Carly Myrtle: Teaching Through Song

If I asked you what you read in the newspaper two weeks ago, could you answer me accurately? Probably not.

On the other hand, if I played one of your favorite songs from 10 years ago that you haven’t heard in a while and asked you to sing it, would you be able to? Most likely.

I have always wondered why this was the case. I remember being a student, trying to memorize countless facts and dates and not being able to. However, I could sing you all of my favorite songs! In fact, I can still sing you all of my favorite songs from college… high school… middle school… and elementary school. But if you were to come up to me now and ask me a question about something that I learned in Social Studies in middle school, I guarantee I would not know the answer. Unless, of course, you were to ask me to recite the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. That, I know. Can you guess why I know it? I LEARNED IT THROUGH A SONG! (Credit to Schoolhouse Rock)

Now, I tried to research the brain and how it relates to music so that I could explain to everyone the magic answer of why this is true. But I really couldn’t find a great explanation. I think it must be because most people enjoy music, and it is easier to learn something when we are enjoying ourselves. It must also be because songs have a rhythm, and this helps us remember it quicker. I’m sure there are many other reasons to why songs “click” in our brain. But maybe there is no clear answer.

Carly Myrtle, 12-13, San Miguel School, Providence, RI

Ok, now to get to the point. At San Miguel, I LOVE teaching my students concepts throughsongs and raps. It’s sort of my “thing.” And guess what? IT WORKS. Sometimes it takes a while to form the lyrics, and I’m sure I look completely crazy every time I am walking around the room rapping or singing, but it’s worth it. Teaching through song not only gets the students to know the concepts, but it also gets them interested in and excited about learning. I want my classroom to be a place where kids are learning but also where they are having fun. I think I have achieved that goal in my classes, from teaching the order of operations to the tune of “Umbrella” with my 6th graders, to busting out a rap about concave mirrors with my 7th graders, to memorizing the process of photosynthesis to the “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song with my 8th graders. I know I don’t have the best singing voice it the world, but my students appreciate my effort. And if they’re learning because of it, that’s all that matters.

So, in true “Miss Myrtle” fashion, I must end with a song about my LV experience. I hope you enjoy it! =) 

                                                       “TiK ToK LV Style”

(to the tune of “TiK ToK” by Ke$ha)

Wake up in the mornin’ feelin’ like an LV
Lookin’ at the core values: faith, service, and community
Before I leave make sure to have everything packed
‘Cuz when I leave for my site I ain’t comin’ back

I’m talkin giving a year of service
At first I was a little bit nervous
Movin’ to the “Pawtucket Palace”

And I am workin’ at San Miguel School
Teaching Science and Math, too
Tryna get them to learn something new

Feet first, and hands on
LVs, your hearts will be moved
This year, I’ma serve
‘Cuz the best these kids deserve
TiK ToK, on the clock
But volunteers don’t stop no
Woah-oh oh oh
Woah-oh oh oh

And then, eyes open
LVs, your minds will expand
Tonight, I’ma pray
At the end of the day
TiK ToK, on the clock
But volunteers don’t stop no
Woah-oh oh oh
Woah-oh oh ohh

What a privilege this is, yes, that much is clear
Ain’t got much money in my pocket, cuz I’m a volunteer
But the experience I’m getting is worth so much more
Yes, my community I love and my students I adore

I’m talkin’ bout – growing in my faith, faith
And learning things every day, day
Getting things done for the U.S. of A., A.
Now, now – this year has been so much fun, fun
Especially the LV run, run
I love it here a ton, ton
Love it here a ton

Feet first, and hands on
LVs, your hearts will be moved
This year, I’ma serve
‘Cuz the best these kids deserve
TiK ToK, on the clock
But volunteers don’t stop no
Woah-oh oh oh
Woah-oh oh oh

And then, eyes open
LVs, your minds will expand
Tonight, I’ma pray
At the end of the day
TiK ToK, on the clock
But volunteers don’t stop no
Woah-oh oh oh
Woah-oh oh ohh

Carly Myrtle, 12-13, San Miguel School, Providence, RI

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