Music to their ears Please enjoy the link while you read.
With a new school year starting my mind often wanders to those “back-in-the-days” when I was in school.
In my Catholic elementary school, we went to a different room for music class and there I learned new songs I had never heard before. We listened to various selections and we all sang on cue when Sister ML tapped the baton and snapped her fingers. I enjoyed hearing the music as my body found the rhythm and beat. However, most of us did not move because those who did were publically humiliated, sent to the back of the room, ordered to face the back wall and to think about their actions. Seriously.
I never quite understood how to keep your body still when it seemed so natural to move with music like I had done at home, watching mom and dad dance to their favorite swing music from the 40’s. I relished the departure from that school rule when I was at home where my mom, sisters, and I would jump to the newest songs we played from our 45 RPM rock-n-roll collection.
But, in school, that was far from the way we were taught music appreciation. So, in order to comply with the demand of “no movement unless requested by the teacher” I learned to “move” in my mind. That seemed to work for me, however, not so much for a few others who often found themselves facing the back wall, repeatedly. Maybe the public school kids were able to move more in music class. Maybe it was just Sister MJ who was opposed to swaying children. I will never really know for sure.
“How is it that for most people music is a powerful part of their personal life and yet when we go to work or school we turn it off?”1
I know a lot has changed since the early 1960’s and schools have discovered the powerful impact that music has on a child’s learning… OR HAVE THEY?
According to John Hopkins University School of Education here are just a few benefits of music in schools.
Music helps us learn because it will–
- establish a positive learning state
- build a sense of anticipation
- energize learning activities
- change brain wave states
- focus concentration
- increase attention
- improve memory
- facilitate a multisensory learning experience
- release tension
- enhance imagination
- develop rapport
- provide inspiration and motivation
- add an element of fun
- accentuate theme-oriented units
Schools where music is an embedded, vital part of every day, are far more likely to see happy and engaged children. Hearing a favorite or familiar composition, melody or song while learning is simply music to their ears! Listen and learn. Click the link above.