Friedrich Froebel

(Here’s an outline for a presentation that I did in my Fundamentals of Music Education Class)

Friedrich Froebel
The founder of Kindergarten

BEFORE –Little People

– Children are considered to be little adults
– Women were discouraged from having careers
– Young children were incapable of learning social and intellectual skills

Then along came Froebel –

– Froebel deduced that brain development is most pronounced between birth and age 3
– Froebel invented both child-centered and whole-child approaches to education, urging educators to “follow the child.”
– Froebel recognized that humans are creative beings and must be taught about creating through observation of nature and through a process of creative activities.
– Froebel pioneered the use of music, movement, games and craft activities (including geometric paper-folding) in an educational setting, including the use of finger plays with children.
– Froebel invented play-based education and the concept of the prepared environment.

The meaning of Kindergarten (garden of children)

3 major parts –
  • creative play, which Froebel called gifts and occupations
  • singing and dancing for healthy activity
  • observing and nurturing plants in a garden for stimulating awareness of the natural world

Froebel’s Gifts –seattle-kids
(1) The presentation of the Gift is always as a whole form (example – Gift 3 removed from the box as a cube form of 8 cubes), and when play is done parts are combined before being placed into the box as a whole.
(2) All parts must be incorporated
(3) A creation is always changed through modification, not destoyed and rebuilt. In this way unity is maintained and subtle lessons about the nature of change are learned.
Interesting Fact – Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminster Fuller, and many other notable architects and artists were educated with the Froebel Gifts

Mothers = the ideal first teachers of humanity.
– Best suited to nuture children and became the Kindergarteners (teachers) for his schools.
– Froebel Kindergarten offered the first significant careers for women outside the home.
– Women were not expected (or often allowed) to work professionally.
– Famous women who advanced Froebel’s cause include Helen Keller, Kate Douglas Wiggin, Elizabeth Peabody, Phoebe Hearst, Mrs. Leland Stanford, Mrs. Grover Cleveland, Elizabeth Harrison. However, Froebel also believed that men, especially fathers, were a fundamental part of a child’s education. For Froebel, education was a family activity, hence his famous quote; “Come, let us live for our children.”

Music in his classroom –

– Women had an option of a career
– Children weren’t treated like little adults
– Education for children was seen as possible
Germany classes –
  • Preschool care options –
    structured kindergarten groups
    smaller, privately run child-minding services.
  • In Germany every child has a legal right to attend kindergarten from the age of three until the age of six (then it’s compulsory) Some kindergartens also accept children under the age of three in toddler groups. The kindergartens are run by local authorities, religious organisations (generally protestant or Catholic churches) or by private associations.

Sources –


The Ron Clark Academy

It’s summer time, and I’ve been slacking on my posts a little, but there’s a video that I just found that I’d really like to share. This is Ron Clark, and his teaching methods are really interesting. He incorporates music to teach other subjects. This link is to the CNN report about his method and how he’s teaching using a method that truly speaks to the kids.

The many facets of music and connections to the arts. . .

1_lKlavierstucke – Karlheinz Stockhausen

Who created it?
Karlheinz Stockhausen

When are where was it created?
begun late in 1953 or at the end of January 1954

Why and for whom was it created?
Six of his klavierstucke pieces were originally to have been dedicated to David Tudor

What is its subject?
Atonal music is frequently written without a subject, only based on creating newer sound.

What is being expressed?
Nothing. There is no theme. It’s mathematically produced.

What techniques did its creator use to help us understand what is being expressed?
He frequently gave lectures in colleges internationally and talked about the mathematical process by which he composed his music.

What kind of form or structure does it have?

What does it sound or look like?
lots of very random notes on the piano. The performer seems to be randomly banging on the keys.ücke_(Stockhausen)

Review of Teaching Video*/0B7Ii1d9Ja7rCRjk4XzE4RFJkdjA?e=download

I need to STOP putting words in the students’ mouths –
– I didn’t let them get to the answer themselves. They got close, then I got excited and told them.
– I didn’t focus on the dimensions – WHAT about the music made you feel that way?
Write the words on the board that have been said during the first phase.
OR have them raise their hand if they put a similar word down (might make it go faster)
Slow down. Speak CLEARER.
Slow down when Sam was talking about the different dimensions that created each emotion. OR ask for him to clarify.
Maybe write the three big emotions on the board – what can we do in the music to create each emotion?
Consider dropping “relaxed” from the list of emotions, since it kind of overlaps with sad.

Identifying and Applying Goals and Objectives

Rap and Place Project Extension:
K – Students will learn what the important parts are of syllable usage in lyric writing.
S – Students will be able to write verses and choruses to rap songs.
MM – Students will use be able to explain how rap artists use rhythm in their lyrics.
T – Students will compose a rap song that implies a sense of the place that they live.

Song: Uptown: Funk by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars

Generative Question: What elements in a song increase or decrease the level of energy that the song produces?
K – Students will learn what the common effects of tempo and dynamics have on the perceived danceability of a song.
S – Students will use their beat making skills to create songs that have much/little energy.
MM – Students will be able to explain what emotions a composer was likely trying to convey through his composition.
T (transfer) – Students will compose a song that matches the danceability that they desire in an original composition, by implementing different dimensions of music.

Teaching Music through Participatory Culture in Contemporary Society


Draw connections between the approaches discussed in the article and project based learning.

Each of these examples are great ways to tie a project together. They can be the end result of the project, or a means by which students can show the results to their project. Finishing the project with creating a song or a video of a parody, cover or satire would allow them to show the teacher and other students what they have come up with.

Then, draw upon the approaches discussed in the article to propose part of a project during which students engage with the musical selection that you have been using in your practice “teaching” in class (or if you wish choose a different musical selection).

    • Make sure to include a generative question and musical problem for students to solve.
    • Identify at least one musical concept and label that students might learn through engaging in your project idea.
    • Explain the connection between your proposed project idea, the article, and project based learning.

An effective way of learning is through music.
What ways can we help people learn information more quickly through music?
Write the words to a popular song to create a parody song in which you are teaching a concept (i.e. the parts of the body, the most common chemicals on the periodical table of elements, etc.)
Concept – Beat, pulse.
Label – Rhythm (in lyrics that they write).
My project idea clearly has some overlap to the article which describes a manner of engaging with music in a participatory manner – by creating a parody of an existing song. This is a great example of project based learning, because students are actively exploring real-world problems and challenges (teaching something) and acquire a deeper knowledge by playing an active part in utilizing the information regarding the subject matter.

Then choose one song from the Billboard Hot 100 that could be appropriate for school and using the song’s title and the search terms suggested in Table 1 of the article see what types of examples of participatory culture you can find on YouTube. Embed or post a link to an example that you think is particularly interesting or worth discussing in class.

Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
Parody –
Great cover –

Finally, articulate one way you could continue from the rap and place project in a new direction. (It might help to think in terms of the core arts standards – creating, performing, responding, and connecting)

We could have made a music video dubbing our words over the original and posted it to youtube.

Continuing a project

Continuing a project: Arizona State of Mind:
Another look at expressing a sense of place through music

Write a reflection below that addresses the following:

– A description of your experience creating, practicing, and performing your original rap over the beat

I haven’t performed it yet, but I found that writing the rap was similar to writing songs that I’ve done in the past. Some of the songs I’ve done have included some rhythmed vocals, so this wasn’t a far stretch. I used the same techniques to write the rap as I do songs, so this was not much different.

– A description of the musical “problem” you were working to solve

How do I define living in Phoenix, or rather, create a musical composition with rhythmed lyrics which will express what my experience has been living here in the Valley of the Sun?

– A description of what students might learn through this process (think in terms of developing musical understanding and skills. Also practice your ability to articulate musical concepts along with their corresponding labels)

If I focus on writing the lyrics, there’s plenty I could cover about tempo, rhythm, and song structure (form). I could talk about rhyme scheme, iambic pentameter and how it relates to song writing (strong and soft inflection in syllables.

– A description of the aural skills and performance skills required to do this at a high level of quality

A dominance of vocal rhythm and rhyming would definitely be a necessity. Word selection is paramount in rapping. That’s a significant part of what makes it art. It’s like modern poetry.

– Articulate at least one thing you are curious about after engaging in creating and performing rap music

Honestly, I’m not curious about it. I have written songs that include rap parts, and I feel that I have enough understanding to use it when I need it.

Finally, take a look at the following tutorials and explain what students might learn through creating their own version of a beat

The concept of this is great. Laying out drum beats in a piano roll would be an excellent way to show children how beats are broken down. You could talk about what parts of the beat are strong and soft, and then show them how to lay them out within a digital audio workstation. Then you could let them do their own  beats after watching these or other tutorials that are similiar. This would be a great segway to using digital audio workstations for other purposes.