Can music improve behavior?
February 7th, 2012
07:30 AM ET

Can music improve behavior?

By Cheryl Castro, CNN

Listen to CNN Radio's podcast on music in the classroom from Cheryl Castro.

(CNN) – There is much research to show that music can improve academic performance. But what about behavior? Kindergarten teacher Shelvia Ivey sees the effects every day in her classroom.

"It's fun to see the shy ones blossom and music is a way for them to do that," Ivey said. For "some of the more aggressive children who have a hard time controlling their instincts, it's a time for them to express themselves, too and it's easier for them to control their instincts. And they're allowed to be expressive, and be unique."

The kids in Ivey's class are bright-eyed and about as focused as you can expect from 5-year-olds and younger. About a dozen of them hop, dance and clap along at a metro Atlanta Primrose school, a private school that offers programs for infants through kindergarten.

Over the fall, Primrose added The Music Class to the curriculum at all 240 of its schools spread across 16 states. Jason Caesar’s two active young sons, 2-year-old Kingston and 3-year-old Phoenix, attend the school. "The music definitely tames the savage 3-year-old," Caesar said.

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Filed under: Behavior • Early childhood education • Music • Podcast • Practice
January 11th, 2012
11:36 PM ET

Hip-hop that helps kids stay out of trouble

By Gabe Ramirez, CNN

Los Angeles (CNN) – For a few hours a week in a community center in downtown's Rampart area, high school kids are learning to make music without any of the instruments in the typical school orchestra. Instead, they generate beats on computers and tunes they can use live shows at the center, or maybe on an album.

This is Sessions LA, an after-school activity guided by Patrick Huang, a 30-year-old Chinese-American man also known as DJ Phatrick.

He was raised in an upscale Houston suburb with nurturing parents and access to a great education, but when Huang got to the University of California at Berkeley, a career in business or science didn’t appeal to him. He'd always loved music; the most important things in his bedroom at home were his turntables. At Berkeley, he immersed himself in ethnic studies and applied his DJ skills to campus activism and made music as a tool for justice.

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Filed under: Extracurricular • In America • Music • Practice
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