The University of St. Thomas

Music

Bjorum, Glenda

Bjorum, Glenda

Curriculum Integration: Making the Vital Music Connection
Glenda I. Bjorum
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to: 1) justify music as a necessary part of education’s core curriculum, and 2) demonstrate how curriculum integration, when properly implemented, strengthens the position of music programs in the curriculum, enriches the students and the teachers, and creates an active and personal environment where learning is meaningful and long lasting.

Current trends in education call for a tightening of the budget, which in turn directly affects programs, resources, space, and staffing. Unfortunately, because administrators, teachers, parents, and the general public do not understand the importance of music in the education of our children, the music program is often the first program to feel the effects of the economic shortfall.

Music teachers are in a position to make a difference in the education of our youth, and the time has come to be proactive in firmly establishing music as a vital and necessary part of the core curriculum. Music has long been valued for its aesthetic contribution, but that is no longer enough. The diversity of today’s world demands that people become understanding and tolerant of cultural messages through song, dance and stories.

Of notable importance is the research of the past ten years indicating the impact of music on learning starting at a young age. Music actually encourages higher-level thinking skills and improves spatial reasoning (Rauscher, 1995). It ought to be a regular part of the core curriculum, and music teachers need to share this information with administrators, staff, parents, and the general public.

Research suggests that students learn more and knowledge is longer lasting if students are actively engaged in a learning environment that demonstrates the relationship between disciplines in a meaningful setting (Hancock, 1996). Music is a way to realize this connection when integrated into the curriculum.

Proper implementation along with strategies for music teachers to employ for success in accomplishing the goal. The results are successful examples of curriculum integration with the integrity of the music program intact and the role of the music teacher vital and effective.

Capstone Supervisor
Dr. Richard Bents