Otsego Northern Catskill BOCES

Educational Media Library

Media Spotlight, March 2003 ( Revised, 2005 )

Guest Commentary:  Johnathan Chase

Music and Media in the Classroom

    Media enhances the effectiveness of teaching by exposing students to important ideas, information and alternative points of view. Arts integration enriches the classroom environment through the development of interdisciplinary lessons that engage disinterested and reluctant students. The use and study of song lyrics provides opportunities to introduce numerous student centered learning activities including personal response papers, extended tasks, independent research, cooperative learning and class presentations.

Good artworks catch your heart and then make you think. You ask a lot of questions.
A good artwork gives you alternative ways to observe the world you live in.

                                            ~ "A Conversation With Hung Liu / Reflections About Making", School Arts April, 1996

    The new forms of assessment require students to analyze and interpret primary and secondary source documents making connections and drawing conclusions from the data presented. Lyric-based learning activities help students develop the higher order listening, thinking, and writing skills they will need to be successful on the new assessments. Songs serve as an emotional hook or anchor in the middle and high school classroom as they appeal to both the heart and mind while creating countless opportunities to integrate social and emotional learning into the core curriculum. Popular music may be used as a means to introduce visual art, poetry, literature, historic documents, film, photographs, and other primary sources.

"We learned more from a three minute record than we ever learned in school"

                                                                        ~ Bruce Springsteen, No Surrender - Born in the U.S.A, 1984

    Music and media based learning activities enable teachers to address multiple intelligences and help students develop essential critical thinking and media literacy skills. Song lyrics are very often subjective in nature expressing a particular point of view. The educational use and study of song lyrics helps young people to recognize opinion and biased statements as they learn to be thoughtful listeners and consumers of media.

"We must prepare young people for living in a world of powerful images, words, and sounds"

                                                                                                                       ~ UNESCO, 1982

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