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L ITERACY T HROUGH M USIC John Hunter II 7/13/12.

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Presentation on theme: "L ITERACY T HROUGH M USIC John Hunter II 7/13/12."— Presentation transcript:

1 L ITERACY T HROUGH M USIC John Hunter II 7/13/12

2 M USIC AN L ITERACY Music can be used to address the issues of literacy. One specific area of music where literacy can be accelerated is singing. Helen Kemp, world renowned children’s choir director and clinician, describes singing this way: “Mind, Body, Spirit, Voice! It takes the WHOLE PERSON to sing and rejoice”. Singing provides an effective platform to aid the development of literacy.

3 L ISTENING AND S INGING One of the ways that singing can promote literacy is by listening and singing. Music is that it is directly linked to memorization. An excellent example of this is when educator first teach children the Alphabet. Music is used to make each letter of the alphabet easy to memorize.

4 L ISTENING AND S INGING CON ’ T This same technique that applies letters to music can also be used by applying words to music. Applying words to music will help build students vocabulary.

5 W ORD I NFLECTION In relation to vocabulary, choral singing can help teach word inflection. Word inflection is important in literacy because it displays the change in tense, mood and gender of the spoken word.

6 W ORD I NFLECTION CON ’ T When teaching choral singing, word inflection is required to portray the meanings of the words. This element of singing is an essential part of language and clear communication. Self expression is a great example of Choral Music that also adds to

7 D ICTION AND V OWEL P RODUCTION In literacy, there are technical issues such as diction and vowel production. When singing choral music, the diction is very important. Although it requires a varied form of diction, it teaches the basic concepts of diction. vowels production can be a quite a challenge to master. The English language consists of 5 different vowel sounds. [A E I O U] The harder part of vowel production would be diphthongs which use a combination of two vowel songs and triphthongs which use a combination of three vowel songs. These issues can be addressed in a choral setting.

8 E XPRESSION Self expression is a great example of Choral Music that also adds to the literacy through music. During choral rehearsals, students are encouraged to express themselves. This in comparison to a lecture, makes the lesson materials a personal experience.

9 G REGG L AWLESS A good advocate for teaching literacy through music is Gregg Lawless. He is a musician and songwriter. His process for increasing literacy is through songwriting. Throughout the school year, he walks the children through song writing process. This engages the creative side of the children’s minds. He and his students collaborate by writing songs then at the end of the year, his students perform the song. By visiting his website -, you can read deeper into his process. On the website, you will view many positive responses to his techniques.

10 L ESSON PLAN IDEAS A good choral song to be used as an example of literacy in music would be "Dear John, Dear John" by Steven Hopkins. The text of this song is repeated twice in the song, but the punctuation of the two different songs is totally different. The first time the text is presented, the author punctuates the text in a way that a loving tone is portrayed. The second time, the text has a very sharp and edgy tone. The only thing that changes the mood of the piece is the punctuation. Recording of piece on YouTube : DvovY&feature=endscreen DvovY&feature=endscreen

11 T EXT Version 1 I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, and thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless an inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can Be forever happy – will you let me be yours? Gloria Version 2 I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, and thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless an inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be? Yours, Gloria

12 L ESSON P LAN For the lesson plan, I would first play a recording of the song. Next I would ask the students what are the tones of the piece. Then I would have them sing through the song in the choral process of learning by addressing notes rhythms, definitions of text, word inflections, vowel formations, word phrasing, etc. Then I would add movements through well planned choreography.

13 B ENEFITS Throughout this process, they would have developed a better understanding of language, human interaction, personal feelings, different moods, teamwork, and increased literacy.

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