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Article #2 Response

Day 3 Articles

From this list, please choose one article to read.  Your reflection to this article needs to include the author and title of the article and insights/responses/ideas gained from the article.


Please post your response on the Ning – under the discussion thread: “Article #2 Response”


http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/live-in-concert/201303/music-elixir-your-brain By Robert H. Woody “Music as an Elixir for Your Brain” – Psychology Today.com


http://www.edutopia.org/blog/core-practices-arts-integration-susan-riley By Susan Riley “Use Arts Integration to Enhance Common Core – Edutopia.org



By David J. SKorton  “The Arts are Essential” – Edutopia.org


http://www.rapidintellect.com/AEQweb/cho3023l5.htm By Cameron Whilte “Integrating Music in History Education” – Rapidintellect.com


http://www.npr.org/2013/04/16/176671432/creative-classes-an-artful-approach-to-improving-performance By Elizabeth Blair “ Creative Classes: An Artful Approach to Improving Performance” – NPR.org (a 3 part series)



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  • http://www.npr.org/2013/04/16/176671432/creative-classes-an-artful-... By Elizabeth Blair “ Creative Classes: An Artful Approach to Improving Performance” – NPR.org (a 3 part series)

    I wonder why it is so difficult for some educators to remember what it was like to be a learner?  Not all students are immediately drawn to academia.  There are some highly intelligent students who just are not inspired by all those words and numbers in black and white, or all those lectures that wind up sounding like Charlie Brown's teacher.  Sometimes learners need to be inspired by a piece of art, a song, a dance, a movie clip, or even a recipe!  These elements bring learning alive.  I don't believe you need to spend $80,000 to improve learning (unless it's used to hire another teacher to create smaller classes).  I firmly believe that the arts touch the soul and inspire deeper learning and curiosity which in turn create more engaged learners who want to come to school to actively learn about academic subjects.  In this article, according to Ellen Winner, "there is no causal link between teaching the arts and performance on test scores....the arts lead to engagement and attendance and interesting teachers and engaged teachers."   These elements should lead to engaged students who have been inspired to learn more and achieve more in school.  

  • Creative Classes: An Artful Approach to Improving Performance by Elizabeth Blair is an article that describes the work done by the Turnaround Arts Initiative.  The initiative is located in eight schools in depressed areas and tries to replicate the success of the Mozart Effect.  Each school was given $70,000-80,000 to change the colors of the walls, hire teachers of keyboards, movement and music.  In addition, well-known artists were asked to adopt a school.  Child psychologist Ellen Winner thinks that there is no direct connection between the arts and test scores.  She believes that any success comes because the arts curriculum can lead to engaged and interesting teachers therefore better attendance and focus from students.  I wonder why it is not possible simply to study the arts for arts sake?  Study of the arts leads to so many positive outcomes regardless of connection, or not, to test scores: critical thinking, problem solving, discipline, etc.  It is scary that in many school districts, ASD included, arts delivery is tied to planning time as it is in our elementaries or that in high schools arts classes are often scheduled at the same time as other "singleton" classes (upper level math, foreign language or student government) in which only one section is offered.  Furthermore, arts classes are the only place in school that some students find success. 

  • I really related to the article, "Creative Classes: An Artful Approach to Improving Performance." It is absolutely true that the arts can change the environment of an entire school. I have experienced this first hand through serving as orchestra teacher at the Hiland Mountain Correctional over the past 10 years. This is a beginning string orchestra comprised entirely of female prison inmates. When new students enroll in my class, I oftentimes inquire about their educational background (general ed/music ed). They frequently tell me that their past educational experiences have been negative. Some have struggled with learning in the traditional classroom setting. Many times I notice these students flourishing in our prison orchestra class who have floundered in previous educational settings. Cellist Zuill Bailey visits our prison to perform on a yearly basis. During his last visit, he commented that music is, "like oxygen" for incarcerated individuals. I think this quote could be easily applied to any student in the public schools as well. The arts reach learning styles that other subjects cannot. Also...I want Yo-Yo Ma to mentor at my school! Wow! What a great idea. I would love having an artist in residence at my school. What a resource for inspiration. Someone like that could really change the entire culture of a school.
  • "The Arts are Essential" is the article that I read. I find these types of articles interesting and I wonder why the right people dont read them. It seems that those into the Arts preach to the choir. Who needs to read these or understand the importance of the Arts in order to make the change . The importance of the Arts is not just an emotional plea- there are facts and research to back up the claims of its importance. The Arts improve test scores, improve grades, improve creativity and problem solving. The Arts give us an understanding of other cultures, to imagine and explore what it means to be human.

    The question I have is if we know how important the Arts are why is there less funding, programs getting cut, little to no regconition, very few scholorships. It sickens me to think that I have to justify even keeping art classand even trying to get another teacher. The focus in districts around the country is on the core and not the Arts.  

  • http://www.edutopia.org/blog/core-practices-arts-integration-susan-... By Susan Riley “Use Arts Integration to Enhance Common Core – Edutopia.org

    This article maintains that true arts integration is rare. This rings true from my experience. I know there has been a STEAM initiative, adding Arts to STEM, but I haven't found lots of great curriculum with art infused - yet. However, the article did have a nice website that connects van Gogh's Starry Night painting with the earth's relationship in the galaxy. Riley describes arts integration as an approach to teaching that connects the standards, meaningful assessments, and culminating projects. She asserts that arts integration is equitable and offers access points to all. Whenever I think to integrate art into a STEM project, I see more students who are engaged. Plus, the classroom artists gain some academic "cachet" from their final artistic product. My favorite line from the whole article contrasts chefs with cooks:  "Arts integration allows us to build chefs who make choices."

  • "The Arts Are essential" by David Skorton 

    In every culture we see art.  It surrounds many of our life styles and it accompanies our day to day experiences.  The article by Skorton is basically defending teaching the arts alongside other areas of study in all forms of education.  This does not mean you have to be an art major and a music major, but it does mean that the Arts should be offered and encouraged through all our education.  Numerous studies have proven that students involved in art and music do better academically in other areas.  I think that as teaches we need to stress this to our students.  They need to know how important these elective classes are for them and how they effect their lives on a daily basis. 

  • The study I wish to comment on is, "Creative Classes: An Artful Approach to Improving Performance ", by Elizabeth Blair. Around the nation, eight schools in low income areas were selected, to try & turn them  around. They were schools that continued to fail, year after year. It was named the Turnaround Arts Intitative.  So arts were placed into the school . Of course  I'm sure that made it fun to go to school. The teachers were interesting & engaging. When students feel good about school, they want to come every day so they don't miss anything fun or exciting. That's what its all about. Kids who come to school, improve in math & reading because they are engaged, in other areas.

    Just like "Teaching History through the Senses", if a teacher taught a history class like how we are being taught in this one , WHO wouldn't be engaged? I wish this class would go on for another week because it is so much fun!  And if I'm having FUN, then I want to make sure I'm there each day. Maybe, I'll  even bring something to the class  that is going to embellish it, so I can connect to what I am learning on a more deeper level. Then it begins to have meaning to my life! Yes that will bring a school up to the top!!!! 

  • http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/live-in-concert/201303/music-el... By Robert H. Woody “Music as an Elixir for Your Brain” – Psychology Today.com

    I really enjoyed this article and how it spoke to the hopes that if students started playing instruments more often they could stimulate various regions in their brains. This in turn would allow them to improve their verbal memory skills.

    I have in my own school experiences benefited from the integration of music with my own memorization through rhythms, clapping, singing and dancing to music. These applications have allowed my body to be trained with specific skills sets through movement and skill based instructional application towards the students I teach.

    Please do not stop teaching music it is beyond valuable to us all :) 

  • http://www.rapidintellect.com/AEQweb/cho3023l5.htm

    I read "Integrating Music in History Education" by Dr. Cameron White. The introduction states the problem that history education is too focused on simply presenting students with facts in a bland, sterile way that seldom asks students to think critically.What is needed is a powerful tool that can both connect to students and engage them in challenging discourse that can bring about a positive change in society. The author very clearly sees school as force of social change. Dr. White suggests using popular music to help students connect to the past so that they may gain a deeper understanding of history. Pop music is a common thread across social and economic divides that can speak to all students. White admits that pop music does contain some controversy, but that it has always contained controversy, from Little Richard to Bob Dylan to 2Pac and Ani DeFranco. Perhaps it is the fact that  these artists are controversial that makes them so interesting and relevant. While not all the music choices that White suggests are appropriate for younger students, the key idea is still applicable; the teacher must only find age appropriate music. 

    Popular Music and the Teaching of Social Justice
  • This article by Robert Woody, Music as an Elixer for Your Brain, is long over due. While I believe almost everything we do makes us smarter, music certainly does not have the corner of the market. Many music teachers refer to the Mozart affect in an effort to sell their music programs. I do believe that music helps us put things in order sequentially and students discover predictable  patterns. Unfortunately, music in and of itself is not some magic Elixer for our brains. There is a great wealth we attain through learning, listening  to and performing music . We don't have to fabricate ideas to boost up music...music , I think can sing for itself.

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