“Resolving Uncertainty”

music notation

I’m trying to make the musical intervals stick in my head through associated songs, a technique I’ve only just discovered. I’m painting each interval on canvas, first the minor second,  exemplified by the theme of the movie “Jaws.”

The article excerpted below  recommends drawing pictures of things you want to remember. Uncertain about the upshot of my experiment, I’m reminded of a joke involving someone at pains to remember the means by which he meant to remember the thing, while the thing itself is perfectly remembered.

… In an arts integrated curriculum, students would sketch their vocabulary words, or learn some of the material as songs, or act out molecular motion with their bodies… The children who had learned the material in the curriculum that made use of the arts remembered more, and the effect was largest among the children who were less strong academically, the ‘lower performers.’

“Working through some creative endeavor, we’re really resolving uncertainty,” [Ronald Beghetto, a professor of educational psychology] said. “We approach the blank canvas.”

(Perri Klass, “Using Arts Education to Help Other Lessons Stick,” NYTimes, 3-4-19)

(c) 2019 JMN.

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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9 Responses to “Resolving Uncertainty”

  1. I’m trying to think of something I need to remember. I can only come up with washing powder (to buy it).

    • JMN says:

      Now draw a box of washing powder. That should seal the deal, according to the experts. My sister and I invented the joke about forgetting the mnemonic device one was relying on to remember something — having two things to remember instead of just one. It seemed just the right amount of ridiculous for a good laugh.

      • I can remember some lessons at school being taken up by mnemonics. I couldn’t do them. I prefered to say the sounds of the initials in a distinctive voice. Still remember – soh- cah – toa in geometry. Saying that, still use the chant for the number of days in the months.

      • JMN says:

        “In a distinctive voice…” I love that. I’m a great fan of chants myself.

      • You’ve reminded me I’ve got a gregorian chant cd somewhere I’ve not played for a while.

      • JMN says:

        It’s ancillary to the thread here, but interesting that you mention Gregorian chant. It’s been on my mind again. I dipped into it several years ago, curious about what it might teach me of “primitive” melodies I might explore on guitar. I have a sense — deluded in all likelihood — of needing to go back to a simpler musical paradigm in order to get grounded, be it ever so slightly, in the rudiments of tune-making. In short, it’s on my listening agenda again. I go in repeating cycles. I’m curious to know more about your experience of Gregorian chant.

      • I think I heard it in a gift shop at a cathedral or monastery I was visiting . I then put it on my christmas list one year. I find it beautiful and calming

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