Looking for help incorporating music into the eighth grade curriculum

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by glen, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. glen

    glen Companion

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    Jun 13, 2008

    Our music program for next year has been cut. The principal has asked that each teacher find a way to incorporate music into their weekly classes (we are a very small Catholic school- one homeroom/grade). As the eighth grade homeroom teacher, finding a way to do this will be my responsibility for my homeroom. I have them for Science, Math, History, and Literature. I'm thinking that literature would probably be the most logical place to bring this in, perhaps using musicals? The principal is open to any way that each teacher decides to do this. Any ideas for a musically challenged middle school teacher??? I have a very small class next year (currently expecting 8 students) so creative ideas can work!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
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  3. Higgy

    Higgy New Member

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    Jun 13, 2008

    Just some ideas

    I'm no music pro either, but here's some ideas....

    Science
    - Have them create a music video/write a song about certain concepts (maybe even 1 per unit). I'm not sure if you're familiar with Bill Nye the Science Guy- but in every episode he had a music video about the concept. It was really neat- and might help them remember some key concepts.

    Math
    -Similar idea to math- I can't think of anything else.

    History
    -Listen to songs from the period that you're studying. Music was often important in history for many different reasons (influencing ideas, encouraging work, etc.). I'm a history teacher too, and I always try and integrate at least one class to the music of the time, and another to the art of the time.

    Literature
    -Your idea about musicals is cool, I think I would enjoy that.
    -Perhaps have them analyse songs as they would a poem?


    I would try and integrate it into as many curriculum areas as possible. The more the better, really.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jun 13, 2008

    OMG..you can do TONS of stuff with music with math and science. For science you can look at sound waves and how they effect pitch. You can graph the waves produced by certain notes one on top of each other and determine why some notes sound good together and some don't (this will be obvious when you look at the graphs). For math you can look at rythms. You can find repeating patterns in the rythms and derive equations that model the primary and secondary themes in the melodies (this is much more complex if you use classical music. Love songs are usually the easiest ones to start off with.) You can then take those equations and create systems of equations larger than 2X3 who's solutions are lines (ie, have free variables), thus introducing higher order thinking when it comes to equations. Let me get some stuff together and I'll post more.
     
  5. glen

    glen Companion

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    Jun 13, 2008

    Great ideas! Thanks!
     
  6. msb

    msb Rookie

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    Jun 14, 2008

    Glen, sorry to hear that they cut your music program; the Arts is so important to kids' lives.

    English: Poetry is an easy connection to music since I tell my students song lyrics are really poetry. My friend had picked seven poems (half were songs). (She came up with this lesson.) In groups of 4-5, they had to choose a poem and analyze the poem; you determine the number of poems or groups. Each person was given a job.

    Bio of Poet/Songwriter (Not really long; I gave them 4-5 questions).
    Analysis of Poem --everyone had to do this -- About 6 questions to regarding poem analysis
    Visual Representation of the poem (Theme) -- Artwork; Powerpoint Presentation; (one group sang the song with guitar); Collage

    Most of my students really enjoyed this group project; some did better than others; It was rather easy to grade, and I gave them a peer review sheet for the slackers in the group, but you can tell who those people are while you watch the groups meet. I had a rubric for their presentation.

    I did this the last few weeks of school. Each group took about 5 minutes--some longer (guitar group took 10 minutes) to present.

    Since it was the last few weeks of school, I had them choose their groups. Those students who didn't have a group I quickly added to another group. By the end of the school year, they pretty much knew which group they wanted to be in, so if you do this in the beginning of the year you'll have to decide the groups.

    Last thing, before they did their poetry project, they had two to three days of poetry analysis using songs (appropriate) that most of them were familiar with. It all depends upon what type of music most of your students like (my students liked rock). I had the students paired up after I modeled how to analyze the songs. I used "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World and "Believe" by The Bravery.

    Hope that helps!
     
  7. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jun 14, 2008

    Oh, on the soundwave idea, you can work in some classical music by having them listen to excerpts from the different eras, including 20th century atonal and 12 tone music, and decide for themselves why some music sounds harsher than others. You get the added bonus of working in some of bach, beethoven and the boys along with it.
     
  8. glen

    glen Companion

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    Jun 15, 2008

    Keep the ideas coming! I'm starting to feel that this will be easier to tackle than I originally thought.
     
  9. Noggin

    Noggin Rookie

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    Jun 15, 2008

    For English 8, I've done the song analysis project focusing on figurative language specifically and they really enjoyed it. Make a simple handout or give them some boundaries on a powerpoint and have them do it on notebook paper. Either way works. Ask them to scavenger hunt their chosen music for similes, metaphors, allusion, alliteration, assonance, consonance, repetition, etc. and let them play their examples in class.

    Also have used songs to cover effective setting, inference, character development, etc. Once you are thinking on this track, you'll find that every other song on the radio starts seeming like it could work. Just have to choose carefully or edit sometimes. :)

    Good luck!
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 16, 2008

    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sponsors a summer teacher institute each year. The teachers from all subject areas get together and write lesson plans incorporating music. They post the best ones here! I've used many of the lessons, and some of them are great fun!
     
  11. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jun 16, 2008

    Search google for math and music, you'll find tons of great stuff. Music and math, interestingly, utilize the same sections of our brains because both are essentially pattern based.
     

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