Brain Rules Chapter 9

Rule #9 – Stimulate more of the senses.

1. We do not learn things in layers (visual, auditory, tactile, etc.) Our brains take in information as a set or unit. So when I present a new rhythm pattern to my elementary students I need to have the visual (rhythmic notes) available. I need also to understand that just because I have presented both the visual and the auditory does not mean the students can immediately decipher both on their own.

2. I need to use more video. Youtube makes this so readily available. It used to be that I had to purchase a whole video for $20 just so I could have that one scene with some great string family examples. Now I need only to search on Youtube and find the BEST example for free. Perhaps this is something we as a group of teachers needs to start doing – tagging video for use in the educational setting.

3. “There is no guarantee that your brain will perceive the world accurately, even if other parts of your body can.” (Medina, 206) Tactile, auditory, and visual sensations are useless as pieces. The brain must be able to connect them together to give them meaning. Just knowing how to label a quarter note is not useful unless you know what kinds of sounds ARE a quarter note. That’s tricky because what a quarter note is depends upon tempo, articulation and the notes surrounding it. There are many variables to consider and my brain needs to be able to put all that information together.

Medina, John. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (Book & DVD). Chicago: Pear Press, 2008.

Brenda Muench

music educator tech specialist

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