Earlier this week I claimed that instead of insisting on complete silence in certain learning environments, we should follow Beethoven’s belief that “music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks, and invents” by actively promoting music as a useful tool of education. This post (and my next one, since I LOVE this topic!) will detail some very specific ways in which music benefits us and those around us as we try to learn, discover, create, and grow.
Music allows us to arrange a learning environment that is rich and resonant. If you are at all familiar with working with children, you know that a varied approach to learning is most effective. Music opens doors to new and exciting opportunities and offers an unexpected setting that transcends the usual, shall we say, stale, learning environment.
Based on what I have experienced in my personal and professional life, I can attest to the fact that music can, if used correctly, establish a positive learning setting. It does this in a number of ways, some of which include the following:
Music creates a desired atmosphere: This point is obvious. For example, the belief that “music soothes the savage beast” is based on the reality that slower-paced music really does have a calming effect on those who are, um, a bit too wound up. Next time you are trying to teach your kids an important lesson or have a serious discussion, try playing some soft, relaxing music in the background. You will be pleased with the result.
Music energizes learning and creative activities: In contrast to the previous point, music can be a wonderful facilitator of much needed energy and anticipation. For example, if you are trying to get your kids amped up to create the perfect birthday card for your spouse, try blasting “Birthday” by The Beatles. There is pretty much no way they will not immediately get pumped for the sometimes tedious card-writing process.
Stay tuned for my next post when I discuss more benefits to using music as a springboard for learning.