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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