Content Songs

Content Songs:
Teaching Content through Music
TED 387 Music Methods
Dr. Steve Broskoske
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How Music Can Be
Used in the Classroom
• Music can be incorporated in the classroom at
3 levels:
Teach educational content (content songs).
Enhance educational content. (Use music to
help students understand, feel, and appreciate
educational content.)
Set tone/atmosphere. (Create an atmosphere
conducive to effective teaching/learning: music to
prepare, music to focus & concentrate.)
Music Makes Learning
Content Easier
• Music facilitates absorbing vocabulary and
reading material quickly. When information is
put to rhythm and rhyme, these musical
elements provide a hook (cue) for recall.
Music Makes Learning
Content Easier
• Songs, chants, poems, and raps will improve
memory of content facts and details through
rhyme, rhythm, and melody.
• Teaching these musical forms to students is a
very effective memory tool.
• You could even have students write their own
song or poem!
What Is Learning?
• Learning involves chemically
encoding new material into
the brain.
• Memories are stored in
neurons, billions of cells that
encode, store, and retrieve
• Neurons form networks of
connected information.
• Learning involves making
connections between neurons.
What is Learning?
• The way that information was stored (neural
pathway), is the way that information will be
– Examples:
• Driving a car.
• Showering.
• How did you store the alphabet?
Learning the Alphabet
ABC Song
at Wikipedia
Students come to school already
knowing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.
Notice how closely the ABC song
resembles that song.
Learning the Alphabet
Let’s learn the alphabet backwards!
Content Songs
Content songs help teach educational
material to students.
Mnemonic Songs for
Content Area Learning
by Meish Goldish
Schoolhouse Rock
Fifty, Nifty United States (5th)
Fifty, Nifty U.S.
Stopping By Woods On A Snowy
Evening (by Robert Frost)
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
Content Songs
Content Songs
• A teacher can use different types of music to
which students will relate.
Multiplication Raps
(Teacher Tube)
“Mrs. Burk” has created some
great multiplication rap tunes!
Using Familiar Tunes
• Students come to the classroom knowing
many songs.
• Not only can we sing these songs, but
teachers can put new words to these familiar
Itsy, Bitsy Spider
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Start
Content Songs
Using Familiar Tunes
Earth Day (3rd or 4th)
Recycle Songs
More Recycle Songs
• Select a familiar tune
OR make up your own.
– Twinkle, Twinkle, Little
– Itsy, Bitsy Spider
– Row, Row, Row Your Boat
– Mary Had a Little Lamb
• Select some educational
content to teach:
Four seasons.
Basic math concept.
A part(s) of speech.
Music theory (pitch,
tempo, rhythm).
Assignment: Create a brief content song.

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