Does Music Make Kids Smarter?Explain

First Discussion Question:

Take a moment to view the following videos, which discuss the effects of music on the brain:

Does Music Make Kids Smarter?
Health Matters: Music and the Mind

Consider the following scenario:

You are friends with a family who has a 5-year-old son named Howard. Howard loves coming to school gets along with well other children. He has a positive attitude about learning and is persistent when facing challenges. His favorite thing about school is music time. He loves to sing and dance. During center time, he plays with instruments and listens to music on head phones. His school also has a music teacher, and Howard is learning how to play the piano. Howard was recently diagnosed with a learning disability and his cognitive and language development appears delayed. His parents want to put him in an academically focused program that does not include music education. They feel that this type of experience does not address his special learning needs and that more time must be spent on academics in order to bring him up to grade level. What advice do you give Howard’s parents? In your answer, discuss developmental milestones for this age group and cite research regarding the effect of music education and experience on the cognitive development of young children.

You may refer to the national standards for Arts education, ArtsEdge, Standards, or any other state standards you would like.

Second Discussion Question:

Take a moment to watch the Five-Year-Olds Pilot Their Own Project Learning video below:

“Themes and projects are strategies for breaking away rigid designated time blocks…Thematic teaching allows children to investigate topics thoroughly in an integrated manner…Project work has been shown to be a successful method of meeting standards” (Benson & Miller, 2008; Helm 2008). Review Chapter 16 of the required text for more information about thematic teaching. Locate a set of standards for math and science and describe a cross-curricular, student-centered project that meets those standards in an integrated way.

Option One:

Share three math content standards and three science content standards. Then, develop a project that meets these standards. Describe your project and identify two ways in which this project is developmentally appropriate. Also explain your approach for making your project child-centered.

You may view the following resource for more information: Project Based Learning for the 21st Century.

Option Two

Interview two early childhood teachers about long-term, cross-curricular projects that they have implemented in their classroom that include both math and science content, and discuss the standards addressed in these projects. Share the details of these projects with the class.

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