Category Archives: Archived Projects

Conservatory Lab Charter School (Boston, MA)

Download Case Study School Reports: 2003 (JLTM II), 2007 (JMIE)

Project Background:

Boston public school in need of stability due to funding, building operations, transient students, and administrative leadership creates partnership with New England Conservatory’s Research Center and establishes prototypical standards for the RUBRICS CUBE assessment system.  Generative models for MLL curriculum development, teaching practices, student work documentation, and teacher professional development take root in the context of NEC’s MIE Guided Internship Program and Research Center.

Placing music at the center of the curriculum and professional development produces evidence of substantial academic improvement linked with growing excellence in music and leads to the formation of the Music-in-Education National Consortium in 2002 and its Learning Laboratory School Network in 2005.

Partnership Organizations:

New England Conservatory (NEC)

Key Elements:

The Five Processes Framework and Shared Fundamental Concepts: School adopts the Five Fundamental Processes (Listening, Creating, Performing, Inquiring, and Reflecting) intrinsic to fully engaged learning in music and any other subject area.  Interdisciplinary Lessons are designed to help students understand (1) fundamental concepts shared between music and language, math, science, history, movement, visual art, social-emotional development, and technology, and (2) key interdisciplinary features shared among all disciplines including:  Shared Concepts (proportion, sequence, part-whole relationships, symmetry), Shared Strategies (sorting, counting, collaboration, decoding, systems thinking), Shared Contexts (historical periods, cultural perspectives), Shared Representations (graphs, words, notations), and Shared Assessment Devices (performance assessment, tests, portfolios, rubrics).

The Teacher Portfolio: Classroom teacher and music specialist Teacher Portfolios become tools for practitioner-based action research.  With professional development support, teachers develop and revise their portfolios, which become rich descriptions of the individual teacher’s interpretation of work, questions, and issues raised throughout the year.  Teachers report enhanced engagement with their more active teaching practices and thus enhanced, ‘hands-on’ student understanding of music and its connection to other academic classes.

The Student Portfolio: Student Portfolio System provides evidence of learning from multiple sources and thus a validation of the essence of the school’s mission in public education.  Based on rigorous standards of data collection and annotation and multiple rubrics for various categories of student progress and content-based learning, the portfolio process provides a close-up view of how music enhances learning across the curriculum.  Teachers gather student work to provide evidence of Engagement; Progress over Time; Achievement of High Standards of academic, social-emotional and musical development; High Standards of Interdisciplinary Learning; and Five Processes Learning.

Music and Math: The study of rhythm music notation provides an alternative symbol system for understanding fundamental concepts of duration, proportion, ratio, and fractions.  Student work samples show evidence of student learning in both music and math.

Music and Language Arts: Teaching for Learning Transfer strategies provide multiple strands of evidence of music-integrated learning.  E.g., one lesson focuses on the process-rich investigation of ‘main idea and supporting details’ in language arts and music and provides evidence of causal links between the two disciplines.

Data Analysis: Student academic, music, and music-integrated learning outcomes are analyzed, displayed, and employed to further the institutional advancement of the laboratory school and contribute to research in the field of Music-in-Education.  Data show a strong correlation between academic and music learning over time within the context of music-integrated instruction.

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Northwestern University (Evanston & Chicago, IL)

Download School Project Report:  2007 (JMIE)

Project Background:

Northwestern University’s Partnerships Through the Arts program challenges both music and education students to work as Artist-Teacher-Scholar intermediaries (Guided Interns) between the university, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education teaching artists, and music specialists in the Chicago Public Schools. Founding Consortium member; active from 2000-2007.

Partnership Organizations:

Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE)

Chicago Public Schools

Northwestern University

Music-in-Education National Consortium

Centennial Place & Fernbank Elementary Schools (Atlanta, GA)

Download School Project Report: 2007 (JMIE)

View School Project Digital Porfolios: 2006 (Centennial Place; Fernbank), 2007 (Centennial Place; Fernbank)

Project Background:

Two schools with widely varied demographics partner with the MIENC through Sound Learning, a curriculum-based music education partnership between Georgia State University, community musicians, and local area schools designed to enrich children’s music learning, support the role of the music specialist in the school, and advance the role of music in children’s development and interdisciplinary learning. Founding Consortium members; active from 2000-2007.

Partnership Organizations:

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Georgia State University School of Music

Sound Learning

Music-in-Education National Consortium (MIENC)

Key Elements:

Music and Math/Science:  Music PLUS Music Integration curriculum investigates the key elements of sound; the commonalities between mathematical measurement and musical measurement; how technology can be used to better understand the rhythm and patterns of the human body; how rhythm, movement, and music can be used to demonstrate an understanding of patterns; and the correlation of patterning between music and other academic subjects.

Specific activities designed across the curriculum for integrating music:

Music: Students compose music for the recorder based on pattern techniques.

Math: Patterns learned in math are transferred to art projects.

Social Studies: Students learn and perform colonial songs for “Colonial Day.”

Science: One unit is based on sound, including a visit to Fernbank Science Center for a sound lesson, and “Sound Free Day.”

Reading: Student study letter form and write thank-you letters to the visiting performers.  In addition, students write reviews for Sound Learning performances and their visit to the Atlanta Symphony.

Writing: “Kings as Collectors” project, which relates to their visit to the art museum, includes a music component.  In this assignment, the students write essays on favorite pieces that are personally inspiring.  Also, the teacher designs a ‘tic-tac-toe’ activity that relates to the Symphony trip.  In response to this trip, the students describe their experiences through art, writing, or musical expression

Music and Geography:  Third grade students discover how music was and is used to express culture in the various geographic regions of Georgia.  First, students are introduced to music and musicians from specific geographic regions of Georgia.  Then, each class selects one region and a song that represents that region to study in-depth. After analyzing the song’s form and lyric construction, the class writes new lyrics that reflect that particular region’s geography and culture.  For the final visit, students perform their class song with the Peachtree Brass Quintet.

Professional Development Plan: The Sound Learning Team meets before the program is implemented to discuss curricular connections and goals, project ideas, and timelines for the four-visit residency.  Teachers are then asked to complete a graphic organizer for each visit that outlines how their students would be prepared, expectations for musicians, and any assistance they may need.  Embedded professional development is continuous throughout the residency via email, phone, and on-site visits.

Guided Interns:  Georgia State University music students become MIE Fellows.  Bridging the disciplines of music education, performance, and composition, students participate in seminars that introduce principles of music teaching and learning and their application within a collaborative classroom context.  Students observe Sound Learning in schools, develop performance-based instructional methods, and become resident artists who participate in professional development, collaborative planning, and interactive classroom teaching.

Results:  The teachers collect a wide variety of student work that address the project as it unfolds, allowing the teachers to constantly gauge student interest, engagement, and understanding as it develops throughout the project.  Data is collected through a wide variety of student work tailored to each of the individual visits, allowing for high levels of both teacher and student creativity.  Teachers develop original assessment tools based on student reactions.  Students are given multiple options for exploring and expressing their reactions to the visits.  In these ways, the students’ academic skills are developed and utilized in conjunction with their aesthetic sensibilities.  Music is integrated into all areas of the curriculum, meeting the goals for the inquiry question.

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.

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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Green Oaks Academy (East Palo Alto, CA)

Download School Project Report: 2009

Project Background:

School with at-risk population and English language Learning needs and no music program begins (1) to establish music as a core academic subject and as a springboard to other academic subjects; (2) to form collaborative partnerships with classroom teachers, administrators, and artists; (3) to design and implement engaging, integrated music curricula that support student achievement and learning in all academic areas; (4) to document student learning to provide evidence of learning across academic subject areas; and (5) to maintain the Instrumental Music Program in Grades 4-5. Joined the Consortium in 2008.

Partnership Organizations:

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

Key Elements:

Music and Language Literacy:  “Storytelling Through Song”: In an eight-week unit, students learn to read, identify, create, perform, analyze and write down various rhythms as they explore the theme of a Storytelling Unit.  Students create their 8-beat rhythm patterns, or soundscapes, to be performed in Readers Theater along with the text A Story A Story by Mary Ellen Pense.  Classroom teachers use the rhythm patterns students learned each week to practice their fluency and high frequency words.  Results demonstrate how learning rhythm patterns increases students’ fluency in both music and reading.

Professional Development: As a by-product, the project becomes a case study of how to introduce MIENC principles and models to someone who is not familiar with the process and to create a curriculum as a part of scale-out.