Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Song and dance

So old it could be new in schools
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Still wearing bits of War II Pacific army uniform, I got back to civvie life as teacher in sole charge of a one-room school.

It was two days travel by mixed means, from the nearest railway station.

Desperate to keep these wild children busy and learning to read and write for the next two years, and keep myself sane, I stumbled over the ancient idea of using music, song, rhythm and dance to teach with; it was the only “method” that worked with those kids.

We “sang” and thumped and jumped our way on home-made drums, through the numbers and words and history and geography I had set to wartime tunes - tunes they all knew from the radio.

Though self-taught and seriously deaf, oldest pupil Fat Maria pounded on the remains of a piano. She had to sit on two chairs.

Here’s my point. So successful were my amateurish [halfbaked] efforts in that isolated classroom long ago, that I still scan publishers’ lists occasionally, to see if a skilled publisher, teacher, writer, artist, and musician have got together to “bake” a SING AND LEARN series.

I see plenty of “songs for the classroom” sort of book, and for aiding the speaking of another language, and learning music itself, but so far no series integrated with a national curriculum to combine with other series to teach reading, ‘ritin and ‘rithmetic with the built-in aid of music.

It would make me happy to know of one.

rayfo, May 21 2001

Science by music http://www.halfbake...cience_20by_20music
Songs for the classroom sort of thing. [jutta, May 21 2001]


       In sunday school, we sang bible verses in order to memorize them. To this day, I can't get the wretched things out of my head. Holy Spirit just won't leave me alone! Pity that the public schools can't make use of this tactic as well (congrats rayfo on your great success; more educators like you -- innovative, unconventional, passionate, willing to do whatever it takes to reach the kids -- would bring this country up a notch or two...).
globaltourniquet, May 21 2001

       My daughter (2.5) attends a Waldorf pre-school. I note that they spend much of the day singing, in greeting, organizing, during activities, and in parting. They are very young in this place, but I agree it is a powerful tool for teaching at all ages.
jurgen, May 21 2001

       As has been mentioned on this site before, learning is more than just memorization, though a healthy chunk of straight memorization can make certain disciplines a lot easier. What would the singing and dancing teacher do when it came time to teach pure thinking and problem-solving skills?
centauri, May 24 2001

       Centauri : I've observed that about a third of any unselected group need rote learning to thrive.   

       Another third need a teacher they can here-worship and don't do well with a low-profile one.   

       The final third hardly need a teacher at all, being self-directed.   

       Successful adults seem to come from all three groups.
rayfo, May 28 2001

       Down around the corner in a little school
Children learn their lessons and the golden rule
'Cause they got a teacher up from Basin Street
And she does her teachin' with a boogie beat
Teachin' the ABCs with rhythm and ease

       But every single mornin' it's the same old thing
All the kiddies waitin' for the bell to ring
When they hear it ringin' they all jump in line
They hop into the classroom feeling mighty fine
To learn their ABCs with rhythm and ease

       Well, a-readin', writin', arithmetic
Taught to the tune of a licorice stick
No education is ever complete
Without a boogie woogie woogie beat

       - Bill Haley & His Comets
spidermother, Mar 14 2012

       Sort of a 'Schoolhouse Rocks' progenitor, since I think that started in the '80s. Definite bun for making learning fun!
Alterother, Mar 14 2012

       It's a seriously good idea. I presume you're still not wearing the Pacific war uniform by the way..   

       The songs do tend to get upgraded, the last one was the say hello song done to the tune of the Emperor's theme music from Star Wars.   

       See link, if I can find it...
not_morrison_rm, Mar 17 2012


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