Author Topic: Mississippi children learn with blues curriculum  (Read 292 times)

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Offline flowers

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Mississippi children learn with blues curriculum
« on: December 26, 2013, 02:07:54 PM »
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MISSISSIPPI_BLUES_CURRICULUM?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-12-26-13-27-47

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TUNICA, Miss. (AP) -- In cotton country a couple miles east of the Mississippi River, just off a road known as the blues highway, fourth graders at Tunica Elementary School are exploring the Delta's homegrown music to learn about rhythm, rhyme and chord progression.

Their teacher is also using the new Mississippi Blues Trail Curriculum to help the children absorb information in unexpected ways.

Chevonne Dixon is one of the first teachers in the state to incorporate the blues into science, math, social studies and English lessons. So far this school year, the 9- and 10-year-olds in her class have written blues songs about the weather. They've composed short ditties about the travails of being a kid. And they've read classic blues lyrics to learn the challenges of growing cotton.

"It makes them recall information, especially with that slow, melodic sound," said Dixon, who leads her classroom with a calm demeanor that brings out a quiet, respectful manner in the children.

Tunica Elementary sits near a milo field just off of U.S. Highway 61, the blues highway that meanders south out of Memphis, Tenn., and down through the cotton and soybeans


Offline EC

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Re: Mississippi children learn with blues curriculum
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 02:45:41 PM »
Now THAT is a teacher.

For thousands of years children have been taught by song or epic poems. Betting every last person reading here can sing the alphabet song. Why should that highly effective technique change simply because the information has changed.

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Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Mississippi children learn with blues curriculum
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 02:54:33 PM »
Deep South blues influences a whole lot of music.

The blues were given a huge new audience in the 60s when some British and American bands picked up on the style.

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Offline Chieftain

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Re: Mississippi children learn with blues curriculum
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2013, 03:22:21 PM »
uh huh...and how well do these children read and write??


Offline EC

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Re: Mississippi children learn with blues curriculum
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2013, 03:47:54 PM »
uh huh...and how well do these children read and write??


There is a reasonable body of evidence that musical instruction in the young leads to higher levels of literacy.

http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v10n1/bolduc.html is a good place to start. I'll drop in this: http://www.abcmusicandme.com/images/abc%20white%20paper.pdf as well - but it is a study commisioned by someone selling something, so pinch of salt there.

Note - it is still to be determined if it is correlation (More musically inclined children are already more likely to enjoy learning) or causation (Learning music promotes literacy). Still interesting to look at.

Looking back into history, most people learned through songs and poems, even if they couldn't read or write.
Anne McCaffery (wonderful writer if you like sci-fi/fantasy) made sure that one of the biggest guilds on Pern was the bards hall, calling on her knowledge of Slavonic history and Irish traditions.
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