“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”
Confucius, The Book of Rites
Last year, Vicky Loras set a challenge called “Eleven” in which you were supposed to write about yourself. I accepted, and it’s great.
So, this year couldn’t be different: ACCEPTED again!
” What’s your story” – A blog challenge with a human Touch
and here goes the story…
As some of you know how much I appreciate music, and how important is it in my life, I decided to introduce music little by little in my classroom, mainly with my special needs students.
At the beginning of the year, I had the opportunity to work with a new group of teens. They were very smart. They knew everything about football (Priemer League – That’s why I became a Gunner (Arsenal Fan). However, I have to declare my Endless passion to Barcelona and Vasco da Gama!
Oh Jesus, They messed around with my life! So did I with them!
Teenagers love listening to music and every class they had to listen to the radio. They didn’t have an idea that it was possible to listen to UK radio stations in Brazil. I just freaked them out! During the classes, they were exposed to their new language – English. The main idea was to catch my students’ attention, and it worked pretty well.
Every Wednesday and Friday, they had a task and a challenge.
The task – They should remember one word that they had listened to and
The Challenge – before leave the room, they should say “the password” to me.
It was awesome. Some of them tried to reproduce the accent correctly, and got it right. Of course, there were just two of them that didn’t remember, what it was acceptable. However, they tried their best to join the activity. There wasn’t any punishment or grade for it. It was just a way to memorize what they have learned that day.
And what about the music…
One of my students, a very funny and smart teenager, said it out loud, in the middle of the class that he didn’t like music! Nothing at all! I got surprised! How come a kid doesn’t like any kind of music!
And he continued with his story – He never liked music because his parents used to listen to the radio for other purposes. The radio was there to give them daily news, weather forecast, and religious guidance. Thus, music for him was something like “Ew” (horrible, bad). So, I decided work with them some youtube videos. From The Beatles – “Hello and Goodbye” to Jimmy Fallow show “EW”.
That moment of our lesson, it was like “Pandora’s box” full of “bad music”.
The boy got surprised with that, all the songs were related to our content and that moment, music had a different meaning for him.
Moreover, he understood what the lyrics mean in order to help him feel so confident about learning this new language.
Every class he was the first one to say “Teacher, the radio” and I always replied to him “Oh, My! I forgot, sorry!” – (it’s a way to measure the activity with the radio, whether the radio was off they were supposed to ask to turn it on). Just a simple idea turned into an engagement activity in which everybody else was involved. That was the aim of the initial idea and it worked.
So, at the end of the semester he thanked me to teach him about music and english. I felt very happy for that and also grateful for helping him love music.
Nevertheless to say that, his parents came to our annual parents’ meeting to meet and talk to “The Rock and Roll football teacher” who gave their kid a brandnew soul.
That’s a musical touch.
“Music is an outburst of the soul.” Frederick Delius
I couldn’t agree more with this outstanding quote!