Over of learning. Girls tend to be better at

Over the past few decades
we have acquired a more in-depth knowledge of the differences in how the brain
is developed, and, in turn, how boys and girls learn. Research shows that there
is a combination of developmental differences which affect the brain, sensory
motor and physical development in boys and girls (Bonomo, 2010). I have made an
effort to summarise the key differences uncovered in these studies. Girls seem
to be more able to transition, while boys use primitive areas of their brains
more often. Due to chemical imbalances in their brains boys are more impulsive,
while girls are less impulsive. This is because there is more blood flow in the
female brain, this allows more a stronger integrated approach to learning,
while boys require a structured method of learning. Girls tend to be better at
multitasking, while boys may have a better capacity for spatial reasoning.
Girls are more developed in creative listening skills, while boy’s brains
require more breaks. Boys’ process better with abstract figures like symbols
and numbers, where in contrast, girls’ brains are better with verbal and
sensory memory. (Bonomo, 2010) There are some elements of brain development to
consider in relation to how it aligns with age and experience, or the timing of
puberty, which teachers should remain aware of as they are learning how to best
teach their students. Cognitive development follows age and experience, where,
in contrast, affective (emotional) development follows the development of
puberty (Freer, 2007). Also, the part of the brain which coordinates emotions
is the last part to mature. This information can be used be teachers to create
a more affective learning environment for their pupils. I will discuss how this
can be done, with primary focus on choral groups and choirs.

Freer believes that, in
the music profession, teachers are not meeting the needs of the adolescent male
singers (2007). With the children’s choir trend producing many male and female
singers, one wonders where the male singers go as they reach middle school and
beyond. (Winchenbach, 2016). This raises the concern that this loss may
harm a students’ musical capability as they age. There is a period of learning
development that is open until the onset of puberty which allows students to collect
new knowledge with ease. (Winchenbach, 2016). When students stop taking
part in music around this time, they have reported as adults that they have
lost musical abilities (Freer, 2007). One solution posed by Freer is to separate
the choruses into male and female in order to meet their individual needs by
employing specific techniques and strategies. By separating the boys from the
girls, it leaves less room for comparison and leaves the boys feeling more
accomplished as a group. (Winchenbach, 2016). This is particularly
important as the boys’ voices change over the course of puberty. With the
separation, the teacher can concentrate on the boys’ changing voice, while also
accommodating the different methods in which boys learn, of which I have summarised
in the preceding paragraph, making use of their interests, and creating
competitive activities to promote learning and provide more opportunities to
work as a team. (Freer, 2007).

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