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.