Posts Tagged ‘music’

Lip Dubs: Yet Another Form of Literacy

Posted by mariamengel on August 8, 2011

It seems that the YouTube Lib Dub trend is catching on!  According to Wikipedia, a lip dub is “a type of video that combines lip synching and audio dubbing to make a music video”.

At JCC Camp By the Sea, children two years through grade ten attend summer camp in New Jersey and participate in several projects and athletic group activities.  One of their favorite projects includes a lib dub that all of the participants play a part in.  The students learn about lib dubbing, filming and editing videos, directing, mash ups, playing roles and drama, and music.  Here is one example of a lib dub created at JCC Camps, “The Ultimate Queen Mash Up“:


Posted in In the Classroom, Technology, The Arts, The Media | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Music – the original multiliteracy – an ode

Posted by nicholaspelafas on August 7, 2011

[note on the 2pak track: this is the first lp by these new cats from chicago, with that traditional summertime chi-town boom-bap flav.  some of their rhymes are a little bit juvenile, but their flow is generally on point and production tight.  i chose this track because it came out a few weeks ago and deals with technology and online literacies in a very contemporary way that reflects both the shallow and deep ways youth are relating to these ideas.  make sure you check the 2nd verse @ 1:25 especially]

PEACE! Music, for me at least, has always been the original multiliteracy.  Although we seem to discount music as being less important that other literacies, I have always believed that music literacy could be just as beneficial, critical, reflective, motivating, creative, and complex as any other literacy.  Jazz, Reggae, Funk, Blues, Rock, and especially Hip-Hop have made crucial contributions to progress in the complexity of music literacy.  It is important to consider that, in a fashion parallel to multiliteracies, technology has played a central role in the evolution of music literacy.

I think music literacy in some degree should be required by all students.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Critical Perspectives, Global Multiliteracy, Technology, The Arts | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Teaching “Whole Music” Literacy

Posted by mariamengel on July 22, 2011

In the articleTeaching “Whole Music” Literacy by Kit Eakle, whole-language practice and theory are used to teach elementary students about the flow of the English language by rhythmically notating phrases in the regular language classroom.

This is a great article to read if you are interested in teaching your students to use music notation to help create flowing phrases and poetry.  For example, this phrase is notated two different ways to put stress on certain syllables or words:

Check it out!  Your students can learn about music, notation, fluency, literacy, the flow of language, and have fun at the same time!

Eakle writes, “…They [teachers] would begin to acquire an elementary understanding of music notation. Not only that, we would all begin to gain an understanding of the process of acquiring written language fluency by learning right along with the children. The process would demonstrate once again to us that the process of learning comes as an organic outgrowth of attempting to make sense of the world around us. In this situation music could also become a tool for teachers to experience the “illiterate” condition of being a child again and expose to us the difficulties and joys of learning along with the children. Taken with this attitude teachers could, with no real “work” be exposed to some invaluable lessons on how best to teach their students to read and write language!”

Posted in In the Classroom, The Arts | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Saving Arts Education in New Zealand

Posted by mariamengel on July 21, 2011

Arts Education in New Zealand, like in America, is continuing to move further and further down the hierarchy of knowledge and curriculum promoted by the state.  In an effort to “prevent further marginalisation” of the arts in New Zealand schools, the concept of multiliteracies is beginning to take hold in New Zealand’s “Arts Curriculum”.  The paper entitled Multiliteracies: A New Direction for Arts Education details the links between the traditional definition of “literacy” in the school curriculum and how it relates to music.  The article is written by Trevor Thwaites, Centre for the Arts, Auckland College of Education, Auckland, New Zealand. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in The Arts | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Kuala Lampur HS Multiliteracy Project

Posted by mariamengel on July 8, 2011

In a posting on her blog, a teacher from Malaysia and her sixteen year old students from an inner-city school in Kuala Lumpur use their creative skills to attack a multiliteracy project.  The poem that the students were required to use is titled Monsoon History, by Shirley Lim.

Students combined written text, visual art, music, and sounds to create a their final project.  The students found all of their resources using the internet.  Their mash-ups each included many modes of meaning and literacy.  Although the projects are not perfect, the incredible creativity that came from understanding of the poem and incorporating representations of the culture of Malacca, the authors home, is astounding.  Read the poem and more after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in In the Classroom, The Arts | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Free Jazz and Democratic Communication

Posted by nicholaspelafas on June 29, 2011

I lifted this conversation between Jacques Derrida (philosopher) and Ornette Coleman (Jazz musician) from a post over at  The Liberator Blog. (

The entire conversation is fascinating for a variety of reasons, but Coleman makes some very interesting points that relate to literacy.  In the same vein as Sun Ra and John Coltrane, Ornette looks at music as a language and the ability to relate to music as a form of literacy or way to create meaning.  He says:

“I’m trying to express a concept according to which you can translate on thing into another.  I think that sound has a much more democratic relationship to information, because you don’t need an alphabet to understand music.”

This incredibly deep statement is important in that it reminds us that music and art represent some of the most core multiliteracy skills that humans have, and perhaps it would be possible to imagine alternate configurations of new literacies outside of speech and the written word.

At its core, literacy is about constructing meanings that relate information and deepen the complexity of one’s understanding of a given topic or subject.  By stating that music can be a more democratic conduit for information exchange, we can be more open to the idea that the way we create meaning is related to the project of creating a more equitable society.  It also suggests that words, and traditional forms of literacy (particularly considering when this dialogue took place) are tied to a power structure that can limit the ways people are able to construct meaning.  The question then becomes, do new literacies sufficiently liberate us from the power structures that plague the old literacies?  And, in what ways does moving away from music and art in schools hinder students’ capacity to adapt and develop new literacies?

more excerpts from the discussion after the jump and the .pdf of the original conversation can be found here……

Posted in The Arts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »