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Medulla Oblongata

by Greg Crowther


This short rap, written for Biology 351 at UW-Bothell, celebrates the part of the brainstem known as the medulla oblongata. It is best accompanied by a live "rhythm track" of breathing and "lub-dub" sounds to remind ourselves of processes controlled by the medulla oblongata.


Medulla oblongata! Medulla oblongata!
If you have never learned of its importance, then you oughta!

Located in the hindbrain, the rhombencephalon,
The medulla oblongata is just caudal to the pons.
It regulates parameters such as the rate of breathing,
Arterial blood pressure, and the rate the heart is beating.

Medulla oblongata! Medulla oblongata!
Perhaps the lower brainstem is more vital than you thoughta!

Other Files

sheet music

Lesson Plan

Songs like this one can be used during class meetings and/or in homework assignments. Either way, the song will be most impactful if students DO something with it, as opposed to just listening.

An initial, simple follow-up activity could be to answer the study questions below. A more extensive interaction with the song might entail (A) learning to sing it, using an audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, and/or (B) illustrating it with pictures, bodily poses, and/or bodily movements. The latter activity could begin with students identifying the most important or most challenging content of the song, and deciding how to illustrate that particular content.

Study Questions

(1) What is caudal to the medulla oblongata?

(2) What structures are generally considered part of the hindbrain? What structures are generally considered part of the brainstem?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)