Each child absorbs information in a different way. What works when you teach a particular skill to one child may not work with another, and parents must adjust their teaching methods to best reach each kid on their own level. With rising demands on parents to teach more in the after-school hours, it’s important to find ways to get all kids enthused about studying, even if the topic is hard to get into.
One great way to get your kids excited about studying, regardless of their learning style or the subject at hand, is to incorporate some musical aspects. Even if the subject seems to have no musical connection, there are ways to bring in rhythm, melodies, and even lyrics to help your kids learn.
Take a look at these tips on how parents can use music to help their kids study:
Music for Memorization
There is a reason why the Top 40 songs are so popular – they combine lyrics people love with a catchy tune. You can use this basic tenet of human nature to help your kids memorize just about anything. Whether it’s playing classic Schoolhouse Rock songs for language arts, or just making up your own lyrics about science classification set to your child’s favorite tune, using music as a vehicle for fact retention is smart studying. Not sure how to craft your own song based on the topic? Get online and search for the topic with the words “songs about” preceding it. You might be surprised at the number of relevant resources online.
Music as a Topic
Think outside the box and incorporate music-related topics as a discussion in other subject areas. Does your child have an essay due about a historical person? Encourage him or her to choose a classical composer and then tie in the influence those works have on modern music. If your child is working with fractions, explain the different ways music is counted in standard measures and how that relates to the problems at hand. If you child is already enrolled in music lessons, demonstrate how the rhythm of what he or she learns there translates to iambic poetry or even math problems. Some of the most difficult concepts for kids to grasp can be more easily digested when they are connected to musical themes.
Music as Atmosphere
In the 1960s a psychiatrist named Dr. Georgi Lozanov spent a lot of time researching the effect of music on learning. What he discovered was that people approach studying in three phases, and the type of music in the background during each stage influences success. Take a look at each stage of studying and the type of music best suited for it:
- This happens in the minutes leading up to study time and preps your brain for learning. Dr. Lozanov recommended classical music for all stages, and specifically Claude Debussy’s Deux Arabesques for this stage.
- Active learning. This is the part of studying where new information is being obtained by the learner. Bold and dramatic pieces of music are recommended during this stage of studying. Baroque music that is anywhere in the 50 to 80 beats per minute range works well. Some composers to consider include Bach, Telemann, and Handel.
- Memory consolidation. This is the part of the studying process where information is reviewed and then retained. A piece proven to activate the right parts of the brain in this phase of studying is Corelli’s Concerti Grossi, Op. 6, No. 2.
Doing homework has never been a particularly favorite pastime for kids or their parents, but as the academic demands for kids increase, studying becomes an even more essential part of the learning process. Incorporating music at every opportunity will make studying at home feel like less of a chore and will set your kids up for a love of lifelong learning.