“Letting go of the idea that stats class can’t be fun and FUNctional”-- MUSIC

LARRY LESSER       The University of Texas at El Paso

invited Poster & BEYOND Session for the 2009 US Conference on Teaching Statistics

some references:

Lesser, L. & Pearl, D. (2008). Functional Fun in Statistics Teaching: Resources, Research, and Recommendations.  Journal of Statistics Education, 16(3), 1-11. http://www.amstat.org/publications/jse/v16n3/lesser.pdf (or http://www.amstat.org/publications/jse/v16n3/lesser.html)

Lesser, L. (2002). Stat Song Sing-Along!  STATS, 33, pp. 16-17.

Lesser, L. (2001). Musical Means: Using Songs in Teaching Statistics, Teaching Statistics, 23(3), 81-85. [the first juried comprehensive article on the use of song in the statistics classroom]

http://www.causeweb.org/resources/fun/

math & music resources: www.math.utep.edu/Faculty/lesser/M&Mresources.html

4 types of ways to use music in the statistics classroom:

1.) Content application [from p. 8 of Stats #49 (Lesser, 2008)]:

 syllable Oh give me a home where the buf- fa- lo roam Note(pitch) G G C D E C B A F F F

In how many ways can you arrange the first 5 notes?    G, G, C, D, E

In how many ways can you arrange the first 11 notes?  G, G, C, D, E, C, B, A, F, F, F

How might this inform a courtroom trial on copyright infringement based on an identical

melodic excerpt?  (note: copyright infringement looks at 2 things: similarity and access)

2.) What hypothesis tests can be done on characteristics of hit songs (or songs you like)?

3.) Critical Thinking using lyrics (in various genres) by “real artists” (see Lesser, 2001):

“Everybody got mixed feelings   about the function and the form
Everybody got to deviate from the norm…..
Random sample, hold the one you need” – Rush (1981)

Ain’t no sun, ain’t no blue sky. The wind blows cold now that you’ve gone away.

And tomorrow, just like today, there’s a hundred percent chance of rain.” –Gary Morris (1985)

“ ‘50-50 chance’, the doctor said, in cardiac room as she’s lying in bed.”– S.Vega (1990)

“So you come for a visit, but you lose your nerve

out at the edges of the bell shaped curve.” -- D. Wilcox (1999)

4.) Statistics Songs by Stat Educators!

 Educational use (5 examples): Example (these are all also part of the collection at: http://www.causeweb.org/resources/fun/) Quick jingle to recall content/definition, or to “seal the deal” after content has been introduced What P-Value Means (Lesser) Critical thinking about real-world stats; lottery example: to motivate discussion about independence (of drawings), prob. of winning (share of) jackpot, exp. value of (share of) jackpot The Gambler (Lesser) Recap statistical properties, such as for Maximum Likelihood Estimation or line of best fit M.L.E. (Lesser); Y Hat Dance (Lesser) Reveal punchline of a question students have already made a prediction for and/or discussed possible approaches to find Birthday Song (Lesser) Cap off course (or final exam review session), spanning big range of terms or concepts Statistician’s BLUEs (Lesser);