Music Matters

Our children can sing a song that they have heard a few times almost word for word.
Although some of the lyrics our children are singing may be deemed inappropriate, the fact that they can remember three or four minutes of oral repetition and recite it is encouraging.
— Naru Kwina

Using socially relevant music to help children learn comes with a variety of advantages. This approach can enhance the educational experience in several ways:

  • Improves Engagement: Music that resonates with the social experiences or interests of children can capture their attention more effectively than traditional teaching methods. When students are engaged, they are more likely to absorb and retain information.
  • Enhances Memory: Music has a unique ability to enhance memory through melody and rhythm. Information set to music can often be remembered more easily than information presented in a purely verbal form.
  • Encourages Emotional Connection: Socially relevant music often touches on themes and issues that children may see in their own lives or in the lives of those around them. This can foster a deeper emotional connection to the material, enhancing empathy and understanding.
  • Facilitates Cultural Understanding: Using music from different cultures or social backgrounds can help children learn about and appreciate diversity. This can promote inclusivity and respect for others.
  • Supports Language Development: Music can be a powerful tool for developing language skills, including vocabulary, pronunciation, and rhythm of speech. Songs with socially relevant lyrics can introduce new ideas and language in a context that makes sense to children.
  • Promotes Critical Thinking: Discussing the themes, messages, and social issues presented in music can stimulate critical thinking skills. Children learn to analyze and question, developing their ability to think about complex issues.
  • Aids in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): Music that reflects real-life situations and emotions can help children learn about themselves and others. It supports the development of social and emotional skills such as self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship skills.
  • Boosts Creativity: Engaging with music, especially in a creative or interactive way, can stimulate creativity. Children can be encouraged to create their own socially relevant music, which helps in expressing themselves and understanding the world around them.
  • Supports Cross-curricular Learning: Music can be integrated with other subjects like history, social studies, and language arts, making learning more holistic and interconnected. This approach can help students see the relevance of what they are learning in a broader context.
  • Increases Motivation: When children see the relevance of what they are learning to their own lives and society, they are more likely to be motivated to learn. Socially relevant music can make learning feel more meaningful.

Incorporating socially relevant music into education requires thoughtful selection and a clear understanding of the educational goals. However, when done effectively, it can significantly enrich the learning experience and contribute to the development of well-rounded, empathetic, and informed individuals.

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I've seen how quickly kids learn with repetition. I noticed this in class and this fact is supported by so much research. Seeing this, I decided to create music and lyrics for kids. I was amazed by the outcome!
Wayne M.
Community Advocate

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