Elementary School Music

From Heartbeat to Steady Beat

Posted in Readings & Research by P. Conrad on April 18, 2009

From Heartbeat to Steady Beat is a summary of research in early childhood music education provided on-line at the MENC website.

It includes articles in such categories as Music & the Unborn Child, Music & the Infant, Music & Young Children, and offers a list of search terms for seeking further studies or looking for specific subjects within the studies listed in the summary. Most of the studies are from the 1980s and 1990s.

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Teaching the Groove

Posted in Band / Orchestra, Lesson Planning by P. Conrad on June 19, 2007

Two related websites present valuable resources and reading for music teachers. These are both creations of a veteran music educator and ethnomusicologist, Charles Keil, who worked for a long time in the Buffalo NY schools system, and now lives in Connecticut. Music Grooves describes itself as “an adventure in scholarly and personal dialogue.” Born to Groove is a full-length on-line book by Charles Keil and Patricia Campbell, with accompanying discussions.

Do not be put off by terms such as “groovology” or chapter titles like “From Wombdrum to Earthdance”: the book contains a great deal of very valuable material for teachers.

Some of the chapters in Born to Groove (which open as printable PDF pages on your computer) are heavy in philosophy and statements about the power of music and dance to heal the world’s wrongs. But if you’re looking specifically for teaching methods, you won’t be disappointed by “Section 4: Show Me How to Do Like You Do.” Or this audio segment on teaching Simple Samba by Charles Keil .

Keil and and his colleagues have worked extensively on the concept of the “groove” and on ways to teach salsa and samba rhythms to young people. The two websites contain a great deal of reading as well as audio, video and teaching resources, along with the discussion forums.

In Buffalo, Keil was a founder of an organization called Musicians United for Superior Education (MUSE), which (inevitably) also has a website.

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