Musical Back to School Ice Breakers: Scavenger Hunt

  Here is a great way for Teachers and Teaching Artists to get to know their students, and for the students to get to know each other through a scavenger hunt.  Just like the game, “Find A Classmate who…”  students interview each other about their musical knowledge.  This game however doesn’t require musical knowledge.  Download the PDF here.  It’s a great activity for both music and non music classroom!       Please follow and like...

Musical Back to School Ice Breakers: Find a Classmate Who…

Are you looking for fun ways to build community and get students to meet each other?  This is one of our favorites. The goal is to get students out of their seats and talking to each other in a structured way.  Go over the instructions, set a time limit, and have FUN! If there is time, go over the answers! Please download and share!   Please follow and like...

Drawing: An Easy Entry Point to supporting STEAM at home.

STEM education refers to the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEAM education incorporates the “A” for the arts – recognizing that to be successful in technical fields, individuals must also be creative and use critical thinking skills which are best developed through exposure to the arts and there are many easy ways to support it at home. Here is a fun activity to introduce the A to STEM with your child at home! Have your child draw a concept.  Creating images is essential to scientific thinking. Scientists do not use words only but rely on diagrams, graphs, videos, photographs, and other images when making discoveries and sharing their findings. Some ideas to get you started: 1)     How to make a sandwich. 2)     How to get to school. 3)     Go on a scavenger hunt.  Have kids sort their findings and journal with words and pictures why they sorted it that way. 4)     Have a water balloon fight.  But first have your kids create the rules for this game.  Have them think about the boundaries in the yard.  Where can you hide?  Where can’t you hide? Have them map it out. 5)     Make a flipbook of your day. Just one word of caution, though. Art is often touted as a method of adding creativity to STEM—but keep in mind that engineers are rarely lacking for creativity and ingenuity. Just look at the world around you for proof. The purpose of STEAM should not be so much to teach art but to apply art in real situations. Applied knowledge leads to deeper learning. Have fun and let us know how your...

STEM to STEAM: How the Arts Impact Education and the Economy

Our friends at Kent State have shared with us this infographic highlighting the importance of STEAM education. Check it out and let us know what you think! Over the years, a lot of relevance and emphasis has been put on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) over art related studies. This is because STEM is considered the future of innovation and has been at the epicenter of all technological and science advancements to date. However, proponents of Arts studies have fought to incorporate the A in STEM. The proponents of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) aim to transform research policy by incorporating Art and design into STEM. Furthermore, the STEAM movement is pushing for the integration of art in K-20 education and is influencing employers to hire designers and artists to drive innovation. Clearly, the arts will play a critical role not only in the education system in the U.S. but also in the country’s economy. To learn more, checkout the infographic below created by Kent State University’s Online Masters in Music Education program.     Please follow and like...

Using Music as an Emotional Tool

Music is often considered a great educational learning tool, but many forget that music can also be used to teach individuals skills involving emotional development. For example, a recent study found significant proof for music priming, meaning that listening to happy or sad music enhanced the perceived happiness or sadness of a face irrespective of facial emotion. For more interesting facts about how music can be used as an emotional tool, feel free to check out the full visual resource below!   Please follow and like...

Promoting Peace in the Classroom and Home: Fighting Is Not The Solution

As a classroom teacher, I am always looking for new and exciting ways to bring music into my classroom.  Recently, I stumbled on the Mosaic Project, an Oakland non profit. This organization’s mission is to: We work toward a peace­ful future by uniting children of diverse backgrounds, providing them with essential community building skills, and empowering them to become peacemakers. A coworker introduced me to and amazing CD and Song Book they created.  The Song, Fighting Is Not The Solution became a daily song in our classroom.  The songs reinforces I-statements and the importance of talking about your feelings.  Seeing the success of the song (you know it’s successful when students start singing the chorus when a conflict starts in your classroom), I went to their website to learn more. Not only do they provide a CD and Songbook, but they have camps for youth and families.  This is a great resource for teachers, artists, and parents that you can’t pass up!  Go check them out! Please follow and like...
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