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Beaumont & Empresa Elementary Schools/Music Ventures Program (Vista, CA)

Download Project Research Report: 2007 Integrated Teaching and Learning Case Study

View School Project Digital Portfolio: 2006 (Empresa)

Project Background:

Public school music specialist at a K-8 magnet arts school and an elementary school that is challenged to improve its language literacy program partner with the MIENC to investigate how instruction and teacher professional development designed to integrate the development of both music and linguistic literacy skills would benefit student learning. Consortium member from 2005-2007.

Partnership Organizations:

Center for Music-in-Education (CMIE)

New England Conservatory (NEC)

Music-in-Education National Consortium (MIENC)

Key Elements:

Introduction of a Music and Language Literacy Integrated Curriculum emphasizing teaching for transfer strategies.

Professional Development: Project emphasizes the quality of ongoing teacher training to address (1) the school’s need to reinforce language literacy skill development for both English Only students and English Language Learners and (2) the school’s desire to provide access to formal musical instruction.

Research Findings: A detailed examination of the Music Ventures project indicates that statistically significant, positive links between music and language reading and writing skills exist at the early stages of literacy development, and that these links strengthen considerably, especially with ELL students, as teachers are trained to support music and language-integrated reading and writing instruction through ‘teaching for transfer’ strategies in their classrooms.  In this way music reading and writing become an essential tool for creating a broader and deeper understanding of general symbolic skill development.

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A.D. Henderson University School and South Grade Elementary (Boca Raton, FL)

View School Project Digital Portfolios: 2006 (South Grade), 2007 (A.D. Henderson; South Grade)

Project Background:

K-8 University school with a mission to be a demonstration site for teacher education, to develop curricula, and to conduct research and a high-needs K-6 Elementary school form partnership with the MIENC and the Early Literacy and the Arts Research Project at FAU to provide instruction to young students in order to investigate, observe, and assess the links between reading literacy, music, and visual arts.  Primary grade teachers, music teachers, and an art teacher implement a research and curriculum plan to address the parallels found in art, music, and reading as identified in the national standards and how reading, music, and art teachers can teach for transfer. Consortium members from 2005-2007.

Partnership Organizations:

Florida Atlantic University (FAU)

Music-in-Education National Consortium (MIENC)

Key Elements:

Teaching for Transfer Strategies:  Teachers implement and document the 10 Tools for Teaching for Transfer (Fogarty, Perkins, and Barell).  As a result, the language from the national music standards becomes the shared vocabulary for students and teachers.  Students learn Parallel Processes, describing, interpreting, analyzing, as per the national music standards and apply these to literature and art as well.  The topic (‘theme’) becomes a springboard for teaching concepts, such as form (beginning, middle, end) or shape (of a work of art, music, or story).  When students are asked about the connections, they initially name only the theme (for example, ‘seasons’ – “we read about winter, we heard a song about winter”). But when probed, students are able to describe the characteristics and the concepts that the teachers taught across classrooms in and through the theme of seasons; i.e., the ‘theme’ becomes a tool not the end.

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Walt Disney School (Chicago, IL)

Download School Project Report: 2008

View School Project Digital Portfolio: 2007

Project Background:

Chicago Fine Arts Magnet School with student body that is diverse and predominantly low-income uses digital music and reading technology to examine to what extent music literacy impacts or predicts success in language literacy achievement.  Researchers examine the impact of music instruction coupled with Fast ForWord program instruction on literacy development (music and language arts) and the impact of music instruction coupled with Fast ForWord instruction as it relates to auditory processing and cognitive development. Consortium member from 2006-2008.

Partnership Organizations:

Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE)

Chicago Public Schools (CPS)

Music-in-Education National Consortium (MIENC)

Kensington-Parkwood Elementary (Baltimore, MD)

Download School Project Report: 2008

View School Project Digital Portfolio: 2007

View Music Learning Leadership Team Planning Digital Portfolio: 2009

Project Background:

Arts integration Model School, wanting to be more proficient in music integration, seeks out partnerships with higher education and arts organizations, target professional development, and make a commitment to develop, document, and disseminate multiple instructional and assessment strategies. Consortium Member from 2005-2009.

Partnership Organizations:

Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance (AEMS)

Towson University

Music-in-Education National Consortium (MIENC)

Key Elements:

Integrating Music and Writing:  Students listen to a piece of music several times and each time generate a list of ten words or phrases that describe either the music or something it brought to mind, then write a story using as many of the descriptive words and phrases from their lists as possible.  Students’ ability to use descriptive words improves dramatically. The success is most obvious with previously reluctant writers.

Music and History:  “Follow the Drinking Gourd”: Students research the history, music, and symbolism of the Underground Railroad in order to compose their own spirituals, create story boards in the style of Jacob Lawrence, and write historical fiction.  Students’ ability to match emphasized lyrics to the strong beats and rhythms to lyrics improves.  They also improve their use of proper musical notation to write their melodies.

Rhythm and Poetry: A project designed to improve reading fluency with a group of fifth grade students with reading difficulties by performing drum rhythms.  Project also seeks to improve the students’ self esteem through the composition and performance of the students’ original compositions and to see if this new learning would transfer to other classes.  By-product of project is greater teacher communication and mutual understanding.

Auburn Elementary School (Auburn, GA)

View School Project Digital Portfolio: 2010

View Music Learning Leadership Team Planning Process Digital Portfolio: 2010

Download School Project Report: 2010

Project Background:

The partnership between ArtsNOW and Auburn Elementary began in 2008 as Auburn sought to utilize the arts as a way to improve instruction cross-curricularly. Additionally, Auburn was seeking to establish meaningful, consistent collaboration between teachers and to improve student behavior. Central to this change was the belief that arts integration throughout the curriculum would engage and motivate students and teachers, thereby enhancing instruction, improving student achievement, and improving student and teacher attitudes.

While the focus of the ArtsNOW/Auburn partnership has been (and continues to be) multi-arts integration in grades K-5 across the curriculum, the intent of the MIENC project is to discern, define, design, and assess specific instructional strategies that focus on music plus music integration as a way of positively impacting language arts literacy in grade 1.

Partnership Organizations:

ArtsNOW
Barrow County Public Schools
Hickory Hills Elementary School
Music-in-Education National Consortium (MIENC)

Key Research Considerations:

  1. Reinvigorating the professional culture, thereby allowing more communication, collaboration, engagement and respect among teachers;
  2. Developing increased understanding of and respect for music specialists (and other arts specialists);
  3. Developing increased understanding of and commitment to the power of Music PLUS Music Integration (M+MI) instruction throughout the school;
  4. Addressing the needs of, and providing engaging instruction for, all students consistently;
  5. Moving school culture beyond “status quo” to one that embraces continuous improvement; and
  6. Invigorating teacher comfort with and commitment to investigation, research, and authentic assessment.

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Amphitheater School District, Walker Elementary (Tucson, AZ)

Download School Project Reports: 2009, 2010

View School Project Digital Portfolio: 2010

View Music Learning Leadership Team Planning Digital Portfolio: 2010

Project Background:

Urban K-5 school seeks to provide students with a wider range of educational experiences and contexts that help create relevance, emphasize 21st century skills, and teach state standards and school curriculum in a manner that is engaging and lends itself to different learning styles.  With teaching Artist Carroll Rinehart, students create an opera integrating the learning of reading, comprehension, fluency, writing and content areas. Joined the Consortium in 2008.

Partnership Organizations:

Amphitheater School District

New England Conservatory (NEC)

Music-in-Education National Consortium (MIENC)

Key elements:

Creating Opera and its Impact on Academics and Learning: In 50-minute lessons once per week over 6 weeks, the teaching artist works with cohorts of classroom teachers to facilitate the students’ development of literary story elements in an opera format.  Students write, compose, choreograph, perform and evaluate every aspect of these projects.  Researchers use the Rinehart Learning Factors to identify and measure how music integration affects academics and learning.  Students show greater enthusiasm and energy and appear to make more connections to the rhythm of reading.

Atrium School (Watertown, MA)

Download School Project Report: 2009
View School Project Digital Portfolios: 2008, 2009, 2010
View Music Learning Leadership Team Planning Process Digital Portfolio: 2010

Project Background:

Progressive Pre K-6 school that values students’ social development as much as their cognitive and academic growth commits to M+MI practices as its principal music program strategy.  The school adopts the Music Literacy Skills Test and portfolio assessments as evidence of student learning.  Atrium’s music specialists form collaborative partnerships with classroom teachers and administrators and design and implement engaging, integrated music curricula that support other academic areas.

Partnership Organizations

New England Conservatory (NEC)
Music-in-Education National Consortium (MIENC)

Key elements:

Violin program modeled on ‘Suzuki’-style instruction (Grades 2-3):  All 17 2nd and 3rd grade students are studying violin using music-integrated approaches:  decoding and reading alternative music notation via music-math matrices; developing self-awareness and an Artist-Teacher-Scholar persona through reflective writing and portfolio assessments; composing melodies and counter melodies using various rhythms, in accordance with harmonic structure and song form; developing awareness of song form through shared fundamental concepts such as symmetry, proportion, and pattern.  The violin program uses the same vocabulary and shared methods with the General Music (Grades Pre K-6) and Choral (Grades 4-6) programs.

The Atrium Children’s Opera:  In this after school project, grades 4-6 students are involved in all aspects of the opera creation from story development, music composition, and libretto writing, to opera performance, including designing and creating sets, props, costumes, and choreographing and staging movement.

Guided Interns: In addition to working with MIENC M+MI instructors, students are also mentored by guided interns from the New England Conservatory MIE Concentration and the NEC Opera Department.

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P.S. 10 (New York, NY)

Download School Project Report: 2009
View School Project Digital Portfolios: 2007, 2009
View Music Learning Leadership Team Planning Process Digital Portfolio: 2009

Project Background:

A Magnet School of Math, Science, and Technology in partnership with the Metropolitan Opera Guild engages in a school-wide MIE-focused examination of arts-infused teaching practice: the school’s K-5 curriculum maps in ELA, math, and social studies as well as partnership collaborations with other schools.

Partnership Organizations:

Metropolitan Opera Guild (MOG)
New England Conservatory (NEC)
Music-in-Education National Consortium (MIENC)

Curriculum/Content Focus by Grade:

Pre-Kindergarten: Exploring storytelling through dramatic play and music

Kindergarten: Story and Song:  Language Acquisition through movement, music, and writing (retelling focus): Guided by a classroom teacher and a partnering artist, students create a short musical drama about ocean life.  Students create character studies by using descriptive adjectives, develop a storyline, a simple libretto, and a soundscape to apply to the libretto.  Additionally, students revise the libretto with movement in mind—physically showing or doing what was written out in the libretto.  In the early stages of composition, student suggestions and response are random, with little connection to character, emotion or setting.  As more work with soundscape is completed, students are able to connect musical/sound concepts to character with more ease.

1st Grade: Story and Song: Language Acquisition through movement, music, and writing (interpretation focus)

2nd Grade: Creating Opera to investigate Social Studies – The History of Jazz in NYC:

Students create character profiles based on their interpretation of a painting.  After determining who is portrayed in the painting, they create their own plot by pinpointing events in beginning, middle, and end of story.  From the beginning, middle, and end events they create a short libretto which they set to music.  Students’ musical language used to describe the characters becomes richer, more descriptive, and more imaginative.  Students also are able to describe the setting using music vocabulary.  Class also makes social-emotional gains in self-confidence, motivation, and ownership of work.

3rd Grade:  Investigating and comparing cultures through music and movement:

4th Grade: American History and Songwriting: Exploring Character: Students create original works of poetry based on historical events they are studying in conjunction with Social Studies.  After taking part in a writer’s workshop unit on poetry revision and editing, students then set their poems to music.  Using a number system to denote the major scale, students experiment with melodic shape to find the sequence of notes that best fit the mood and intent of the poetry.  The integration and use of music not only encourages students to think and consider elements of text at a deeper level, but also allows the students to layer multiple creative processes on one another, resulting in a meaningful experience where nearly all students are engaged and interested in the work.

5th Grade (Research and Professional Development Opera Institute):  Focusing on character and interpretation of point of view through elements of opera

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Morrison Elementary School (Norwalk, CA)

Download School Project Reports: 2008 (Core Narrative; Music Teacher’s Report; Classroom Teacher’s Report)

Download School Research Report: 2010 revision, 2009 [25 MB print-ready PDF]

View School Project Digital Portfolio: 2006

Project Background:

High needs, low-achieving school in Norwalk, CA invests in Music Plus Music Integration practices and becomes a High Performing Title I school.  From 2005-2006, school sets out to make explicit connections between music learning and literacy skill development.  Students work with a teaching artist and a classroom teacher to score a piece of literature from the core curriculum and reflect on their Five Processes in music learning.  In 2007, the school begins to explore how music learning can enhance social-emotional development, which in turn can lead to improved student learning in all content areas. Joined the Consortium in 2005.

Partnership Organizations:

Music Center of Los Angeles County (MCLA)
New England Conservatory (NEC)
Music-in-Education National Consortium (MIENC)

Key elements:

Music Learning and Language Learning: Students engage in Music PLUS Music Integration program that features diverse instrumental performance programs, including strings, steel drums, dulcimers combined with singing, improvisation, composition, and reflective writing, and that focuses on math and language literacy concepts and processes shared with fundamental skills in music reading, composition and performance. Students who engage in Music Center residencies in music perform significantly higher in music literacy skill assessments, and those students who score highest in the Music Literacy Skill Test also demonstrate significantly higher association with academic achievement in math and language.  These findings provide evidence that music literacy skill development is an important indicator of cognitive development that may reinforce or catalyze success in academic performance; these finding also suggest how musical cognitive development can be used as an intervention with academically low-achieving students.

Norwalk/Morrison Steel Pan Band: Music teacher’s efforts to create an evolving multi-age steel pan band achieves a high level of music proficiency, demonstrates the value of sustained partnership, and enhances social-emotional values among students through the group ethic and mentorship.

Using Dulcimer Instruction for Music Integration: Classroom teacher uses her own interest in the dulcimer to fuel students’ natural curiosity for learning.  Features examples of integration with music and language arts (story orchestra), social studies, and math.  Sessions and on-line forums with professional musicians create music growth as well as more opportunities for literacy.

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Ramsey International Fine Arts Center (Minneapolis, MN)

Download School Project Reports: 2007 (JMIE), 2009
View School Project Digital Portfolios:
2006, 2007, 2009 (2nd Grade; 4th Grade; Arts Learning Leadership; M+MI)

Project Background:

K-8 school with a long history of arts learning in a large urban school district embraces Music Plus Music Integration research practices as a strategic priority for school professional development and enhanced student leaning in music and in all disciplines. Joined the Consortium in 2005. 

Partnership Organizations:


Arts for Academic Achievement (AAA)
Learning Through Music Consulting Group (LTMCG), 2005-2009
New England Conservatory (NEC)
University of Minnesota School of Music (UMN)
Music-in-Education National Consortium (MIENC)


Key Elements:

4th Grade Opera Project: A year-long integrated project in which students create and perform an original opera based on the life of a chosen Nobel Peace Prize laureate from their social studies curriculum.  All 105 4th graders are involved in all aspects of the opera:  developing the story; composing the music; writing the libretto; choreographing the movement; designing and creating the sets, props and costumes; advertising and performing the opera; and critiquing the opera.  Students develop an authentic sense of ownership regarding both the process and the product.  The 4th grade teachers collaborate with the Fine Arts coordinator/choreographer, the general music teacher, the strings teachers, the Spanish Fine Arts Teacher, special education teachers, the visual art teacher, teaching artists, Learning Through Music consultants, and a group of music education interns from the University of Minnesota.  This opera-centered project results in improved student knowledge about:  music in general (and opera, in particular); language and music literacy skills (including composition); and the relationship of each to academic performance.

Reading to the Beat: An MIE language arts intervention for students who haven’t mastered high frequency sight words   Students participate in a drum circle to change the social dynamic and then perform words with rhythm sticks to embody word recognition.

Sorcerer’s Apprentice Project: Investigation of content and form of poetry through their connection to music, math, and language arts.

Pachelbel’s Music Matrix and Coordinate Systems: Exploration of fundamental concepts such as order, sequence, and pattern shared between reading representations of musical patterns in Pachelbel’s Canon and analyzing coordinate systems in 4th grade math.

Music Circle: The music circle project, team-taught by the classroom teacher and a music teaching artist, addresses the need for increased time on task through an understanding of musical concepts and uses these to develop a social/emotional vocabulary relevant to the context of the classroom and peer interactions.  Students learn to use the language of the musical concepts to identify and explain social situations, behavior, and classroom expectations. Teachers can then use this new vocabulary with their students to address behavioral expectations and classroom climate. At the end of the year, students perform for parents, teachers, and their peers a skit that shows the meaning of the word. Students participating in music circle are making strong gains in the externalizing and socializing behaviors.

Pre-post Assessments show correlation between music reading and academic achievement, with increasing strength over time.

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