Tuesday, June 25, 2013

FacProfDev Summer 2013 - Day 6

FacProfDev Summer 2013 - Day 6

by Varun Khanna

CNN'S Elizabeth Landau in her recent article titled This Is Your Brain On Your Music,  quotes Valerie Salimpoor, a researcher at the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, Canada, "There is actually a network of activity (in the brain) that predicts whether or not you're going to buy this music as you're listening to the music."

Essentially, what the authors of this study are saying that there is an actual monetary payoff that can be predicted by mapping brain activity when it responds to certain types of music. In the article, Salimpoor goes on to say, "The more activity in the nucleus accumbens, the more money people said they were willing to spend on any particular song in the "auction" set-up that the researchers designed."

Photo of Stella Erbes

Dr. Stella Erbes, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) is no stranger to using music effectively in her classroom. Leading the FacProfDev Summer 2013 workshop on day 6, Dr. Erbes shared her experience in training teachers with other faculty members.

Dr. Erbes makes extensive use of free music apps like Spotify and Pandora. Whether they are filing into or leaving the classroom at the end of a long session, Dr. Erbes plays her carefully selected music pieces for her students.

Dr. Erbes does not stop with making use of just music in her classroom. She believes that students also need the carefully chosen visual stimulus coupled with music that is uplifting and inspiring to her young teachers-in-training.

Dr. Erbes played the following video of a 6 year old prodigy who had the audience on its feet on The Ellen Show.

Click here to see the 6 year old prodigy

A slow early Monday FacProfDev morning was magically transformed as the 6 year old mesmerized the Pepperdine faculty and staff in attendance.

Sure, we have seen George Clooney perform surgery to Beethoven on the television show ER, but, it took Dr. Erbes this week to remind us that we can dramatically transform our classroom energy by choosing the right music for our students.

Daniel Abrams, lead author and postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University School of Medicine concludes in the CNN article, "Brain regions involved in movement, attention, planning and memory consistently showed activation when participants listened to music -- these are structures that don't have to do with auditory processing itself. This means that when we experience of music, a lot of other things are going on beyond merely processing sound."