Music and Memorizing

Posted on January 16, 2018


At 2 below zero, snow  & ice on the roads:   a “take the bus” day. Crowded it was — first day of classes at U and Community College and a later start day for me.

I’d decided Monday that I needed to learn “Lift Every Voice And Sing” and I’d glanced down at my bag before dashing to bus and saw the lyrics on the program from Sunday’s event, still in the bag.

No, I didn’t spend the whole commute studying it — but music … embeds.   When I wasn’t paying attention, it was repeating itself.

The conscious decision to pull it up higher in the brain, more attention to having all the words and thinking about their meaning — that’s not innate.

It made me think again about this rap about exponent rules  which I declined to share because so much of it isn’t about exponents and because it has so much in it.   I thought students making the video would have not engaged with the actual math — just the recitation and dancing, etc.

That may be true, but … maybe not. Maybe the practice repeated things enough so that those rules were echoing in brains and were called upon in mathematical situations.   I do know that having something memorized and calling on it can free a person up to do deeper things with it (think knowing scales vs. making music).

I’m reasonably sure that expectations would have a pretty profound effect:   the student who didn’t think they could learn math could stay in “fake it” mode.   I hope that there was some encouragement to consciously make the song more than rhythmic words.

And now to the day!   Hoping my two “independent study” folks show as promised….

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