The Power of Music

Music has always played a big part in human life, formative indeed, tracing back to the lullabies mothers sing to their newborn babies. It is used during all important occasions, from children’s first birthdays, through weddings, to funerals. Each country has its own national anthem, and many-a-revolution has had a musical score of sorts set the ambiance.

For the purpose of teaching children English, I am harnessing music as well, seeking to help them learn new vocabulary words more easily and effectively. This method includes repetitiveness - which is vital for the process of studying new material in any subject - but also activeness, enthusiasm and a social component.

Initially, the idea of teaching English through song came to me when I realized how quickly lyrics of songs can be picked up simply because they are constantly looping on the radio. Or in Chelsey’s case, how quickly she learned the adhan or call to prayer because of its five times daily repetition :) Once I put the idea into practice, not only were my thoughts confirmed, but it also became clear that using song would be an effective tool for developing listening skills, encouraging movement, play, socialization and increasing confidence.

Just a couple of days into class, as I was moving from table to table to oversee the children’s activities, I caught a few of them singing the song we reviewed at the beginning of class. “Hello. Hello. Hello, how are you? I’m fine. I’m fine. I hope that you are too.” Short and sweet, sure, but oh so useful. And the best part of it all: the children are engaged and excited, not for a moment treating the activity like an unpleasant, "classroom" task. I can hardly wait to seeing how far the children get with their vocabulary by the end of the summer via the power of music!

- Samin

Samin is a summer intern at TYO Nablus.