Science shows time and time again that music has a powerful ability to enhance brain development and improve learning skills. For example, in 2006 Science Daily
reported on a Canadian based study that revealed that children trained in music also had better memory skills in areas including "literacy, verbal memory, visiospatial processing, mathematics and IQ." In short, integrating music throughout the school day by integrating it better into classroom learning activities takes advantage of how music affects the learning progress of students.
Take Advantage of the Fact that Music Affects Learning
Any teacher that acknowledges the tremendous boost for learning that music can accomplish in the classroom already has a fair number of educational freeware resources at their disposal for integrating musical training into classroom subjects beyond a single class devoted only to music. The following tools can help teachers utilize music in a way that enforces other subjects students are actively studying, including literacy, mathematics and even history.
is a fun application that shows you the beats per minute of any song or sound that you play on your computer speakers. It works for any music or sound that you play, including something as simple as hand-clapping. Using this application, a teacher could teach students how they could use multiplication to determine how many hand claps every 10 seconds would produce a specific BPM. And then the teacher and students could test the student calculations using the software. It's a fun and practical way to make learning math exciting and interesting.
The Jazz Machine
is an interesting application that lets the student adjust both volume and frequency. The program generates the frequency and presents it to the student in both a visual and audible format. There's both an online version available, as well as one that you can download to your computer for free. It's a great way to teach students the science of frequency generation that extends far beyond music.
is a free game by Aspire Software that you can use to easily teach notes to children. The instructions are very simple. The child listens to the sound of the note as it appears on the musical scale. The student must try to select the correct note, A through G. Select the correct note before it makes it all the way across the screen, or watch as the note disappears in a fiery explosion. The game is addictive, and it is set up in such a way that even students who have never had music lessons will eventually learn to read music. This application is one of the best examples of how music affects learning through an enjoyable process that the student believes is nothing more than a simple game.
is an impressive musical composition application that allows the user to generate music using mathematical algorithms and computer programming. Adjust the pitch, volume an duration of each note, or generate music using the built-in algorithmic generator. This application is perfect for high school students who are first being introduced into the world of programming. By presenting the music in a way that can be controlled through software algorithms, students learn that computer programs can have real world applications.
music generator is best described by the tagline under the title logo which reads, "Find your music in the computational universe." This amazing online application presents the many genres of music, from classical to hip hop to jazz, in a computational and graphical format that allows the student to alter aspects of the music simply by adjusting the composition controls. By tweaking tempo, pitch settings, time controls and more, students see how mathematical settings and adjustments can transform simple sound into beautiful music.
The applications listed in this review are only a few examples of the many ways teachers and parents can use technology to integrate musical lessons into any element of the educational curriculum.