It’s widely known that music promotes memory and learning. Professor Greg J. Crowther, at the University of Washington, has been studying this connection for years. Here’s what he has to say about music and learning:
Music is often considered a tool for efficiently memorizing science content, and it is true that ‘catchy’ lyrics are likely to be retained even if they cover highly technical material. At their best, however, content-rich songs are more than mnemonic devices. They also have the potential to engage students in a way that conventional classroom activities do not, and permit exploration and analysis of content that goes well beyond rote memorization. Because music can play these varied roles, it can be incorporated into both earlier and later stages of the learning process. For example, one instructor might use a song at the start of a lesson to introduce new vocabulary words, while another might end a lesson by having students critique scientific lyrics for clarity and precision, thus assessing their developing knowledge of a topic.
If you’d like to learn more about Professor Crowther’s work, please read this study in Advances in Physiology Education.
So think of the videos below as short musical lectures that will really boost your students’ learning. Enjoy!
- Scientific Method
- Scientific Method: An introduction to the structure of a controlled experiment.
- Octet Rule Song: A basic introduction to chemical bonding (ionic and covalent)
- Cell Biology
- Enzymes and Energy
- Enzymes: Enzyme structure and Function.
- Glycolysis Rap: An overview of the first phase of cellular respiration.
- Glycolysis Time: A folk version of the first phase of cellular respiration.
- Krebs Cycle: the second phase of cellular respiration.
- Electron Transport Chain: A detailed explanation of how ATP is made in mitochondria.
- The Light Reactions Part 1 (The first of a three part series about the light reactions, this music video focuses on the big picture: 1) the light reactions v. the Calvin cycle, 2) the structure of a chloroplast (thylakoids and stroma), 3) chlorophyll, and 4) action spectrum v. absorption spectrum.
- The Light Reactions, Part 2 (How noncyclic electron flow makes ATP and NADPH)
- The Light Reactions, Part 3 (Making O2; Cyclic Electron Flow)
- Photosynthesis: The Light Reactions. My first ever video…An overview of how plant cells make ATP and NADPH. But you should watch the one immediately above, instead.
- Photosynthesis: The Calvin Cycle: How plant cells use the product of the light reactions to make glucose.
- Cell Division
- DNA and Molecular Genetics
- (I’m a) Virus: An overview of virus structure, the lytic cycle, the lysogenic cycle, and the life cycle of HIV.
- Climate change
- Disrupt Climate Disruption: What we can do about climate change.
- Greenhouse Effect: How it works, and how humans have disrupted it
- Keep Those Fossil Fuels in the Ground: The consequences of climate change.
- Seven Ways to Reduce Carbon: A guide to carbon reduction, based on Princeton’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative.
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Digestion!: A pretty detailed overview of the human digestive system.
- Heart Quiz: A beat by beat guide to the chambers, major blood vessels, and valves of the heart.
- Pump it Up (Circulatory System Rap): An overview of the chambers, blood vessels, and valves of the heart.
- Breathe! (an overview of the structure and function of the human respiratory system)
What could be more fun than a Karaoke Biology Party. And there’s no better way to learn. The fun starts here!