A child’s initial introduction to language often starts through music – notably with repetition and rhymes. It is not surprising, then, that this fascination with music as a learning method continues into our adult lives.
As learners we engage very naturally with creative activities which require a bit of imagination, whether it is music or performance art. Music, in particular, surrounds all of us on a daily basis, and no one more so than teenagers! Not only does music makes us feel energised and motivated, filling us with feel-good vibes and allowing us to forget our daily worries, but is also an essential outlet for creativity. This freedom allows teenagers to feel in charge of their own learning, at a time when they are under a great deal of pressure.
Albert Einstein summed it up perfectly when he said “Creativity is intelligence having fun”. There is a great deal of research proving the effectiveness of learning language through music, in particular. It exposes us to rich native language, but it also extends our vocabulary and comprehension skills and importantly, enriches our cultural awareness of the target language.
Research shows that because of the relaxed state of mind that listening to music produces, we become more able to absorb and assimilate information much more readily and quickly than in our “normal” state. This means that the more relaxing and creative the environment, the greater our learning potential becomes. The classroom then takes on another role, where students can encourage one another, feeling free to make mistakes, safe in the knowledge that they are in a pleasant and supportive environment. No wonder then that we see such incredible results when music and performance arts are used in our classrooms. Teenagers become more confident and open-minded to learning, having a lot of fun in the process!