Music and Videos in the Classroom

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.  ~Berthold Auerbach

I’ve always loved to teach using music.  Music gives me the opportunity to approach a topic in a refreshing way and at the same time making it fun! Whether it’s practicing the conventions of writing or discussing a literature theme, music provides the means.

Before the World Wide Web came into existence, I had to search endlessly for songs related to the topics I wanted to present to my students. Back then I would use my radio-cassette player to play the songs and transcribe the lyrics. Once I was able to do that after a certain number of times (some singers are difficult to understand!) then I would reproduce the songs for the students. As they listened to it, they could follow along. When working with students whose native language is not English, this technique helps enormously.

Flash forward about twenty years later, and what do I have? Lyrics.com….YouTube and a myriad of other sources at my disposal! What a difference! I can now prepare a PowerPoint presentation of the song and project on the whiteboard. So nice!

Websites that broadcast videos are unique tools for the educator.  They present visuals that make class discussions dynamic. What better way to get a class started?

With so much going on in a student’s world, a teacher has to incorporate the classic style of instruction with modern techniques. It may not be easy but with a little imagination, it can be done!

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