It seemed safe to start this project with some research.  I opened a new web browser and began google-ing.  I tried several different searches, but finally found some results with “integrating music into the elementary school classroom.” There were an abundance of blogs by music teachers, but that’s not what my project is about (though I may troll that information base when brainstorming specific activities to incorporate into the classroom).  I’m curious about the benefits and possibilities of integrating music into core curriculum, and a normal, everyday/all day classroom.  So, I kept digging.  I came across this blog that connected to what I was looking for!

In this post, the Gaetan Pappalardo begins his piece discussing the importance of passion.  He describes being asked, “What’s your passion?” and being able to answer honestly…can you? Pappalardo encourages teachers to “bring the heart and soul back into the classroom.”  This connected with me because, in essence, my 20% project is inspired by my own passion for music.  I hope that exploring this topic will give me ideas that allow me to incorporate my passions into the lessons I teach, and that these lessons will affect my students for the better!

Pappalardo continues to describe the meat of his piece, and offers two very real tips of choosing applicable and exciting music and making sure students are engaged.  He then outlines an activity that I found COMPLETELY on point.  He suggests playing students different pieces of music and allowing them to think creatively and create narratives that go along with the compositions.  I love this idea.  It gives students the opportunity to engage in more out-of-the-box thinking, with no real ideological boundaries or limits.  I would really like to utilize this plan and use it in my own classroom one day.  I could also see a version of this plan working with a more physical aspect, perhaps instructing students to act out the way a song sounds and then use adjectives to describe it.  You could even try and make connections to poetry and figurative language terms.

On the same large website, (www.edutopia.org) I found a post that even better supports the idea of incorporating the arts into every day core curriculum.  Dr. Karan Nolan offers a very interesting argument of teaching core curriculum through the arts.  Nolan provides a step by step guide to incorporating the arts into a classroom.  She addresses the resistance behind incorporating arts into an everyday classroom and encourages teachers to move through that blockage/discomfort for the greater good of his or her students. I found her section on planning Arts Integrated lessons very insightful and helpful.  Her post got my own wheels turning and brainstorming more ideas for bringing music into my classroom.

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