Making the Dismal Science Less Dismal: An Economic SONG and Dance Incorporating Music into the Economics Classroom Brian O’Roark – Robert Morris University What’s all the fuss about? AC-DC the economists Money Talks Music for Econ – lives! Now housed on CriticalCommons.org. No passwords required. Songs are played from the CC server Choose high quality or standard and enjoy. Seems to work better with Firefox Creating a Classroom Community Becker and Watts (2006) – encourage the discipline to “teach economics in as many ways as possible” Music creates a classroom community where students share a common experience -- this makes students want to come to class! What are the costs/benefits? I play the animations before class begins and synchronize the start of the class with the end of the music. This creates a welcoming environment that is also rich in content. Fair Use Debate Key questions of court look at whether economic harm occurs to copyright holder Fair Use is a user’s right Supreme Court views this as a way to keep copyrights from violating the First Amendment Courts use the rule of reason to determine fair use Did you transform the media? Is what was taken appropriate No worries! There is very little chance you will actually get sued. Cease and Desist is the preferred path. No cases against educators brought by an American media company. Getting Started I am not technically gifted I don’t teach with Power Point Specific software isn’t necessary I fancy myself as a director not an actor This involves a degree of creativity A good presentation is NOT all economics A few tips from: it your own – have fun insert yourself in the song. Song choice is everything Make Molasses to Rum to Slaves – Bad Money Talks – Good How do students benefit? Seeing economics in action Apply it themselves – making music together Semester review End of semester XC Q1. Do you feel that playing music animations before class starts adds to the educational environment? Really great way to kick start the class. Makes me think and ask questions. Also gives the music more meaning that it used to! I definitely think the music adds to the educational environment. It helps to think about economic principles in scenarios other than a graph on a slide that we can't really relate to. It helps to bring the learning full circle. Question 1 Response Statistics Positive (285) Lukewarm (4) Negative (2) Q2. Do you always pay attention to the economic explanations in the animations? I do because they are a nice way to break up a large amount of information. Relating economics to everyday life helps me to better understand the concepts. No, not always. If I really like the song anyway I will definitely pay attention to the economic explanations but if I do not like the song I will usually just listen. Question 2 Response Statistics Most of the Time (224) I try to do my best. Sometimes when the songs are really fast it's more difficult to finish reading everything, but I always try. Some of the Time (50) Never (19) Q3. Do you feel that playing music animations before class adds to the social environment of class (i.e. creates a more relaxed atmosphere)? I think it does create a more relaxed atmosphere, especially when it's a popular song that most students know. Yes, I actually met two really good friends by just conversing about the song that was on. It makes the class more current and interactive. A little bit. I think it shows that the professor isn't gung-ho on strict, boring lectures. no, it makes people talk louder (and its too early in the day!) Question 3 Response Statistics Positive (289) Lukewarm (3) Negative (2) 50 Years of Economic Songs: From the Beatles to MacElmore Brian O’Roark – Robert Morris University Dirk Mateer – University of Arizona Kim Holder – University of West Georgia Q&A Suggestions for new songs? This has been talked about on websites and blogs, but if there’s an education center who could help promote this, or a publisher??? Any comments?