Rubenstein incorporates music in class on Tuesdays


As seen in the Oct. 25 issue
Mabel Kabani, editor-in-chief
In order to spur classroom discussion as well as share his varied tastes in music with his students, English teacher Dr. Steven Rubenstein has recently started “You’re So Vain Tuesdays,” a weekly activity in which multiple pieces of music referring to a particular student in the class are played. Based on the words in the song or the name of the singer and/or composer of the music, students must guess which of their classmates the music is referring to.
“This is a fun way to spotlight a certain student every week and make him or her the ‘star’ of the week, which I really like,” Rubenstein said. “I also get to share my taste in music with the class.”
This weekly activity has proven popular among Rubenstein’s AP Literature students, who look forward to the excitement of walking into his class and potentially hearing a piece of music that refers to them.
“This game is a great way to lighten up the atmosphere,” senior Sam Levy said. “It’s always fun to listen for a trait or a name of a classmate that can be hidden in a particular song.”
According to Rubenstein, finding suitable music for each student is not difficult, in fact he claims it to be quick and simple, as well as a good way to continue incorporating the role of music into his daily lesson plans.
“Whenever I walk into Rubenstein’s class, there is always some kind of music playing, whether it be modern pop or classical music,” senior Paloma Bloch said. “I like that because it gives the room a familiar and comfortable feeling. Not only that, but the music being played always has something to do with the lesson of the day, which I think is clever.”
Though keen on discovering new ways to incorporate music into every day class lectures, Rubenstein has just recently become a “music guy.”
“Ever since iTunes, Spotify and Pandora became popular, I really began to expand my taste in music,” Rubenstein said. “It’s actually thrilling when I’m looking for a specific kind of music that relates to a concept in class, because I often unintentionally stumble upon music that I like.”
He continues on to say that Spotify is one of the programs he uses for his “You’re So Vain” activity, because of the simplicity of the system.
Though he has received positive feedback about the activity from students, Rubenstein is hoping to take it to the next level by playing more music that relates to the students’ personalities.
“I think I need to pick selections that do a better job of personally relating to the student that I pick music for,” Rubenstein said. “Overall, incorporating music in class settings is fun, so the students, as well as myself, get to enjoy this activity.”