Amy M. Burns

Elementary Music Technology and Integration

Amy M. Burns has taught PreK-grade 4 general music for over 20 years at Far Hills Country Day School. She has authored 3 books on how to integrate tech into the elementary music classroom. She has presented many sessions on the topic, including 3 keynote addresses in TX, IN, and AU. She is the recipient of the TI:ME Teacher of the Year, NJ Master Music Teacher, Governor’s Leader in Arts Education, and the NJ Nonpublic School Teacher of the Year Awards.

3rd Grade Music and Science: STEM to STEAM

Since the spring of 2014, Jen Wagar (FHCDS science teacher) and I collaborated on a STEAM project that involved third graders using recycled materials to create instruments that they would use to perform their two-part compositions. In science and music classes, the students learned about sound, pitch, sound waves, vibrations, instrumental materials, and ensembles such as the New York Philharmonic, the FHCDS Philharmonic, and the ArtEco Band. This helped them discover how to make a working instrument that could produce sound and pitches with recycled materials. They also used their knowledge of composition to compose a melody using the notes G A and B on the treble clef staff using quarter, eighth, half, and whole notes. To add another element of integration, the students wrote lyrics to their melodies using facts they learned from their “Adventure America” social studies unit.

At the end of the unit, the students performed their songs using recorders, hand-made guitars, and hand-made drums. 

To read two blog posts about this project, please scan the qr codes in the photo gallery above.

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