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  •  But here's the thing--as music educators, (1+ / 0-)
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    we teach this stuff all the time.  Ask any music teacher you know if they actively teach that the rhythms kids learn are fractions.

    This is NOT new.  It's NOT a "fresh study".

    And for them to come out and say it is is frankly insulting and demeaning to music teachers.

    As I read these articles there is NO advocacy for increased music education.  

    Just a touting of this "fractions unit".  Which can be implemented without a music teacher.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 04:48:17 PM PDT

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    •  but you're looking through the wrong lens. (1+ / 0-)
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      I just raised this topic an hour ago to a friend of mine who's a music teacher in Maryland--been in the system 10 years--I was wondering if she would see it the same way you do.  She agrees with you (as do I) that the music/math links are well established--this isn't in dispute.

      But you're looking through the lens of a music educator.  As a math tutor (who is extremely familiar with the standard math curriculum--at least at the high school level)--and well aware of how poorly kids have retained the concept of fractions--I know what they're lacking, and find any creative approaches to teaching these things potentially useful.

      Unfortunately, zen, what you're saying may be well known in music, and in mathematical theory, but it basically DOES NOT EXIST in any standard public school curriculum in math.  It wouldn't even occur to 90% of math teachers to do this--unless they either happen to be, or work with, musicians--and that's the case here.

      This study isn't novel in demonstrating the links between  music and math--hell, Copernicus (and Pythagoras, for that matter) could have told us that--and did.

      But it does pose a measurable (and, I assume, peer reviewed) study that demonstrates a few case studies in which kids who had previously struggled with fractions were able to improve using a musical approach.

      None of the arguments I"ve seen here (and to be honest it really doesn't look like most of the commenters even  heard the report) demonstrate to me why this is a negative rather than a positive.

      •  As I mention in the update, for this unit to work, (0+ / 0-)

        the students would have to know how to read music.  Can you, as a math tutor, teach children music literacy in twelve lessons so they can grasp the fraction concepts taught?

        This is not an advocacy piece for continued music education in the schools.  It's a puff piece for a math unit that requires pre-knowledge of basic music literacy.

        I've made worksheets that look exactly the same for my students and I made them years ago.

        I mean, if these articles and stories would have talked about the value of music education in conjunction with cross-curricular learning, I would have just been saying

        "What do you think we've been telling you people for the past 40 years?" and such.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:24:19 PM PDT

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        •  i mentioned in another comment that an ideal (0+ / 0-)

          curriculum would certainly be integrated--so if the students had learned the basic concept of what a note was, or what a beat was, in first grade music class, so much the better.

          But it seems to me this is just fractions through rhythm--we're not talking any advanced music theory here.  If a study shows that this helps students who are otherwise struggling with fractions retain fractions a bit better, then so much the better.

          It's not about teaching music in any case--it's using selected musical concepts as a vehicle to math.

          But the point you're missing---is that the piece isn't MEANT to deal with music advocacy.  It's not looking at that concept.  It's looking at different approaches to math, specifically, that might help kids.  The fact that one of the developers works with autistic kids (who often  respond well to music therapy, for example) seems to highlight the fact that this is a positive, not an ill intent.

          You're still seeing this as a threat to the music curriculum--whereas I'm seeing it as a supplement to a math curriculum.

          In any case, these are research studies.  Lots of them explore things that people in certain fields may experience as obvious...but these things aren't obvious to everyone.

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