creates original hip-hop music and standards-based curricular materials to teach academic content for grades 3-12. Flocabulary programs are proven to increase student motivation and achievement and are currently being used in over 10,000 schools nationwide.
Everyone from Howard Zinn and Cornel West to Good Morning America and Oprah has blurbed good things about the program.
Now, as a musician myself, I can testify to the power of music and song for teaching concepts in the classroom. I've brought in drums to teach poetic meter, I've had students use GarageBand to score music demonstrating that they understood where mood and tone changed in a narrative, and I've used the piano to demonstrate conceptually the differences between formal and open forms of poetry.
We also translate the lyrics of Brazilian pop songs in Latin class and listen to jazz in Art History. Music can go a long way towards helping students engage with and understand content.
And that's one of the key points: the music has to lead to deeper engagement and understanding. We're not talking about using music simply as a memory aid.
Of course, Flocab will be an aid to memory -- and that's great -- but it's my understanding watching the presentation and reading about the program that Flocabulary is much more than that. It's really driven by a sense of how to motivate learning. Combined with a teacher who can then draw out the big questions related to language and history, and access the knowledge students are internalizing through song, well... it's a powerful duo.
So, I'm excited to hear this stuff -- especially given the thumbs up from Profs. Zinn and West (two of my favs).
Are any of you all using Flocabulary? Please tell us about your experience. Or just your experiences -- for better or worse -- in using music in the classroom.