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The Sounds of Music

April 29, 2010
“Move your neck according to the music.”    – Ethiopian Proverb

Music is a universal language that helps us communicate our ideas, beliefs, and feelings.   When music is used independently or in tandem with other disciplines in the classroom, teachers are making it possible for students to hear and see the connections to the world around them. 

   

During the 2009-2010 school year, Museum staff downloaded music from the Smithsonian Folkways website for use in the galleries with the students in the Dallas ISD/ DMA Talented and Gifted (TAG) Museum Program.  With a focus on common ideas about being human, TAG students listened to and identified song types (i.e. lullabies, wedding, funeral, and work songs) universal to all peoples.  Song selections included the following:

Using an active ear, the students discussed the similarities and differences of the music selections from each culture.  Smithsonian Folkways is a non-profit record label of the Smithsonian Institution that documents folk and world music.  The Folkways website includes lesson plans and additional resources created by their network of teachers. 

If you are interested in a more in-depth conversation about works of art, performances, or lectures, go to the Smithsonian Institution’s Podcast website.  There is a wide array of disciplines and topics represented in the podcasts.  If you have a moment or two, I encourage you to think about ways you can use these types of digital resources in your classroom related to the curriculum you teach. 

Until next time….

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Learning Partnerships with Schools

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