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MUL2010 Music and the Life Cycle

MUL2010 Music and the Life Cycle Jacklyn Dougherty

Even if you’re not a musician, do you remember music playing a part in your childhood education? Alternatively, can you think of any ways that music is used in the childhood education process today? 

I can definitely recall music being an integral part of my childhood learning. In elementary school, we had a music class once a week, where we sang simple songs and beats and sometimes had to move our bodies in a particular way. This helped to reiterate the core concepts, such as maintaining a constant tempo and made the learning experience more interesting. We also frequently had to perform musical programs or shows for our parents and the community. Rehearsing the songs, we would sing, and the lines we would speak in the plays we would perform also helped us learn to work together, be responsible, and develop self-esteem. The actual performances were good experiences in practicing public speaking at an early age. The use of music is still embraced in activities like singing educative songs to make learning easier and enjoyable. 

Based on what you have learned about music so far in the first few chapters, do you think that learning music - or simply learning through music - is important to the educational process? Why or why not?

Now that I look back at it, I can say with confidence that using music, as a teaching tool was very effective from an educational perspective. Musical activities made abstract ideas more concrete and engaged different areas of our brains. Singing songs about historical events or multiplying numbers with rhythmic chants made rote memorization a lot more interactive and memorable.  

Do you remember a specific time/event/ceremony in your life where music played an important role? Did the music enhance that experience?

One particular instance in my life where music was essential to me was during my high school graduation. In addition, of course, the usual ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ march was playing as we entered the auditorium. My favorite part was when the choir sang a song that was about moving forward in the world. The combination of the lovely melodies and the heartfelt words gave the event a unique feeling of importance and success that simple words could not convey. The music made that event more significant and meaningful.

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