Posted on October 31, 2014
A Music Teacher’s Brain
A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara
When I first started teaching almost 30 years ago, there was “new” research said that music playing in classrooms helped students retain information. It had something to do with the tempo (speed) of the piece and the affect on brain waves.
As a beginning music teacher, I was very excited that my chosen subject was so useful. I soon realized, however, that music teachers do not adhere to this research.
A musician’s brain is not “normal” a fact my musically talented children can confirm and have done so for years.
When music is playing anywhere, a music teacher’s brain, or at least my music teacher brain, does not relax and retain information. It goes into overdrive trying to figure out what the music is, who wrote it and in what time period it was composed.
This “music teacher brain” phenomenon has manifested itself in many ways throughout the years. For example, when swimming laps, most people count 1 2 3 4 5 6 etc. I count 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 2 and 2 and 3 and 4 and as if I am counting measures of music.
In any given day, there are multiple times when I find myself saying, “I know a song about that.” This includes songs about scalloped potatoes and coffee.
Last Wednesday I decided to mop the kitchen floor. I put soap in the mop bucket and put it in the sink to fill while I put away the vacuum cleaner. The closet where the vacuum cleaner lives is very disorganized so it took longer than anticipated to complete that task.
I pictured the mop bucket overflowing with water all over the floor. Then my mind went to the Walt Disney version of “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by Paul Dukas from Fantasia.
For the rest of the day I had the music playing in my head. I couldn’t help wondering how many people associate mopping the floor with classical music.
I imagine only other music teachers.