21st Century Skills

Critical Thinking

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Through the creative process, students strengthen their skills in synthesizing and evaluating information, and apply these skills to changing their assumptions and actions.

Many adults have a misconception about that which is a music class. They look back to what music class was when they were in school. Today's music class is an enhancement of the core curriculum. The brain is a complex instrument and music teachers find new ways to approach learning. An example is when we divide and subdivide rhythmic notation. Recently, a student said, "Oh, that's just like the KFC method that we use in math!"

KFC teaches kids nonsensical math (KFC means "keep-flip-change"). Keep the first fraction as it is, flip the second fraction, and change the problem to a multiplication problem. The students in class now have created multiple brain connections which inherently allow application of math concepts, coupled with an understanding of note division. Imagine how exciting it is when students realize that the study they just did of ancient Greece ties into a lesson on the music of Greece. Students utilize skills such as categorizing using a set of characteristics when they identify musical genres.

I graduated in the top 10 percent of my graduating class and placed in the top five of highest scholarship offerings within my class. My peers in band also graduated with academic honors including the valedictorian, salutatorian and honors diplomas. It was then that I began to realize that there is a direct correlation between music and academic achievement. Music played a role in enhancing my ability to think abstractly and critically – I applied these skills to all subject areas in my academic career.