musical intelligence : LUSENET : M.Ed. Cohort II : One Thread

Before I make any comments on the musical intelligence part of our evening I would like to say, "Thank you" to everyone for the first part of the evening. I do think that it is important to look at the BIG picture and reflect in all aspects of our life. As I sat there and listened to peoples' stories I was struck with just how resilient the human spirit can be (maybe you can use us for part of your research Dana). I sort of have this theory that we seem to learn the most in our lives from places that are painful. Last night's discussion made me think about that again. There seemed to be a wealth of wisdom in that room that came from some very painful life events. Our time spent talking the first hour of class may not have been part of any curriculum but I do think it will serve as an important piece in the making of master teachers.

As for the musical intelligence part of our evening it was great to look at the many different aspects of it. A special word of gratitude to Donna and Wade. I have never thought of myself as gifted at all in that area, as a matter of fact, I have always felt pretty unintelligent in that area. After Donna presented however, I realized that I use it ever day in my job and just because it is not as sophisticated as music can be at other levels that does not make it any less valuable. I love singing with little kids and to see the look of excitement on their faces when you start to sing a familiar is just awesome. All this mutiple intelligence information has made me realize over and over that we all have many ways of using our gifts on many differnt levels. Knowing that about ourselves will hopefully help us remember it with our students.

-- Anonymous, March 26, 1999


We have come a long way from that first meeting in the fall of 1997, and it was evident by what passed among us on Thursday. I thank you all for the caring spirit that has shown itself in our circle. There are times, like Thursday, when we can put aside what we had planned and get on with the business of being human and sharing the good and the bad in our lives. You are an amazing group of people I am proud and honored to count among those people I call my friends.

Hey, the farther we go with the multiple intelligences the more amazed I am at the ways we find to bring them to what we do in our teaching. Donna, you did a wonderful job with showing us how you bring the kids right into the music and they probably don't even know they are learning something they will use for the rest of their lives. Who among us doesn't hum a tune to themselves, or feel touched by music someone has written or performed. I am in awe of the talents we have to give. Wade brings another perspective to working with older kids and allowing them to explore the sounds and rythmns of their lives, and then putting them into a format they can use to express something to the rest of us. Thank you for your inspiration.

-- Anonymous, March 27, 1999

I'm sorry I missed the first part of class. I came in soon enough to get the gist of the conversation . It really is amazing, as Dave says, to think of our group as we were a year and a half ago. We've come a long way baby! I wonder if we would have had more good group times like this if our class times hadn't been so scattered with the addition of the Wednesday classes. Perhaps this is something to consider for future cohorts. As I spoke with Donna afterwards we both shared that these nights are really fun, and inspirational--we both really enjoy learning from our great group of educators. I wonder if anyone would be interested in keeping up a little once we finish our masters'work. I mean think of it--meeting once a month or so and sharing our successes and failures--with no nagging thesis worries in our heads--wouldn't that be COOOOL! What do you think? I also want to add that I really like the way these mulitple intelligence nights have evolved into us sharing our expertise. Was that the orginal plan? Whatever, it's very great--like I said on Thursday, I think we are all master teachers in many ways already! Ok, Ok, back to musical intelligences. Thanks to Donna and Wade--you sure helped me learn a lot about how to use music in my room and how to help students learn how to improvise and (as Terrance Smith might say) strut their stuff. I have never been particularly musical (which is, of course, why I work at a music magnet school--go figure),but I know that some of the students at our school find so much success in their music and not much in other areas of learning, that I need to help use whatever music understanding I can muster to help them use their musical intelligence in other areas. We have a particularly challenging class coming up next year and I'm really toying with the idea of bringing in the old guitar and doing some beginning-of-the-day singing to set the tone and ackmowledge everybody. We'll see if I have the nerve.

-- Anonymous, March 27, 1999

Wade and Donna--musically gifted teachers that you are! I very much enjoyed your "gifts" to us!

Laura, you really said it correctly! "Just because it is not as sophisticated as music can be at other levels that does not make it any less valuable." We realized Thursday evening (or maybe before) that music is all around us, and we all enjoy it--no matter what form it comes in. Classical, country, rap, hip hop, pop, big band, rhythm and blues, jazz . . . so many styles to enjoy. And using music to teach goes right into the soul.

By chance I was looking through a folder of miscellaneous sayings and quotes that I keep in my desk. Reader's Digest, June of 1998, had its Quotable Quotes as usual. The one that caught my attention is: Never forget that music is much too important to be left entirely in the hands of professionals. -- Robert Fulghum in "Maybe (Maybe Not)"

Music is very important to me and very emotional. I know see that music in very important in teaching, too.

-- Anonymous, March 27, 1999

OOPS . . . I thought I was quoting Laura with my earlier submission. It was Barb who talked about music being valuable. Sorry Barb!

-- Anonymous, March 27, 1999

Dana's comments regarding motivating students and helping them feel the music as they play it brought to mind how my daughter has evolved as a dancer. At first she learned the steps and became very good at performing them in time to the music. She is now 14 and after 10 years of dance I see her dancing the music instead of dancing to the music. She has experienced dance and has a love for dance that she can now take and express herself through dance and music. As she choreographs a dance I know she has reached a higher level. It took time. Maybe this is what needs to happen with someone playing an instrument as well. Thanks to the presenters last week. It reinforces the need for all of us to use music with our students at whatever level we are at and not to feel we need to be music teachers to have an impact or inspire the musical intellegences of the students we teach. Our discussion on death fits into the interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences as we look to each other and inside ourselves to deal with a painful part of our lives. It demontrates how classrooms at times become more than a place for learning content, but a place for dealing with the real experiences, some painful, that each of us and our students bring with us each day. I would be interested in presenting two activities that focus on interpersonal intelligences at our next class. It would be helpful if those who can could bring a stack of newspapers and a roll of masking tape to be used for one activity.

-- Anonymous, March 29, 1999

Thanks so much for sharing of your talents Donna and Wade. I've been involved in music for as long as I can remember. I remember being put in front of a piano before I started school and did my feet ever dagle from that HUGE piano bench. I remember the first piece of music I had to memorize and perform on an eight foot grand in front of an audience was when I was six. Talk about being overwhelmed. It was the first time I remember anyone applauding for my playing. My life since then has been filled with music - listening, performing, teaching. Everyone in my high school thought I was going to be a music major but I took a different path. Music is a universal language and can be appreciated by any aged person. It can stir up emotions and trigger memories. We all have songs that we associate with "old loves." It really "ruffles my feathers" when I hear school boards talking about cutting music programs. Learning through music is not an "extra" it is an "essential." Dana

-- Anonymous, March 30, 1999

I remember my first piano recital, too. I was 32 years old. It was Christmas time and I had practiced Pat-a-Pat-a-Pan for weeks. A good friend of mine was my piano teacher and she and I played a duet together. My heart was pounding so hard, but I did it. I have always loved music, too. All types, from classical to hard rock and some country music is even growing on me now. I started taking piano lessons when I was 31 years old. Unfortunately, life got too busy and I only stuck with it for 2 years. It is one of my goals after the masters thesis. Thank you to Donna and Wade--music from two very different perspectives--yet accomplishing the same--fun, confidence, understanding, and also enjoyment. When you add music to the picture, it can give us the power to alter our moods. It is very powerful--

-- Anonymous, April 05, 1999

Thanks for the fun, musical experiences, Donna and Wade.

Early childhood settings use music everyday in many ways. Music is always a great way to transition from one activity to another. Everyone would know it's time to come to the circle when the circle song would begin to play. It's much easier and pleasant to use music as a cue than to be saying over and over again that it's time to come to the circle. Children love to sing and clap and dance, and ther is so much that can be learned through music. Looking at the research on brain development, it is becoming clear that early experiences are valuable and that there is a window of opportunity for musical learning. Music experiences also appear to tie in with mathematics.

I used music to help my children memorize their address or phone number. We would put the words to a simple melody and they could sing it instead of struggling to remember all those numbers.

I visited an elementary school in the inner-city of Milwaukee two years ago. There were metal detectors at the school door and a security guard would unlock the door to allow us to enter. The school was truly a safe haven for children in an area that was very unsafe. I remember seeing students in one classroom there using lummi sticks to tap out spelling rhythms. The teacher saw an increase in spelling skills as a result. They also had a school song that they sang each morning along with reciting the pledge of allegiance. Music was a large part of their day. Poetry, songs, and rhythms were woven throughout the curriculum.

I have always enjoyed music and played flute from 5th-12th grade and for a year in the UWS band and orchestra. I think music is an important part of our children's education. I know that my appreciation of music has been affected by the exposures I have had to different types of music in the classroom. I had teachers that made music fun and interesting, and I can see that Donna and Wade certainly do the same in their classrooms.

-- Anonymous, April 05, 1999

Thanks Donna and Wade for presenting your talents. Music has been a part of my life right from the very beginning. Both of my parents were into music and we often had the old 78's going on the stereo. We didn't have a t.v. until I was into grade school, so our entertainment was the stereo or the radio. I to had piano lessons starting at a very early age and performed in numerous piano recitals through my grade school years. I continued thru high school in choir and our high school musicals...Music continues to be a very important part of my life. I have an extensive record and CD collection which spans a wide range of music (except country). I still perform in an intergenerational choir through Hermantown Community Ed. (If anyone is interested we practice at the middle school at 5:15 on Monday evenings) I have often used music with my students. The little guys love to have you sing to them and often you can get their attention through song. We've even used music to teach social skills. There is some research out there in the field of autism that says these kids learn at a faster rate when things are set to music. Not to sure why...but I have seen it work. Again, as with the other intelligences, I see only bits and peices with the kids I work with. Temple Grandin, the person in that article talks alot about not understanding music. Since she has to think in pictures she says she only recognizes music thru visual means. She talks about the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" as the picture she saw in Fantasia of the dancing elephants in the pink tutu's. She doesn't comprehend the emotion or feel the things we do when music 'moves' us. She merely hears the notes. Many autistics can play music from memory, but it doen't always have the's just playing notes.

-- Anonymous, April 07, 1999

I to thank our cohort for being what it is! A incredible group of caring, educated, professionals, who met as a class, and evolved into a supportive cohort of friends.

I loved the musical intelligence evening. The early childhood songs, were great, informative, and fun. I am trying to build on them with some second grade materials. I did the cookie monster rythym game and my students loved it.


-- Anonymous, April 07, 1999

The book that I was talking about in class, that talks about dying and celebrating life, is called (I believe) The Habits and Rituals of our Everyday Life, by Robert Faulcom (Author of Everything I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten).


-- Anonymous, April 07, 1999

I'm sorry I missed out on the last class. From what I read, it sounded like some quality sharing took place. I was at conferences "singing" the praises of my students to their parents. I may not have been singing with you in body, but I was in spirit.

I am so unintelligent when it comes to music. Remember, I am the person who didn't know the boring song that went up and down. I have never been able to sing and this probably comes from the fact that no one in my family has ever shown an interest in singing. I enjoy listening to all types of music and this is the only strength I think I have. This appreciation for all types of music has allowed me to experience many types of concerts. I enjoy hearing other people use their talents. If I could sing, I don't think I would enjoy listening to other people sing, because I would be too critical. So I will keep enjoying other people and their talents. I will start by attending Central High School's Annual Pop Concert on Saturday, April 24th. This is the best concert I go to every year. I highly recommend it.


-- Anonymous, April 08, 1999

Better late than never. Will anyone read this? I am in awe of anyone who can gracefully use their own musical talents in the classroom. It was a pleasure to have the presenters share their expertise. You can tell the music came from their hearts and souls and is such an integral part of who they are. Teaching is sharing who we are.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 1999

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