Complete VOICES archives now available

After hyping VOICES (Virtual Online Interdisciplinary Conferences on Educating with Song) with the previous 17 posts, it seems appropriate to note the following: (1) The conference did in fact take place on Sept. 27-28, as scheduled. (2) It was great! (3) Every session has been archived and may be accessed free of charge! Just go to causeweb.org/voices/2017/program.

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Countdown to VOICES, presenter profile #17: Professor Lesser

This post is the 17th in a series of brief profiles of people who will be presenting their work at VOICES, a first-of-its-kind online conference on using music to teach STEM, on Sept. 27-28, 2017.

How does science-based music fit into the general context of engaging teaching? According to UTEP’s Larry Lesser, music is one type (among many) of educational fun. At VOICES, however, Larry will focus on fun of the musical variety, as indicated in the following abstract of his presentation.

A CONTINUUM OF INTERACTIVITY WITH EDUCATIONAL (MATHEMATICS/STATISTICS) SONGS
We posit that a key factor in how effective songs are in students’ motivation, engagement, and learning is how interactive the song experience is for students. We articulate and tour a continuum of interactivity, illustrated with examples that are grounded in the context of core learning objectives in mathematics and statistics for students in high school or college, but applicable to virtually any subject matter. Our current NSF-funded Project SMILES (Student-Made Interactive Learning with Educational Songs for introductory statistics), loosely inspired by the Mad LibsTM phrasal word template game, has high interactivity by having students supply pre-song inputs (contextual examples or conceptual connections) that prime them to learn from the ensuing song — a song which is readily played back to them with their inputs! I will discuss an example from Project SMILES, whose effectiveness is being assessed this year by randomized experiments coordinated by my fellow grant PIs Dennis Pearl and John Weber. The big picture tour (which incorporates audience polling questions!) will be followed by lively discussion tailored to VOICES attendees’ interests. We also share references and resources for exploration beyond this session.

Larry is a statistics/mathematics education professor at The University of Texas at El Paso, where he’s been since 2004. He has 100 peer-reviewed papers and books, two National Science Foundation grants (with Penn State’s Dennis Pearl and Perimeter College at Georgia State University’s John Weber), and has won statewide teaching awards (e.g., UT-ROTA, Minnie Stevens Piper Professor). His math-and-music outreach has yielded 70 published songs, a dozen national contest awards, dozens of conference performances or radio/TV appearances, five journal articles, and an issue of The Mini Page.

Larry is one of over 40 people who will present their ideas, insights, and investigations at VOICES. To have full access to all presenters and their presentations, please register for the conference. It’s only $10!

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Countdown to VOICES, presenter profile #16: Tiffany Getty

This post is the 16th in a series of brief profiles of people who will be presenting their work at VOICES, a first-of-its-kind online conference on using music to teach STEM, on Sept. 27-28, 2017.

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Tiffany Getty is a chemistry teacher at Wellsboro Area High School in Pennsylvania … and, as of January 2017, also an Ed.D. student at Wilkes University. She submitted the following VOICES abstract.

11th GRADE STUDENT SONG WRITING EXAM PROJECT
I’d like to propose a project and rubric I used as an end of the year assessment in my 11th grade chemistry class. I had students choose a topic, and write and record a song, instead of taking an exam. They seemed to have fun completing the project and I think it went well. I am seeking input on anything -– but specifically a better rubric to grade students, and also music technology that is easy to use, high quality, and accessible to all. Thanks!

If you want to hear more about this, you’re in luck — Tiffany’s “video poster” has now been posted to the VOICES website! So have video posters by Kevin Ahern, Alecia Beymer/Vaughn Watson, Dane Camp, Kristin Chavis, Greg Crowther/John Mlynczak, Dennis Pearl/John Weber, Robby Ratan, and Walter Smith. Check them out and, if desired, leave comments!

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Countdown to VOICES, presenter profile #15: Willy Wood and Brod Bagert

This post is the 15th in a series of brief profiles of people who will be presenting their work at VOICES, a first-of-its-kind online conference on using music to teach STEM, on Sept. 27-28, 2017.

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Willy Wood (above left) is a long-time educator and educational consultant who works with teachers across the country. His area of emphasis is how the human brain learns most effectively, and he takes cutting-edge research from cognitive science and translates that research into practical, effective classroom strategies. Willy is the co-author, with Rich Allen, of The Rock ‘N’ Roll Classroom: Using Music to Manage Mood, Energy, and Learning. You can learn more about Willy at www.willywoodteaching.com.

Brod Bagert (above right) is the award-winning author of 17 books of poetry for children, young adults, and adults. Brod is one of the best-known performance poets in the United States, and his readings, school visits, performances, and workshops are not-to-be-missed spectacles, full of emotion and energy. Brod is also the founder of the Muse Project, a collaboration between him and 3,000+ U.S. teachers designed to bring content-embedded poetry into the classroom. Teachers ask for content poems on certain curricular topics, and Brod produces a poem to match. Teachers in the project then find creative ways to use the poem in class. You can find out more about Brod’s work at www.brodbagert.com.

Below is the VOICES abstract of this highly alliterative team.

HOW TO ROCK YOUR CLASSROOM, EVEN IF YOU CAN’T PLAY AN INSTRUMENT OR SING!
Have you always wanted to use music to teach your content, but you’ve been afraid to try it because you weren’t sure you could “write a song” or because you don’t see yourself as being “musical”? Well, never fear! The process is a lot simpler than you would think, and in this short workshop, Willy Wood, co-author of The Rock ‘N’ Roll Classroom, and poet Brod Bagert will walk you through a simple step-by-step process that will have you creating content-embedded songs for your classroom in no time. You know your content, and you know hundreds or even thousands of tunes (though you’ve probably never thought about it). All you have to do is learn how to put these two things that you already know together. Come and find out how!

Willy and Brod are two of over 40 people who will present their ideas, insights, and investigations at VOICES. To have full access to all presenters and their presentations, please register for the conference. It’s only $10!

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Countdown to VOICES, presenter profile #14: Nyaradzo Mvududu

This post is the 14th in a series of brief profiles of people who will be presenting their work at VOICES, a first-of-its-kind online conference on using music to teach STEM, on Sept. 27-28, 2017.

Nyaradzo Mvududu is a Professor of Education at Seattle Pacific University. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nyaradzo completed her doctoral dissertation on the teaching of statistics in Zimbabwe and the U.S., and frequently teaches statistics courses at SPU, sometimes incorporating music. She holds the additional distinction of having won awards for her poems and songs at the United States Conference On Teaching Statistics (USCOTS) in 2007, 2011, and 2013.

Below is Nyaradzo’s VOICES abstract, whose title appears to allude to an old Jim Croce hit.

AND I HAVE TO SAY STATISTICS WITH A SONG
Using song in teaching is not a new idea. Songs have been used quite extensively in a variety of arenas, most notable in language acquisition. There is some empirical evidence to support the efficacy of using song in learning a new language. Furthermore, there is some theoretical support for the use of song in teaching. While the theories do not directly advocate for song, the use of song is consistent with the frameworks. This presentation will explore the educational theories that support the use of song in teaching in general, and specifically in STEM education. The questions explored are: When is it appropriate to use song in teaching? What learning goals are better served by the use of song in teaching/learning? Additionally, the limited research showing the impact of using song in STEM related fields will be discussed.

Nyaradzo is one of over 40 people who will present their ideas, insights, and investigations at VOICES. To have full access to all presenters and their presentations, please register for the conference. It’s only $10!

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Countdown to VOICES, presenter profile #13: Jim and Kathy Ocean

This post is the 13th in a series of brief profiles of people who will be presenting their work at VOICES, a first-of-its-kind online conference on using music to teach STEM, on Sept. 27-28, 2017.

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Jim and Kathy Ocean are a husband-and-wife team who describe themselves as musicians, concert producers, and cultural activists. Their musical repertoire includes many science-related songs, an example of which (“Plastilla”) is shown below. They also host Metaquizzical Cafes, a form of science cafes that blend live music, speaker interviews, science news, and audience Q&A.

Along with NYU neurophysiology professor Joseph LeDoux, Jim and Kathy will be featured in a VOICES session concentrating on the performing side of science songs. Their abstract is as follows.

BEYOND STEM: USING MUSIC TO IGNITE CURIOSITY, ENGAGEMENT AND PURPOSE
We live in an increasingly intimidating and overwhelming world. The sheer volume of information, the speed of technological change coupled with swirling world events laid bare under the spotlight of an ever-more-connected world leave many searching for handrails. It’s an even more poignant situation for students coming of age at this moment in time. While science serves as an agent of escalating change, it also contains within itself living seeds of perennial mystery, awe and wonder. Getting in touch with the underlying mystery is revitalizing and has the power to ground us in our humanity and individual/collective human potential. It can awaken a sense of purpose and offer clarity amid the noise and confusion of creative chaos. Educators who use music in their STEM curriculum can STEAM ahead, incorporating Art as an agent to catapult students away from just the rote facts to actually feeling how it involves them now and in the future. Awakening passion and care leads to an engaged citizenry. This presentation will explore ways to utilize STEM songs to not only transmit scientific facts, but to awaken hope, imagination and curiosity in these challenging times.

Jim and Kathy are two of over 40 people who will present their ideas, insights, and investigations at VOICES. To have full access to all presenters and their presentations, please register for the conference. It’s only $10!

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Countdown to VOICES, presenter profile #12: Avi Silber

This post is the 12th in a series of brief profiles of people who will be presenting their work at VOICES, a first-of-its-kind online conference on using music to teach STEM, on Sept. 27-28, 2017.

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As a high school student, Avi Silber wrote and performed his own science-themed songs and raps. These days, as a biology and technology teacher at Northwest High School in Maryland, he advises a phenomenal after-school science songwriting club described in his VOICES abstract, which is as follows.

4SW – THE SECRET SOCIETY OF SCIENCE SONGWRITERS – A HIGH SCHOOL CLUB
It has been a little over 4 years since 4SW was founded at Northwest High School in Germantown Maryland. Since then, the club has produced over 30 music videos, and more than 60 songs. At this point, club members are capable of consistently producing music videos in a single afternoon session. Their works have earned them invitations to the White House (the old one), the National Aquarium, the MAEOE Conference in Baltimore, and numerous film festivals. This workshop will delve briefly into the story of how 4SW was founded. Then we will go into an in-depth description of how we produce our science music videos. The final part of this workshop will be devoted to explaining the process for starting a club like 4SW. We are hoping to create a broader community of science songwriting clubs, and the best way is to teach others how we started. Here, we will also explain the various hurdles that we had to overcome in growing the club’s skill sets, membership numbers, identity, and healthy culture. We are also prepared to share our fundraising techniques as well as our experiences with outreach.

The 4SW’s activities include “Challenge Thursdays” in which they write and record a STEM music video in a single day. Here is a recent example.

Avi is one of over 40 people who will present their ideas, insights, and investigations at VOICES. To have full access to all presenters and their presentations, please register for the conference. It’s only $10!

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Countdown to VOICES, presenter profile #11: Merryl Goldberg

This post is the 11th in a series of brief profiles of people who will be presenting their work at VOICES, a first-of-its-kind online conference on using music to teach STEM, on Sept. 27-28, 2017.

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Here is a bio of Merryl Goldberg, Ed.D., as provided by her home institution.

Merryl Goldberg is a Professor of Music at California State University San Marcos and Director of Center ARTES, a university center dedicated to restoring arts to education. Her publications include Arts Integration: Teaching Subject Matter Through the Arts in Multicultural Settings (5th edition, 2017) as well as other books, articles, chapters, editorials, and blogs. She has been the Principal Investigator (or Co-PI) of numerous grants including Federal Department of Education Arts in Education Program grants, a joint Spencer and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur grant, Fulbright-Hays Foundation grants, National Endowment for the Arts grant, and California Arts Council grants. Merryl’s undergraduate degree is from New England Conservatory of Music, and her doctorate is from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to entering academia, she recorded numerous CDs and was on the road for 13 years playing the saxophone with the Klezmer Conservatory Band. Merryl’s hometown is Boston. Go Red Sox!

The title and abstract of Merryl’s VOICES presentation are as follows:

Why MUSIC AND ARTS?! I’LL TELL YOU … AND I CAN PROVE IT!
This session will familiarize participants with the research that supports K-12 arts integration/STEAM literature, as well as why it’s fundamental to higher education. The session will also offer thoughts on advantages and limitations of music, relative to the other arts, for learning STEM.

Merryl is one of over 40 people who will present their ideas, insights, and investigations at VOICES. To have full access to all presenters and their presentations, please register for the conference. It’s only $10!

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Countdown to VOICES, presenter profile #10: Jon Chase

This post is the 10th in a series of brief profiles of people who will be presenting their work at VOICES, a first-of-its-kind online conference on using music to teach STEM, on Sept. 27-28, 2017.

Jon Chase is a freelance science communicator and rapper based in South Wales. Fulfilling his mission of making scientific thinking as accessible as possible, his science outreach work can be seen on TV and YouTube and at live in-person workshops. He is arguably the UK’s leading science rapper, having been featured at The Science Museum, The Royal Society, and The Royal Institution, and on CBeebies’ Rhyme Rocket, CBBC’s Space Hoppers, and Channel 4 Learning. Jon holds degrees in aerospace engineering, science & science fiction, and science communication.

Here’s an example of Jon rapping, inspired by Tom Lehrer’s famous “The Elements” song, in which Jon covers the periodic table in a less random, more instructive way.

The title and abstract of Jon’s VOICES presentation are as follows:

WHAT’S THE STORY? FRAMING SCIENCE SONGS
Science songs can often be seen in a one-dimensional way, i.e. “It’s a song about genetics/ dinosaurs/space” or “It’s a cool way to teach science” but science songs have different strengths and play to different needs in the listener. Some songs present factual statements that could be used as rhythm or rhyme based mnemonics; like jingles. Some songs portray an idea in a way that can help a listener to get a deeper understanding of it for example, a song about the roles scientists play in society or a song about a misunderstood concept (such as climate change or evolution). Then there are songs that are really just a bit of fun, that don’t really tell us much about science but are still appealing to a science interested public, e.g. Tom Lehrer’s “The Elements.” In each instance it would potentially help educators to know what type of story is being told so they can more easily incorporate the increasing number of science songs becoming available. This may require a kind of classification system and/or a directory that also includes details about particular content within a song. This will also be touched upon within this presentation.

Jon is one of over 40 people who will present their ideas, insights, and investigations at VOICES. To have full access to all presenters and their presentations, please register for the conference. It’s only $10!

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Countdown to VOICES, presenter profile #9: Marc Gutman

This post is the 9th in a series of brief profiles of people who will be presenting their work at VOICES, a first-of-its-kind online conference on using music to teach STEM, on Sept. 27-28, 2017.

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Marc Gutman is a systems engineer, former math teacher, and co-creator of “Calculus: The Musical.” Below is an example of one of his many math songs — this one about functions that are not differentiable.

Marc will be participating in a lively moderated discussion of STEM songwriting, which may diverge from his originally submitted abstract, which is shown below.

DISSECTING STEM SONGWRITING AND ASSEMBLING STEM THEATRE
After 12 years, 1 musical, and over 60 songs, Marc of icanhasmath / Matheatre shares his insights about STEM songwriting and theatrical integration. Focusing on: What information does a STEM song carry. An examination of techniques to carry that information. And how do you expand Songwriting into Theatre / Performance?

Marc is one of over 40 people who will present their ideas, insights, and investigations at VOICES. To have full access to all presenters and their presentations, please register for the conference. It’s only $10!

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