Posted Date: 03/20/2020
COPPERAS COVE, TX (March 18, 2020)—Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary School student Tia Way concentrated as she clapped out the beats to a half note, quarter note and whole note as she determined if this was the music she wanted to create.
Music teacher Alice Welchez has students’ doing more than singing songs for future school performances. Using the music room floor marked off as a giant music staff, students placed eight circle stickers on which they drew music notes down on the floor.
“I want you to think back to previous lessons you learned last semester,” Welchez told the students. “Then, you will place the dots, or notes, on the floor and clap the beats out to make sure your notes are marked correctly, that you have determined they are the beats you want, and they are in the order you want.”
Students chose between the different notes by clapping their hands or tapping their feet to determine the beats and ensure the melodies they created is how they wanted the music to flow. Not only did the activity teach music, but it also required knowledge in multiple core subjects.
“I get to write a note and pick the beats for it and then put it on the staff,” Way said. “I have to use my math to count out how many beats there are and make sure it is right.”
It is proven that children who study music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills than their peers who do not participate in music programs. Regardless of socioeconomic status or school district, students who participate in high-quality music programs score higher on reading and spelling tests. Students enrolled in music are also in school more often with an attendance rate of 93.3 percent as compared to 84.9 percent in schools without music programs.
Third grader Madeline Hall is already planning to participate in CCISD’s junior high band program.
“This is great for me when I get older and play an instrument. I will know how long to play it for,” Hall said. “This is fun and it makes me happy because I am learning how to put music together.”
Welchez walked around the room encouraging students to use their own choices and to clap it out to see that the notes were indeed correct. Students began to make their placements and then decided to rearrange them as they thought more about the sound of the music they truly wanted.
“Be confident and brave in making your choices,” Welchez told the students. “This is a learning experience and the first steps to reading music. Learning to understand music and how everything is put together and works is an essential part of learning. It also takes using multiple skills from all education subjects to help the pieces all come together.”