Press Release – 8/1/17
“Language Arts, Math, and Science in the Elementary Music Classroom” is a practical guide to help music teachers incorporate elementary classroom subjects into their curriculum using STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) inspired strategies. It includes a complete elementary music curriculum for kindergarten, first and second grades (Vol.1) and has cross-referencing charts for regular elementary classroom teachers to find music activities for their classroom. Importantly, it shows teachers how to include the artistic processes of creating, performing, responding and connecting in their lessons. These processes are featured in NAfME’s new Core Arts Music Standards.
The cross-disciplinary subjects are coded in a way that makes them easy to find in the lessons. Also included are assessment tests, sheet music, work sheet templates and discussions on using technology and adding more composition activities. The book’s vehicle for introducing these concepts to students is a calendar-style curriculum using folk, classical and pop music. American culture, world culture and seasonal activities are expertly interwoven throughout the planning. This book gives ways for a teacher to connect the student socially to their community and world.
Sheet music for 63 folk songs (some hard to find) is included. The lesson activities include singing, percussion instruments, seasonal songs and movement activities. These lessons can be used as is or the teacher can take what they want to build their own unique lessons.
(Oxford University Press Publication Specs like the isbn number are to be provided by September 1, 2017)
About the Author
Kim Milai grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For the past twenty-five years she has worked as an elementary music teacher in public and private schools. As well as being a NYC rock drummer in bands that opened for groups like the B52’s and Cindy Lauper, she produced and performed in her own children’s music CD “Dinobone, Dinobone, Have You Heard?” Kim has Kodály and Suzuki training and earned a Masters in Music Education at the Eastman School of Music. She currently lives with her husband and two children at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Author Q & A
Question: What brought you to write this book?
Answer: I experienced changes in the relationship between my music classes and the other classroom subjects being taught in my school. At teacher meetings we were being asked to include more interdisciplinary activities in our lessons. As I kept reading about, collecting and creating strategies, I realized that I had something to offer by compiling this information and getting it to a wider teacher audience.
Question: What does the book include?
Answer: This book includes lessons that apply STEM inspired strategies. STEM is short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM educators blend these subjects in a way that enhances the learning and inspires more students to go into these disciplines. When applying this to an elementary music class, I took basic subjects and added them to music in a way that benefits the student and the educational experience. These music lessons demonstrate how language arts, math, science and social studies can be added to the lesson. In addition, this book uses the updated National Core Arts Music Standards. In these standards, students learn music using the following artistic processes; Creating, Performing, Responding and Connecting. Together, with the inclusion of basic subjects, this publication combines the most up to date and practical elementary music teaching strategies that will contribute towards improved student proficiency in all disciplines covered.
Question: What are some outstanding features of the book?
Answer: The book includes what I call “coded concepts.” I chose standards from all the basic subjects that worked well with music activities and labeled them with a coded system that makes them easy to locate in the lessons. It also includes assessment tests that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the core arts music standards.
Question: What, if any, controversy is there about the method behind this book?
Answer: Some teachers and experts in the field might disagree with this all-inclusive approach. This is alright, however, because a book about this method can open up the discussion and get teachers communicating their ideas and views for everyone’s benefit.
Question: Why is social interaction a key point in this approach?
Answer: I was inspired by David M. Elliott’s music educational philosophy of praxial or “active learning.” By the students’ immersion into performing, composing, improvising and discussing, they have the opportunity for extensive and thoughtful social interaction. Being given an outlet to express their views socially with others gives validity to where they come from, validity to their community and culture, and of course validity to their opinions on music.
Question: Who could use this book?
Answer: New Music Teachers, Veteran Music Teachers, Music Education Professors, Music Education College Students, Elementary Classroom Teachers, Early Childhood Teachers.
“From current research conducted at NAfME on Core Arts Standards, embedding the assessment process within the student’s instruction was found to be superior in aiding comprehension as well as improving creativity and performing ability. Creating and performing music is a good thing but being able to think about the creation (evaluate, analyze, compare, interact) is an improved learning process. The teacher and the student are joined in questioning and growing all aspects of the music experience. Making this music ‘dialogue’ pulls in everybody socially. It interweaves music into the whole person and the whole society.” page 6
“Adding Science concepts to a music lesson is intriguing and challenging. You can’t do long experiments like growing plants from seeds. But what you can do is use a song as a jumping point to address science subjects. Have the students use skills like evaluating, analyzing and problem solving to think and discuss. The approach will be different. It’s seeing science through a music prism, so to speak. For example in the kindergarten curriculum lesson 26, the student’s are reviewing the game “King’s Land.” One of the science standards is to design a structure that will reduce the sun’s warming effect. You could lead a class discussion on how we (the villagers) could protect ourselves from getting overheated on the King’s Land. What could we build or bring? Could someone draw a picture of it on the whiteboard?” page 28
Table of Contents
The Elementary Class: Transitioning to the Future
Using the National Core Arts Music Standards as a Tool
What is STEM and NGSS?
A Word About STEAM
What This Practical Guide Includes
Rationale: How the Music Class is Evolving
My Philosophy of Music Education: The Body/Brain Connection
Why Add Other Subjects Within the Music Lesson?
Questions to Contemplate
Part One: Lesson Overview
How to Get Started: The Process in Metaphor
Leaving the Metaphor
National Core Arts Music Standards
Tips on Creating Questions
Explore, Identify, Demonstrate
Lesson Building Blocks
Inside Popular Music
Composition and Improvisation: Where Do They Fit into the New Standards?
Integrating Basic Subjects into the New Curriculum
Questions to Contemplate
Part Two: Lesson Plans
Kindergarten Group Music Assessment Test
Kindergarten Concept Code Matrix
Kindergarten Song List
First Grade and Second Grade the same outline
Part Three: Songs
Part Four: Coded Concepts
Part Five: Appendices
American and World Culture Month to Month
Assembly and Concert Suggestions
Classical and Folk Listening Lists
Group Exploration: Descriptive Words
National Recess Week
Music Notation Sheets
Storybooks and Picture Books