The Mountain Chamber Music Society has created three arts integration workshops for teachers. Arts integration is a teaching method that enables students to learn content-area material (reading, writing, math, science, and social studies) and an art form (music, visual art, drama and dance) simultaneously. MCMS has given eleven workshops and presented at two state-wide educational conferences – reaching over 160 teachers and impacting over 15,000 students! All three workshops, developed by MCMS founder and Executive Director Laura Schulkind, are aligned with state and national standards. Teachers earn graduate or recertification credit.

But I Can't Sing! Using Music to Teach Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic awareness is manipulating sounds, a skill considered critical to learning to read successfully. This workshop synthesizes educational methodology known as Total Physical Response (TPR) from English as a Second language with Marie Clay’s Reading Recovery program. In a participatory setting, teachers learn how to incorporate music with TPR, using giant boxes for the children to jump into, creating and manipulating phonemes in a playful environment. The workshop presents a sequential set of lessons that build children’s knowledge of letters through sound first, then through visual connections.

Enjoying Fractions is NOT an Oxymoron

Fractions and their cousins ratio and proportion are highly abstract concepts when presented in isolation. By using tuned plastic tubes called Boomwhackers®, teachers learn how to help children experience fractions through combining cognitive activities with visual, aural, physical and social contexts. This creates strong nonlinguistic understanding of mathematical concepts. Children learn about fractions through sound and relate the vocabulary to ratio and proportion. By developing a physical understanding children can then use these interrelated concepts numerically.

Poetic Duetics: Using Music to Teach Reading Comprehension and Writing in Poetry

If music and reading are closely related sibling processes, then music and poetry are fraternal twins! This workshop engages teachers in the processes of how to use poetic devices and attributes, comparing poetry to music and sensory language skills to comprehend and write poetry. This workshop illustrates how to develop critical listening skills through music and inspires students to write, read and enjoy poetry.
For additional workshop information or to schedule a workshop for your organization, please Contact Us or call Laura Schulkind at 303.404.9338.


Thomas Gardner of Arlington, VA, writes:

“Laura Schulkind is a respected presence in the professional development of teaching poetry. I cannot overstate the value of her poetry unit. It is a wonderfully simple, yet very powerful approach on how to best present and teach poetry to students. Mrs. Schulkind’s lessons and ideas help you identify concepts of poetry, teach them using best practices, and give you the ability to crisply communicate your lessons to students in a fun and meaningful approach.

Mrs. Schulkind’s process to teaching poetry is a wonderful and useful tool which I use every year. I now teach elementary students at an international school … (with) students who speak very limited English. The students really enjoy listening to the various sounds to develop vocabulary to describe the five senses – essential to writing good poetry. My students also enjoy the hands on approach of developing vocabulary using the ‘mystery bags’ …”