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,
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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