Visualizing Understanding

When researching the topic of movement in the classroom and how that enhances the teaching of literacy, I learned a lot of information. There is so much more involved in the teaching approach of movement within a classroom than just having a dance party with your class. In the three methods of teaching that I researched (Kodaly, Orff, and Dalcroze), I began to see that, when movement within a classroom has very specific intentions, it can be used as a helpful aid in teaching literacy. I decided to display my findings on movement in the classroom by using a triple Venn diagram, because it really helped me distinguish between the three methods of teaching and compare which aspects of movement in the classroom I want to hone in on when I become a music educator. This visualization of a Venn diagram deepened my understanding of movement in the classroom in a way that a paper describing the three different forms of movement would not have been able to do for me. When processing information, our brains have a tendency to process things in chunks. Having this Venn diagram, which breaks information into chunks, allows for my brain to process all of the information that I needed to learn in a way that was more effective/efficient than reading a long article on movement and trying to process the information.

The process of chunking, in order to better digest information, is a process that I hope to bring into my classroom in the future. Growing up, I always had the tendency to learn better when I saw pictures or charts, because it showed information on a more relatable level than just words clumped in paragraphs on a page. Reading information in an essay format takes me a while to process, whereas looking at a visual of something takes me almost half the time. I do recognize however, that not all students benefit from the visual aspect of learning. Some students are more analytical in their ways of thinking and find it easier to read a paper and get the information in that way. Other students find it easier to digest information when it is verbalized because they are auditory learners. Knowing that there are multiple different types of learning styles is something essential when trying to plan out the way in which you are going to bring information to students. Throughout my learning career thus far, I have found that the best teachers are the ones who are able to bring information to a class in a variety of ways, so that students of all learning styles are able to comprehend the information that is being taught. I hope to be like my “good” teachers that I have had throughout my educational career, and add visualization as a vehicle for learning, as well as other vehicles like auditory practices too.

Lang Aquisition Visual



Where I am and Where I want to Go


I would like to take a moment to recognize the importance or lack thereof in regards to movement in the classroom. I have known many different teachers who have had different philosophies regarding movement in the classroom and I have found that the teachers who have had the most success in their classrooms have been the ones who encourage movement. I recognize that, for many teachers, especially those teaching at a younger age level, there is a fear that when movement is brought into a classroom it will create chaos, but I believe that the outcome all lies in the teachers approach. From my experience, in both participating in and observing classrooms, when movement is added into the classroom in a thought out manner, students have the opportunity to learn more effectively and are able to stay engaged for a longer period of time. When students have movements that accompany new material, it is more likely that they will remember the new information that they are being taught. Similarly to how the brain can use a pneumonic device to help remember information, if a student uses hand symbols to learn sol feg, when reading music, they will be more likely to recognize these notes.

There are many different philosophies on how to bring movement into a classroom, some examples being: Orff, Kodaly, and Dalcroze. As a future educator, I hope to be certified in at least one of these areas, allowing me to have a greater understanding on how I can most effectively bring movement and interaction into my students’ daily lives.

Some things that I want to further explore in the realm of movement in the classroom include:

  1. What exactly does each of the pedagogies of teaching include?
  2. What are other ways of including movement into the classroom in addition to Orff, Kodaly, and Dalcroze?
  3. Can these different methods of movement in the classroom be used together?
  4. Which method of movement in the classroom is the most commonly used?
  5. Statistically speaking, how well do these methods of teaching work?
  6. What age group do these methods work best in?

Some sources for further investigation:




Welcome to my professional blog

My name is Rachel Schaarschmidt and I plan to be a music educator in the near future. My goal is to be able to work with kids, preferably in a high school setting, teaching either orchestra or chorus. Music is a passion of mine and I want to be able to show my future students how music can transform their lives in a positive way. I want to be the kind of teacher that cares about their students; one whom kids come to when they are going through struggles or self doubt. I hope to encourage my future students and show them that there is a lot worth living for, including the beautiful art of music. In my high school career, I had an orchestra teacher who meant so much to me and instilled within me a passion for music that can never be lost or forgotten. I can only hope to make half of the impact that she made on myself to my future students.