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Arts Education and Brain Research

Date: 9 Mar 1996 13:30:58 -0500
From: "Peter Dennee"
Subject: Brain Research in Rehearsal

The following website offers a quick summary in layman's terms of the
Right/Left Brain research and tends to support David Toppings' views on the
topic.

http://www.indiana.edu/~pietsch/musical-brain.html

Rather than referring to Right/Left Brain theory, I think what Mr. Brower is
practicing in the choral rehearsal is the theory of learning modalities. The
theory posits that learners process information most efficiently in one of
three ways: visual; auditory; or tactile/kinesthetic. As teachers, we
should try to teach important concepts in each of these three ways in order
to reach each student or choir member. In the choral rehearsal, it is often
easy and natural to provide visual and auditory examples of the concepts we
are trying to enforce. The kinesthetic experiences are often lacking. A few
days ago, someone reported success in reinforcing a sense of inner-rhythm
through marching around the classroom or outdoors while singing--This is an
example of kinesthetic learning, as is the example given by Mr. Browers
(basketball and ball of tape). I think his call for kinesthetic activities
that work in rehearsal is a good one. I hope many of you post your ideas to
Mr. Browers and that he supplies us with a list of the results that proves
useful to each of us. (For further information on learning modalities, read
Teaching Through Modality Strengths: Concepts and Practices by, Walter Barbe,
1988).

Another promising area in brain research for support of music in the schools
is the *Mozart Effect* research. For a synopsis of this research go to the
following website:

http://gopher.tmn.com:70/0/Artswire/AMC/MUSBRAIN/rasucher.81594


Peter Dennee
The University of Michigan School of Music
dennee(a)umich.edu