My previous posts introduced Music and Multiple Intelligence, and Music and the Body.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
– Albert Einstein
The essential lesson of nature is that everything is connected. Immersing oneself in beautiful natural surroundings provides possibilities for creative inspiration. People need beauty as well as bread. Beethoven had a great love of nature and spent hours on solitary walks, drawing inspiration from the fields and trees. Often it was at these times that musical themes came to him. I agree with Beethoven, who said, “Nature is a glorious school for the heart.”
How happy I am to be able to wander among bushes, under trees, and over rocks; no man can love the country as I love it. – Beethoven
In a landmark study in 1984, Roger Ulrich found that “post-surgical patients with a window view of trees versus patients with a view of a brick wall had shorter hospital stays, required less medication, and experienced fewer post-surgical complications. Reduced stress, faster recovery, and decreased use of strong painkillers all came from looking at a natural setting as opposed to a blank wall”. Simply put, nature heals.
There is something magical about being outdoors. Fresh air, natural light, a breeze on the skin, natural fragrances, gardens, and landscapes all enhance learning. Children like to learn outdoors. They have a heightened sense of freedom; they let go and explore. What are the opportunities to take a music class outside? I once taught a class with portable keyboards, and, weather permitting, I took them outside. We were a lucky school in that we had open spaces with beautiful large gum trees. School camps provide excellent opportunities to engage in outdoor music-making through campfire songs and outdoor concerts.
My next post will explore Music and Words.
An excerpt from ‘Learning Strategies for Musical Success’ by Michael Griffin
“A must read for all music educators” – Robert Adams, New Haven, USA.
“Super book. I am so impressed!” – Donna Michaels, USA
“Fantastic book, simply brilliant! – Ian Cooper, Norfolk, UK
“Don’t miss this opportunity!” – Mary George, USA
“Rarely do I come away feeling so inspired. Incredibly beneficial.” – Music Matters Blog
“Such a practical book. SO glad I purchased this. – Jocelyn Beath, NZ
“Most stimulating!” – Nicholas Carpenter, Prebendal, UK
“A must buy for every music teacher and music student” – William Bruce, Teacher of Strings, UK.
“Deeply impressive, the breadth of research is fascinating!” – Robert Chamberlain, Team of Pianists and Monash University Piano Staff, Victoria Australia.
“Awesome! I want to recommend it to every teacher I know” – Michael Williamson, Australia
“I loved it. Extremely helpful and inspiring!” – Cheryl Livingstone, Australia
“The best resource for music educators” – Andrew Heuzenroeder, Australia
“I have read your book and it has made an amazing difference in my teaching and in my studio.” Beth Cruickshank, Past President – Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association.
Also by Michael Griffin
Music and Keyboard in the Classroom: Fundamentals of Notation is a unit of work for general music middle school classes. Designed around the mastering of practical skills, it integrates theory, aural and history, and allows students to progress at their own rate. View Table of Contents. “This has been a great buy; the books are just superb! Interesting topics with a wide range of pieces. Great content with clear progression of learning. Fascinating teaching philosophy! BRAVO!” -The Grieg Academy, London. Available at Amazon.com
Music and Keyboard in the Classroom: Let’s Get Creative! is the fun and creative extension to ‘Fundamentals of Notation’.
View Table of Contents. “We have been using your keyboard course and the results have been amazing!” – St George College, Australia
Available at Amazon.com
Second edition. Bumblebee! is more than just a collection of 123 choir exercises and rounds. The author shares timeless wisdom to help you get your choir – primary or secondary – into shape.
View Table of Contents.
“This is really good for all kinds of vocal groups, choirs, conductors. Bravo!!”
“The thinking person’s guide to training a choir. Love it!”
“It’s great to have some fresh warm-ups to add to the repertory. The tips for actions and techniques are really useful, and the advice at the back of the book has made me review some of my strategies.”
Modern Harmony Method: Fundamentals of Jazz and Popular Harmony (Third Edition, 2013) is a clear and well organised text suitable for students of arranging and composition, and for classically trained musicians wishing to grasp the beautiful logic of jazz harmony. Essential understandings include chord selection, voicing, symbols, circle of 4th progressions, extensions, suspensions and alterations. Included in the 107 pages are explanations, examples, exercises and solutions. The course can be started with students in year 9 and worked through to year 12 musicianship, composing and arranging. Available at Amazon.com