In May of 2011, FSN designed workshops at Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School (BCAM) that integrated our process of music production with subject class curricula. Selected students from 10th grade Biology, Spanish and Math met with us during class time and after school over the course of 4 weeks. Participants were asked to create original songs that would help their peers and future students learn important concepts from each subject class. This video documents our experience and features music written and recorded by students.
With this project — which we call the “Escalante” Project after one of the songs the project produced — we hoped to explore questions that are being asked and addressed by many in the education field: what are the possibilities of integrating creative learning strategies into classrooms? Can the introduction of music, art, and creativity enhance learning for students? And if so, what are the best ways to go about making this happen effectively?
We embraced a few theories going into the project, some of which were developed with our partner teachers. First: The utilization of the material — the repetition of historic facts, Spanish conjugations or mathematical formulas — would form the thematic basis of the students’ creative work and in itself aid in the learning process for these students. Second: The dialogue, debate, and discussion of ideas surrounding the creative process reinforces and deepens knowledge. And third: The creative reinterpretation of academically relevant material, both for themselves and other students, aids in the internalization of the material by the participants and also creates original teaching materials for classmates and future students.