Music and the Brain offers a framework for sequential student learning while allowing interpretation and creativity in instruction. Music teachers often have the fewest resources and lack blueprints for measurable success. Music and the Brain is the perfect solution for a music teacher who wants to develop critical thinking skills in tandem with musicianship in students.
Students progress through three piano books and levels along with a supplemental piano repertoire. They view the notation of each song on an interactive whiteboard or on poster enlargements. Together as a class, students analyze the song of the lesson “on the rug,” internalizing the piece through singing, movement, comparative listening, clapping, and fingering the notation away from the keyboards. Students are able to discover the music and find patterns and new concepts in each lesson while gradually building piano skills.
Music and the Brain lessons are based on a repertoire of 140+ songs across multiple piano books and skill levels. Genres include classical, world and folk music, children’s songs, and original pieces written to teach specific concepts. Scheduling varies but ideally students are given up to two 45-minute classes a week. The music room is equipped with 15 student keyboards, 30 headphones, and headphone splitters for students to partner and support each other as they play.
The program is designed to encourage student-driven learning at the keyboard as they work in pairs; this supports a classroom environment with increased differentiation and peer assessment.
Music and the Brain delivers many benefits to music teachers – regardless of their tenure – due to the talents of hundreds of teachers who influence the curriculum. There are some truly indispensable tools Music and the Brain can provide to teachers beginning their teaching careers or completely new to classroom teaching.
Music and the Brain believes that supporting music teachers on an ongoing basis gives students the best outcomes. In addition to the sequential curriculum, teaching materials, and initial training we provide, professional development workshops are offered to keep best practices current and to introduce new tools and methods to improve lesson productivity.
Music and the Brain is transformative for schools in the areas of community, culture, and student motivation; key benefits include:
Our program has been adopted as the central music curriculum across elementary schools in multiple districts.
“Music and the Brain has enabled our students in Kindergarten through the second grade to learn to play the keyboard with knowledge, confidence and joy. The program format enables our students to successfully read music, learn about the composers, and play with gusto. In addition, the professional development provided for our music teacher has empowered her to provide richer music introduction. There is nothing more beautiful than hearing Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ played by five year olds!”
Anna Cano Amato, Principal PS 110 in Brooklyn