A Sound Approach
Using Music in The Classroom


The universe is one vast orchestra. We are its instruments.

This is the powerful premise that starts this dynamic and engaging presentation: while songs and symphonies are inventions of man, music arises out of nature. Music is the human interpretation of what we hear all around us. No one put it more poetically than Ambrose Bierce, who wrote, "Music is love in search of a word."

But what does this have to do with learning and the practical urgencies of daily life? In fact, it turns out that music has enormous impact on our lives, our bodies, and how we learn.

Sound can shatter glass. The sound of the wind took down the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in that famous 1940 incident where "Galloping Gertie" undulated until she collapsed into the waters of Puget Sound below. Think about that power for a moment. Consider that when sound enters the human ear, it is immediately carried by the 10th cranial nerve to every organ in the body except the spleen. Don't think for a moment that sound-and the music we choose-doesn't affect us.

And music's effect is far more than merely physiological. Its psychological impact is no less significant. Are we inadvertently using music as sonic Valium, as psychoacoustician Joshua Leeds puts it, by overemphasizing lower frequencies in music, at the cost of the higher ones that most efficiently charge the neocortex of the brain? How do rock and rap affect student learning? Is it merely a question of musical taste or is there really something nefarious taking place when we allow students to bring "their" music into the classroom?

In this practical seminar, you come to understand how to use sound and music to optimal advantage. You experience the "colors" of music and how they relate to specific emotional moods. You discover how certain musical tones instantly suggest certain images; you see the potential for magic as students tap multiple "intelligences" and make the connection between visuals, music, and motion in their classroom multimedia presentations. You find out where to get music files and other resources for these projects, or how to create your own music, easily, quickly, and legally.

You learn how music played at different speeds affects the brain differently, and how you can make that work to your students' advantage. You experience the impact of various speeds of music and learn to conduct this same "experiment" with your students.

Even if you can't play a note (or carry a tune in a bucket), you can tap the power, joy, and beauty of music to create an environment conducive to the flowering of every learner. Discover the right music (plus resources, tools and strategies) to tune up learning. Listen to the music.... We're playing your song!

Presentation type... keynote or breakout session
Audience................ K-12 educators
Duration................. 45-90 minutes
Handouts................ Making Music: Resources & Strategies

Dr. Burmark will gladly tailor any presentation to your specific needs.