Clearly another advocate of Lyrical Science (with actual musical ability and a good singing voice), Ross Durand is a public school teacher from California. I’ve posted about his Photosynthesis song before, and here’s another from YouTube, The Natural Selection Song:
It looks like he’s started his own website for the science songs, so head on over to Mr Durand Sings Science to get an mp3 and the lyrics to “I Need a Little Light”.
You can also find lots more of his music on his personal website.
Here’s the first attempt of a sing-along Biology song, for end-product inhibition of metabolic pathways, based on Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)“. I cannot sing, so there are no vocals!
This is how it was made:
1. Find the lyrics and put them on an excel spreadsheet, line-by-line
2. Write out all the key terms and ideas for the topic for the song
3. Write the new version of the song (this is difficult). Try to keep as many rhymes or words from the original as possible, but don’t force the scientific language too much.
4. Use powerpoint to make a slideshow of the lyrics.
5. Add an mp3 of the backing track.
6. Rehearse the timings and keep and save them once it works. This needs a decent computer, or the lag between sound and slides changing will be too great.
7. Convert the pptx file to mp4 using the free powerpoint to youtube converter.
8. Check and upload!
Here are the slides only, via Slideshare:
I love this song. “There are seven things it needs to survive”:
Inspired by the Stanford biologists, I’m looking for popular songs to butcher into biological themes. The process of taking one of your favourite songs and twisting it into a factually-sound academic re-write can be a great way to consolidate key concepts, especially for the musically intelligent. It takes more than just recall of the facts – you have to force yourself to understand the topic in order to write a decent song. To make the song make sense, you need a good grasp of the content and you must use the key terms correctly.
Ideas so far -
- An IB Biology version of “Apoptize” (One Republic’s ‘Apologize‘) (completed – click here)
- “One Gene, One Protein“, after “No Woman, No Cry“
- “Don’t Divide Even“, after The Script’s “Break Even” (completed – click here)
- “I Will Divide,” after Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” (have a go – click here)
- “ACE, ACE Inhibitors“, based on Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice Baby“
- Endangered Species song for “Numb/Encore” by LP and Jay-Z
- “Hormones“, after Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours“
- “Good Riddance (to excess end products)“, based on Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your life)” (completed – click here)
For some more reading on how making use of Musical Intelligence can aid in learning across the curriculum:
- “The Effect of Music on Second Language Vocab Acquisition” from ESL Through Music
- “Promoting Literacy Through Music” from Songs for Teaching (Resources here: Science page)
- “Singing In Science: Writing and Recording Student Lyrics to Express Learning” from the University of California. Here’s Tomcfad demonstrating this technique with an elementary earth science class:
My big question: Has there been any research on the effectiveness of different styles of music in relation to age group, cultural background or musical preference?
Many of the bought-resources seem to based on country songs or old songs – how well does that translate to a modern teen audience in an international or urban setting?
If you’ve got any cool ideas (the more complex, the better), or any comments on the use of music as a learning tool, please post them below!
Headphones image from: http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/date/2008/page/5/