How can music develop a greater sense of community and collaboration in our classrooms? Join us in conversation with music teachers, Melissa Delman and Michael Kobito to find out!

Melissa Delman and Michael Kobito in Classroom Conversations

How can music develop a greater sense of community and collaboration in our classrooms? Join us in conversation with music teachers, Melissa Delman and Michael Kobito to find out!

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Ashley Mengwasser: Hey, Georgia educators. We have new discussion guides available to use with classroom conversations episodes. These discussion guides include open-ended questions to facilitate great discussion and professional learning after listening to each podcast. Find the new discussion guides posted with the Classroom Conversations episodes and blogs in Georgia Home Classroom. Hi teachers, I hope our podcast open has you humming and tapping contentedly. This is Classroom Conversations, the platform for Georgia's teachers, a place where educators can share and learn. I'm Ashley Mengwasser, your host. I just love our intro song, the Classroom Conversations jingle, a stirring and evocative sound. It moves me today more than before probably because our topic today reverberates in my mind. It's music in our schools. Now this will be music to your ears. Thank you for tuning in to another episode. Our harmonious installment and others before it are thoughtfully composed and conducted by the great minds at Georgia Department of Education in partnership with the media production prowess of Georgia Public Broadcasting. We'll hit our rhythm momentarily, but typical soprano, I like to kick things off on a high note. Let's meet our guests. The brilliant minds at Georgia DoE had no trouble assembling two voice parts for today's conversation. To my left on the lower range, elementary to be exact, Melissa Delman. Innovative music teacher at Lake Forest Elementary School in Fulton County. And to my right on the higher range, a high school teacher. My first right-hand man from season three actually, you've heard him here before. It's Michael Kobito, Georgia's 2023 Teacher of the Year. Michael is the director of bands and AP Music Theory teacher at Woodland High School in Bartow County. Welcome, Melissa and Michael. M&M.

Michael Kobito: That's right. It's good to be here.

Ashley Mengwasser: The new M&M. How are you guys today?

Melissa Delman: Doing well, thank you.

Michael Kobito: Living the dream. Living the dream.

Ashley Mengwasser: Good to be back, Michael?

Michael Kobito: Oh, so great to be back.

Ashley Mengwasser: Good to be here for your first time, Melissa.

Melissa Delman: Absolutely.

Ashley Mengwasser: Do you have any reservations about being here today?

Melissa Delman: No, none at all.

Ashley Mengwasser: Okay.

Melissa Delman: Excited.

Ashley Mengwasser: I'm not going to ask you to sing or play an instrument.

Melissa Delman: Oh, well I appreciate that.

Michael Kobito: I left mine in the car. So.

Ashley Mengwasser: You brought it, and you didn't bring it in?

Michael Kobito: Always prepared.

Ashley Mengwasser: That's honestly hurtful, Michael.

Michael Kobito: Sorry,

Ashley Mengwasser: I expect more from you. We can do that another time. Bring you back for round three. I want to start with what led you guys to teaching music? Sweet Melissa, will you go first?

Melissa Delman: Sure. I was 11 and I got introduced to the band U2 for the first time.

Ashley Mengwasser: Oh yes.

Melissa Delman: Yes. And I just was inspired to pick up some instruments and play a lot and take lessons in piano, guitar. Joined middle school orchestra and just kept it going. And I just always thought that's what I would do something with music. And then my mother is also a teacher, so I had that influence from her to try music teaching.

Ashley Mengwasser: Try it out.

Melissa Delman: Yeah.

Ashley Mengwasser: At age 11.

Melissa Delman: Age 11.

Ashley Mengwasser: What was the U2 song? Please tell us.

Melissa Delman:

“Where the Streets Have No Name”.

Ashley Mengwasser: “Where the Streets Have No Name”.

Melissa Delman: Yes.

Ashley Mengwasser: Ah, I'm going to listen to that.

Melissa Delman: I just got to meet Bono one day.

Ashley Mengwasser: You will. You will.

Melissa Delman: And everything will be complete.

Ashley Mengwasser: And you will. I have a great U2 story. I went to one of their concerts when I was maybe 19 or 20 and The Edge, somebody in the audience had a sign up that said, Edge, let me play. I play. And so he said, come up here. And he had this man come on stage. He gave him his guitar and he played the whole song. It was amazing. I was just like, I got chills. What led you to teach music, Michael?

Michael Kobito: And you might have heard some of this in the previous episode if you had a chance to catch that one, but the big thing that really got me into teaching music was one, I had really great music teachers that really believed in me and inspired me. But music class was the first place in my life up to the point when I was in middle school where I realized that being the best was not the goal. If everyone in my class is not as good as I am, I'm not going to have as much fun. So I learned very early on and music class is the first place that taught me this that when everyone is doing their best and achieving at a high level, the experience is a lot of fun. So getting into teaching music, I wanted to share that wealth of experience with the world because that is, that's what the world needs.

Ashley Mengwasser: Yes, it is what the world needs and it's what this podcast needs too. So thank you. Share something intriguing about yourselves, you guys, musically or otherwise. Melissa?

Melissa Delman: Well, I enjoy playing a lot of world drums and I got inspired after attending a music teacher workshop, and it just kind of spoke to me. So I've gone all over the country and studied with different people and brought it back to my students. And now at my elementary school, my students are in a steel drum band and we have a world percussion ensemble. So it's just, you know, never know what will inspire you when you try new things. Because I was a piano major in college, never thought I would turn into a drummer

Ashley Mengwasser: And now you're a percussionist. What is world drums for the rest of us?

Melissa Delman: Well, anything like, I specialize more in a Middle Eastern frame drum. And then I've taken a lot of classes on African drumming and Latin drumming.

Ashley Mengwasser: That's amazing.

Michael Kobito: That's awesome.

Melissa Delman: Just a variety.

Ashley Mengwasser: Michael, something intriguing about you?

Michael Kobito: Mine's not nearly as cool.

Ashley Mengwasser: As drumming?

Michael Kobito: I was born in Okinawa, Japan. I started school in England in the British school system. Moved to the United States in the early two thousands. One interesting, I guess related to drumming, my dad was a big time drummer back in the day. He took lessons from the old drummer of Blue Oyster Cult when he was a kid.

Ashley Mengwasser: Oh, cool.

Michael Kobito: 'Cause they lived in the same town somehow. And then he did some drumming for Lone Star, a little bit on the side and some smaller bands, The River, just around town, random gigs. So my dad was a drum set player, and I remember picking up the trumpet and learning how to read music. I was like, I can finally do something in music that you can't do. And he was a pretty good drum set player.

Ashley Mengwasser: Got him. My dad, ironically, was also a drummer. And he was, and when my mom was a nurse and she would go on a nursing trip at the end of every year when she was gone, my dad was in charge of me and my brother, and he would move out all of the furniture in the living room and move in his drum set, amplifiers and so on and so forth. And I'm sure the police got called every day that week, but we had a great time. It was going to a live rock concert. Are you kidding me? What song are you currently listening to on repeat? Michael?

Michael Kobito: My wife hates this because she's ready to hear a new album, but Jacob Collier released this album called Piano Ballads, where he did this worldwide tour and everywhere he went, he would sit down at the piano and just start to play and improvise a popular tune. Each song's like 10 minutes long. He has the choir, the audience become the choir, and they sing. It's a whole improv session. So I've been listening to Jacob Collier's piano ballads on loop for about a month.

Ashley Mengwasser: Oh wow.

Melissa Delman: That one's great.

Ashley Mengwasser: A month. I usually do a song for a week and beat it to death and then move on to another one.

Michael Kobito: That's why my wife is sick of it.

Ashley Mengwasser: Yeah, she's like a month? Move on, Michael. Melissa, what are you currently listening to on repeat?

Melissa Delman: Well, you know, got to pump yourself up sometimes at the beginning of the year. So I've been listening to a lot of Lizzo lately.

Ashley Mengwasser: Yes.

Melissa Delman: And...

Michael Kobito: Talk about a musician. Right?

Melissa Delman: Right.

Michael Kobito: She's so real.

Melissa Delman: I know. Gosh, incredible.

Ashley Mengwasser: That is just fantastic. Yeah, I'll save mine for, it's coming later. It's relevant to a later question. Is there any musical influence our listeners might be surprised to find in your teaching repertoire?

Michael Kobito: I listen to a lot of, or I really look up to Leonard Bernstein. He's kind of the American music educator, conductor, performer, composer, everything. Wynton Marsalis. My cat is named after him. Great trumpet player. He's very cute. My cat, not Wynton Marsalis.

Ashley Mengwasser: Or both.

Michael Kobito: Maybe. Depends. And then Jacob Collier, who's, people are calling him the modern day Mozart. Just an unbelievable virtuoso, brilliant mind. Those are the three influences.

Ashley Mengwasser: Is this the young man you were mentioning?

Michael Kobito: Yes.

Ashley Mengwasser: Oh.

Michael Kobito: He's probably my age. He only has a few Grammy awards so far.

Ashley Mengwasser: Just a few.

Michael Kobito: Unbelievable virtuoso, brilliant mind, worth checking out. So if you like music or if you're a nerd about music, either way.

Ashley Mengwasser: Jacob Collier.

Michael Kobito: Jacob Collier, check him out.

Ashley Mengwasser: Okay.

Melissa Delman: That's awesome.

Ashley Mengwasser: Melissa?

Melissa Delman: Frank Zappa for me, all of his music is just so different and creative and it's a special taste, I would say, would say, some people might kind of be like, Ugh. You know, is that really good? But I think it's like, it's so interesting. There's so many different strange parts to it that it kind of helps me keep an open mind about what music could be.

Ashley Mengwasser: Right. It requires some active listening.

Melissa Delman: Yes, exactly. So that has always inspired me.

Ashley Mengwasser: Fully engages you.

Melissa Delman: Yeah.

Ashley Mengwasser: If you two, separately, were to start a band or a choir or something, what would your band name be? Who wants to take this one first?

Melissa Delman: Well, The Frozen Grapes.

Ashley Mengwasser: Wait a minute. Wait, why?

Melissa Delman: Well, that was my, when I was in middle school, I attempted to get a band together.

Ashley Mengwasser: It was a real band name.

Melissa Delman: And that's what I tried to get everybody to get on board with was The Frozen Grapes. I don't know, I think it was something I picked up from something with U2 and I just kind of went with it.

Michael Kobito: I want to see that cover art.

Melissa Delman: Right?

Ashley Mengwasser: That's really good.

Michael Kobito: Awesome.

Ashley Mengwasser: That is a nutritious band name as well. Excellent. What was yours, Michael?

Michael Kobito: I just tried to make a play on words, kind of like the intro. So Kobito is my last name, so the Kobeatles maybe? Or the Kobeastie Boys?

Melissa Delman: Oh, that's a good one.

Ashley Mengwasser: I love that one.

Michael Kobito: Kobi teeth? Childish Kobito?

Ashley Mengwasser: Oh.

Michael Kobito: Okay. I'll stop.

Ashley Mengwasser: Never stop.

Melissa Delman: All those are pretty good.

Michael Kobito: I apologize.

Ashley Mengwasser: They are good. Where are the Beastie Boys right now? They're probably eating cereal on someone's couch right now. That would be my guess.

Michael Kobito: Who's to say.

Ashley Mengwasser: Just, I think you guys answered that question perfectly. Here are some, here's some real indie band names for you to mull over. There's... Real bands. Okay. Bowling for Soup. They're a pop punk band in Texas. You ever heard of them? Let's Eat Grandma. No, don't eat grandma. They're alt pop, Norwich. Toad the Wet Sprocket. Remember Toad the Wet Sprocket? That's what I've been listening to, to their nineties delight on repeat. All I Want.

Melissa Delman: Yep.

Ashley Mengwasser: Play that one on the way home. Toad the Wet Sprocket. All I Want. You'll sing right along.

Melissa Delman: That's a good one. That's a good one.

Ashley Mengwasser: Oh, well, this was fun. But now help us understand the role of music in our schools and let's please talk about music in your classroom. Okay? Shall we? What do you feel engages your students most in your music classroom, Melissa?

Melissa Delman: I would say just having that community in the classroom. Just having that opportunity to be yourself and to create and not have any fear of judgment and just making music together. That safe space.

Ashley Mengwasser: That's empowering. Yeah. What about you, Michael? What engages them?

Michael Kobito: With that community comes the ability to be communicative. Communication is huge for me in my classroom. I had a band director friend come by and observe me teach last semester, and he was surprised by how much we talked during the rehearsal. And it's not talking about what you're having for lunch or what you're doing this weekend, it's talking about, oh, this phrase should be shaped this way. Or I think the notes need to be shorter in length or more detached. My kids have the ability to talk about things and what's more engaging than being invested in the process?

Ashley Mengwasser: Exactly.

Michael Kobito: So that communication piece, which is hard to figure out how do I implement that and make my kids feel safe enough and respectful enough to participate fully. But once you get there, there's not a kid in that room that's disengaged.

Ashley Mengwasser: Of course. Would you share your favorite music concept to teach? And tell us why, and then tell us what your students favorite concept to learn is and why. Who wants to take this first?

Melissa Delman: I'll take this one. My favorite concept to teach is improvisation. I just enjoy the creating process. I think this is one of those things where the process is more important really than even the outcome sometimes because it's where the student, how much they grow as a musician. And I've learned a lot through Orff-Schulwerk levels of music teaching, going through those levels. And that program, that method of teaching really taught me how to share improvising with my students. So I like it because I enjoy seeing their aha moments and just having that fun creating, just fun creating music. But what they probably would say they like best...

Ashley Mengwasser: What would they say?

Melissa Delman: Is when we do beat and meter. When we're teaching meter, we're teaching about, there's the strong beat and how we organize our beats in groups of 3, 4, 2. Those are our main ones for elementary and how we arrange them in groups. And you count the songs in fours and stay on the beat, but there's always a strong beat, which is beat one. And that's where a lot of the games come from.

Ashley Mengwasser: Really? Meter does it for them.

Melissa Delman: Meter does it for him. I have a tendency to try that. It's a tricky concept. And when you look at it in elementary level, it's like four four time, how's that work? So I do a lot of outside the box type of lessons using different playground equipment, water balloons, different games to just feel that strong beat and to feel those different meters and hear them in music. And I think they would say that was probably their best.

Ashley Mengwasser: Okay.

Melissa Delman: The water balloon meter game is probably the first thing I'm asked every year when we're going to do that.

Ashley Mengwasser: Well, no wonder. Okay? Of course they love that. That's genius. What's your favorite to teach and their favorite to learn? Michael?

Michael Kobito: I'm a nerd, so I really like music history type lessons. So we, sometimes we'll do a project called the Instrumentalist Project, where I have my kids create an all-star orchestra where they have to listen to three musicians on each instrument in the band, and they have to listen to a clip of them and decide which one is going into their all-star orchestra with an educated decision of why. Not because their hair looks cool or because their saxophone is shiny, but because they play blank. And I try, I love this assignment because it gives my kids a chance to listen to real musicians making real great professional sounds. And I try to make sure that I have diverse people playing these instruments. So that's my favorite. But I think their favorite always ends up being chamber music. Whenever I have my kids go and play duets or trios or quartets, I have them, they pick their music, I give them some guidance and help them however I can, but they pick their music, they rehearse it on their own, they perform it on their own, and they're in charge of the whole process. And this thing is blown up until we have a clarinet choir at our school and a brass choir, and our kids are actually writing the music and arranging the music for their ensembles and begging me to stay after school on days where I don't want to stay after school so they can rehearse. But.

Ashley Mengwasser: You created a monster.

Michael Kobito: Created a monster. But I think it's a beneficial one.

Ashley Mengwasser: I'd say so. There's so much opportunity for creativity in what you do. How do you create and plan your music lessons for students with all of them in mind? Melissa?

Melissa Delman: I kind of look at my lessons through a culturally responsive and sustaining lens kind of.

Ashley Mengwasser: Beautifully said.

Melissa Delman: How can I get them? All our students' voices need to be heard and they need to see themselves in the curriculum. And it's just so important to get to know them. And once you get to know them, not just their culture, but even the pop culture that they're into, all of those little aspects can be put into...

Ashley Mengwasser: Relevant.

Melissa Delman: Into your lessons to make things more relevant and just make better connections. So I really take getting to know the students really seriously.

Ashley Mengwasser: You're almost polling them for ideas.

Melissa Delman: Yeah. And a lot of times I'll take polls in my class and just be like, Hey, our next unit is X, Y, and Z. What's your favorite stuff to do in here? And even something as simple as that just...

Ashley Mengwasser: Keeps them engaged.

Melissa Delman: Keeping in mind what they also are excited to do.

Ashley Mengwasser: Yeah. How do you create and plan your music lessons, Michael?

Michael Kobito: Well, I think it's huge, and I think it's important to, I ask my kids what they're listening to. They walk around with an AirPod in their ear, and sometimes it's just for cool points, but sometimes I'll ask them, I'm like, what are you listening to? And I'll actually go and listen to that music. But I think for me, and people with that are in roles where most of what they do is performance based, we're preparing for a concert. I think we have to remember that every kid in our class is not going to go be principal trumpet player of the blank symphony. All of our kids aren't going to go be performers. So, all the content and curriculum we teach cannot be just performance based. So we do lessons where we talk about music as a listener and as an absorber and as a contributor. So I think trying to make sure I reach every kid, one thing I do is I make sure that my kids are playing appropriate level literature and music. I'm not handing things out that are way too easy or way too hard, try to be nice and Goldilocks. But I also try to make sure that it's not just about the concert. I don't want my kid to walk out of high school band saying, I really played that third clarinet part really well. I want my kid to walk out of my program saying, I love music. How can I be involved with this next?

Ashley Mengwasser: That's a bigger goal, right?

Michael Kobito: Totally.

Ashley Mengwasser: And tactically, how can you ensure that every student has an opportunity to make music when they enter your classroom?

Michael Kobito: Yeah. I think for me, I'm blessed. My school well does a pretty good job of scheduling students to be in classes that are based on ability levels. So I've got kids that are being pushed and experiencing things that are within their reach. We all have experience where it's something's too easy and you get bored.

Ashley Mengwasser: Yes.

Michael Kobito: Or something's way too hard and you get bored.

Ashley Mengwasser: Yes.

Michael Kobito: So, trying to make sure that's one way that we ensure that happens. Another thing, I love fundamentals. My kids make fun of me for how much I love scales, but fundamentals are things that every single person can learn from and be engaged through. I've got a kid, last year I had a student that was the best trombone player in the state of Georgia.

Ashley Mengwasser: Wow.

Michael Kobito: He's a music education student at UGA right now, but he was working on tuning overtones for him, his own instrument. I've got other kids in our program that are still trying to make sure that they can land on the right pitch on the first time every time. So that different ability level at that particular moment, you can conquer that and teach both kids at the same time through great fundamental teaching.

Ashley Mengwasser: And in elementary school. Melissa, how do you make sure that every student has a chance to make music in your class?

Melissa Delman: Well, I've been very fortunate at Lake Forest Elementary. I've always had such supportive administration, so I have a variety or an arsenal, so to speak, of so many different drums and xylophones and instruments and ways to, kinesthetic things to help teach. And just kind of incorporating as much as possible to get them moving and active and playing all the time.

Ashley Mengwasser: All the time.

Melissa Delman: All the time. Just and constantly changing it up.

Ashley Mengwasser: So that it's just a given.

Melissa Delman: Yeah.

Ashley Mengwasser: Are there things your students learn in your classroom that are not related to music?

Melissa Delman: Absolutely. I mean, music in itself is, it's just such a team, it's a team sport. It really is. And I have a lot of soccer players as students.

Ashley Mengwasser: Really?

Melissa Delman: So, I make a lot of connections with soccer for them. But it's like we're a team when we create. But also my school's an IB school, which is an International Baccalaureate school, which basically the overall concept is just creating globally minded students. We have something called the learner profile where it's just good characteristics, good human characteristics, like being balanced and principled, a good communicator, being open-minded. So whenever we can take those learner profile characteristics and kind of incorporate them in our teaching, that helps. So they're used to being risk-takers. Wow. We use the word risk-taker, especially when we improvise.

Ashley Mengwasser: Yes.

Melissa Delman: So, they're knowing all these lots of different words and what it means so they can be more of a globally minded.

Ashley Mengwasser: Right. So creating some values.

Melissa Delman: Yes.

Ashley Mengwasser: It's not just about the making of the music.

Melissa Delman: Exactly.

Ashley Mengwasser: Exactly. What are they learning in your class, Michael, that's not just music related?

Michael Kobito: All of the above. When you talk about deeper learning in kids, I mean, these kids are learning how to be resilient. They're learning how to think critically, how to work together, be determined. I mean, I've had kids go for band camp, they stand on asphalt for two weeks, for 12 hours a day in the sun in July.

Ashley Mengwasser: I don't think I could do that.

Michael Kobito: I mean, that's persistence. But I think when we're talking about preparing kids for careers and life's livelihood, I was reading this book about deeper learning, and it said in 1970, the top three skills employers asked for were reading, writing, and arithmetic. In 2015 they are complex problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity. So we're talking about... Music is where kids learn how to learn. Arts is where kids learn how to learn, and those are the things that I hope my kids are taken away from my class.

Ashley Mengwasser: It's really a backbone of all other learning, right, because you're practicing those mechanics. What about some of your favorite teaching strategies or tips? This is my favorite part of the episode. For all of our educators listening, we want to conclude with a couple of your tried and true strategies. So hit us with a couple of hot tips or cold tips or Goldilocks, perfectly moderate-temperatured tips. What do you have, Michael?

Michael Kobito: So, some good tips for me is think about being collaborative, not competitive in your classroom.

Ashley Mengwasser: Interesting.

Michael Kobito: In the programs, I know a lot of the time we think about awards and winning or losing in those things, but being collaborative is a really big part of what music making and teaching is about. You got those teachers that say, I had two kids pass this test. I wrote a really good test. It's like you have 26 kids in your class that just failed the test. How is this a good test?

Ashley Mengwasser: Good point.

Michael Kobito: So, making sure that we're being collaborative within our schools and our communities and our world, that's the only way that society will continue to rise. I think being more curious is a really big part of what, it's a hot tip, which is really vague, but find ways to continue to learn and master your craft and remember why you do what you do. I play in a community band. I conduct a community band, and that's another hot tip. If you're a music teacher out there, pick up your instrument again and start to play. And if you're not a musician and you're teaching something else, find something that you can do that's not the same as your profession, but forces you to continue to learn.

Ashley Mengwasser: Continue to learn. I know we learned from the first episode that that's a big mantra for you.

Michael Kobito: Every person can learn.

Ashley Mengwasser: Every person can learn.

Michael Kobito: A hundred percent.

Ashley Mengwasser: Okay, Melissa, what are your hot, cool, or lukewarm tips?

Melissa Delman: I would say it's in elementary, it's so easy to become your own island in all the special areas. So it's working to get off that island, be cross-curricular, look at the whole picture. For instance, I teach a lot of English language learners, so I've been interested in learning how they read and the phonics instruction that's going on in my school. So then I've been able to easily incorporate that in my music classroom for our own vocabulary. So it's kind of showing students that you can make connections everywhere because you can connect so much with music, whether it's history or lyrics in a song, and learning how to read them. So just kind of getting off that island and being collaborative. Kind of like what you said, Michael, just the collaboration piece. Don't be alone.

Ashley Mengwasser: Don't be alone.

Melissa Delman: Don't be alone.

Ashley Mengwasser: Is there one song that each of you has taught in your career that's always a hit with your kids? I'd love to know what that is, if there's one that springs to mind or certain units that they love.

Melissa Delman: Well, I have a steel drum band at my school, and last year they requested to be able to play and Rick Roll people. Yeah. So we learned the Rick Astley song Never Going To Give You Up.

Ashley Mengwasser: Oh, that's a great song.

Michael Kobito: Oh, that's rich.

Melissa Delman: So, in the middle of the concert, all of a sudden, they just like Rick Rolled the audience. So I listened to what the kids are wanting to do. Yeah.

Michael Kobito: That is funny.

Ashley Mengwasser: That's brilliant.

Michael Kobito: I don't have anything nearly as hilarious as that. I mean, every year we have kids that really fall in love with particular pieces of music, and we do really serious stuff, and we do a pops concert, so we have a full gamut. But I find that stuff by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Ashley Mengwasser: Oh, yes.

Michael Kobito: And we did Moana a couple years ago, and the other classes that didn't get to play that piece were so mad because they wanted to play more. And then we did an arrangement of Encanto, and these kids were so mad that I had to buy arrangements of different songs from Encanto. And every band played a piece buying by that movie. From that movie.

Ashley Mengwasser: Because they know it. Yeah.

Michael Kobito: These kids just flock to it. I don't, I mean, it is cool, but...

Ashley Mengwasser: Yeah. Absolutely. Something for adults that you guys have to see if you haven't seen it yet is, I think it's Fender who put this out? Go on YouTube. Have you seen the guitar recreation of the Game of Thrones theme song?

Melissa Delman: No.

Ashley Mengwasser: You haven't? Oh.

Melissa Delman: Okay.

Ashley Mengwasser: Watch that.

Melissa Delman: I'll look that up.

Ashley Mengwasser: You will particularly love this. Yes. Some of the best guitar gods. I'm going to blank on who's there, but one of my favorites is Nuno Bettencourt from the band Extreme. He's there and they all just have this beautiful shredding of the Game of Thrones.

Melissa Delman: Steve Vai?

Ashley Mengwasser: It's just so good. You go watch that and tell me what you think. Your kids might like it too in high school.

Melissa Delman: Cool.

Ashley Mengwasser: I could just talk about music forever. Thank you so much for being here. Here's the real question though, M&M, when can we workshop an original track for Classroom Conversations? I feel a contest coming on. What do you think?

Michael Kobito: I'm ready.

Ashley Mengwasser: You ready?

Melissa Delman: Yeah. Let's go.

Ashley Mengwasser: Okay, let's do it. We're going to talk to our bosses and make that happen. Thank you, Melissa and Michael. Keep making those melodies and you too, educators. Music scientifically does make us feel good. Hearing resonant melodies releases dopamine. That's the feel good hormone activating our brain's pleasure center. So it can also feel great when you're a great teacher. Okay. I expect everyone to blast their favorite tune on the route home from school. And if you draw a blank, let's borrow Melissa's, Where The Streets Have No Name. Wherever your listening experience takes you, find your way back to us next week for more Classroom Conversations. Time to say goodbye before I officially go flat. I'm Ashley Mengwasser. Goodbye. Funding for Classroom Conversations is made possible through the School Climate Transformation Grant.