in-Education.â€ He began the lesson by drawing a matrix (as shown below) on the class blackboard and playing a recording of a piece by Bobby McFerrin. Professor Scripp, through nonverbal suggestion, portrayed the function of the matrix in the rhythm of the song, and added xâ€™s in single cells to notate clapping or emphasis. Soon, the class was engaged in an activity in which we clapped along rhythmically to the piece in a unified perception of the function of the chart drawn on the board. Professor Scripp gradually added complexity to the exercise by using symbols to imply rhythmic groupings, words to apply to rhythms (antelope for a group of three, salamander for a group of four), and rhythmic solfege for the same.
After the exercise and a discussion of what we did, students were asked to compile a list of mental processes that had to be integrated to take part in the exercise. Among many conclusions, students realized that processes of permutation, symbol association, cycle recognition, and grouping and parsing were needed to actively participate. We found that these concepts and brain processes that we used can be applied to a number of different subject areas. This led Professor Scripp to make the following comment: â€œIf music is a fundamental medium and model for teaching and learning, from the point of view of integration, you could say that it is a fundamental medium and model for integrating.â€ Because of the subtle complexity involved in the activity, Prof. Scripp was able to keep the entire class (perhaps completely subconsciously had we not been conservatory music students) in a state of Flow (as shown in the chart below) during which we were all listening, questioning, creating, performing, and reflecting. Through this lesson, we as students were able to experience some of the cornerstones of the MIE program first hand: shared teaching and learning concepts, and teaching and learning processes. The integration of all of the learning processes exhibited during this exercise can help students create and strengthen connections necessary for all kinds of education. The subtle complexity of this exercise and any number of exercises like it that integrate music and other curriculum can create and strengthen connections in the minds of any student. Complexity in learning and comprehension can lead to any number of paths for a learner of any age. This lesson pushed me to do two things: 1.Â Â Â I worked on a new unit plan for my internship teaching brass players at a local upper school that incorporated the use of a matrix to teach solfege. The initial lesson went incredibly well, with students learning how to create their own symbols to notate rhythm and melody. I hope to incorporate the following aspects into the unit curriculum for integration: a.Â Â Â MATH: unit, sequence, fractions, special learning b.Â Â Â LANGUAGE ARTS: symbols, syntax/structure c.Â Â Â SCIENCE: measurement, documentation, inquiry d.Â Â Â HISTORY: timelines, maps, contextual history e.Â Â Â ARTS: creation, spatial learning 2.Â Â Â I decided to focus on flow theory and brain processes/anatomy for a research paper for another MIE class at NEC, â€œLearning, Brain Development, and Music,â€ taught by Lyle Davidson.