After an overly long break in the science songster interview series, we are back with a real treat! Lodge McCammon, Ph.D. is a Specialist in Curriculum and Contemporary Media at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, part of the College of Education at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. SAS&M sent him some questions about student music videos and other topics, and, appropriately enough, he responded videographically. You can view his answers in the embedded clips below, or as a single YouTube playlist.
1. I’m guessing that you were a musician long before you started using music in classroom situations. How did you get interested specifically in educational uses of music?
2. Your current job seems to encompass educational music and a whole bunch of other things. How do your musical activities relate to the broader goals of your position?
3. Although a fair number of other instructors use music in their teaching, you are virtually alone in choreographing content-rich dance routines for songs. What got you started on exploring this kinesthetic component? Were you trying to make the lessons more hands-on and physical, as laboratory exercises are?
4. As you know, there are many possible ways of engaging students through music: discussing the lyrics of a prewritten song, singing a song together as a class, having students write and perform their own songs, having them dance to a prerecorded song, etc. Each approach has advantages and disadvantages in terms of the time required, encouragement of student creativity, potential to scare shy students, etc. Do you have a sense of which of these options are most likely to pay the biggest dividends for most teachers and most students? Or is the “best” approach highly dependent on the context of the specific teacher and students?
5. How did the DEN Dr. Lodge Video Challenge come about?
6. I was interested in the fact that this was a “one-take video” contest. Was that aspect of the contest intended to emphasize the dance moves rather than fancy video editing?
7. This was the first year of the contest, and sometimes it’s hard to get the word out about such things. Were you satisfied by the degree of participation in the contest? Will there be another similar contest next year?
8. Is there anyone else in the world of educational music whose work you especially admire?
9. Any final comments?