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DC Elementary School Puts Wii Music On the Curriculum

Mike Musgrove

Used to be parents rewarded kids for good academic performance with a little bit of after-school videogame time. These days, sometimes, videogames are in the classroom.

H.D. Cooke Elementary School, near Howard University, is getting a Wii today as part of a collaboration between Nintendo and the National Association for Music Education. The game company is donating hardware and software to schools in 51 cities across the country as part of the project.

Wii Music, the title that Nintendo is donating, isn't exactly a game. Players swing the game's controllers in time with music to mimic the motions they'd make to strum a guitar, say, or strike a set of drums. Spend some time with this title, the thinking goes, and young users may pick up some of the basics, such as rhythm, tempo and song structure.

This isn't the first time that music lovers have tried to pull kids in by appealing to their love of hit videogames such as Guitar Hero. Last summer, for example, a music store in Tenleytown sponsored a contest featuring that guitar game, in the hopes of attracting new music students.

"This is about kids learning about how to have fun with music," said J.C. Rodrigo, a marketing support specialist at Nintendo who is in town today, paying a visit to the school to demonstrate the title. "It's providing a unique experience where kids can try out different instruments and find that creative spark."

Carolyn Sweterlitsch, a music teacher at Cooke, said she hasn't figured out how frequently the school's new game system will be incorporated into her classes, but that she sees the game as a possible way to reward her students when they've been good in class. "This is another way of exposing them to these instruments and getting them excited [about music]," she said.

By Mike Musgrove  |  March 12, 2009; 11:55 AM ET  | Category:  Mike Musgrove
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Wait, what? The teacher doesn't have a freaking clue how to use this in instruction yet?

oh my god.

That teacher should be fired for incompetence. I bet that will sit unused for weeks because the teacher doesn't have the brain power to actually teach.

Mayor Fenty is getting an email with Carolyn Sweterlitsch's name on it tonight. THIS IS WHAT I COMPLAIN ABOUT when I complain about really unqualified DCPS teachers!

inexcusable.

Posted by: bbcrock | March 12, 2009 9:48 PM

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