Few things in life are easier to identify with than music. It can heal a broken spirit, celebrate life, share a story, vent a frustration, make a point, and bring people together. Language often doesn’t matter – emotion does. Feel the music, and you can understand the message.

Students struggle with understanding new or unfamiliar concepts – both academically and socially. They learn best when there is a strong foundation of knowledge first, that is, something that they already know. Students love music. Find out what music they like, and use it to build understanding. Teach a new concept with it. Use music to build empathetic relationships between your students. Find common ground in dissonance and ignorance through song. 

Does your classroom feel like a battle ground? Is there dissension amongst your students? Do you see bullying or gang issues on the rise in your school? Is classroom management more prevalent than instruction in your classroom? Try using cultural music, and watch the positive effect it has. Below are a few examples of how to bridge cultural gaps in your school through music:
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  • Listen to it – play music quietly in the background during work times.
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  • Incorporate cultural music when studying specific cultures. For example: when discussing Japan’s role in WWII, share music of that culture; when reading works of literature by a Middle-Eastern author, listen to music of that culture, etc.
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  • Find and make available any cultural instruments. Encourage students to share talents if they know how to play an instrument shown, or if they can perform any cultural music.
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  • Create projects that allow students to research a particular genre of music relevant to the time period being studied.
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  • Study the lyrics of cultural music and their meanings. Connect them to figurative language in Language Arts.
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  • Build artwork around the sound of the music..

 

 

Besides building bridges with music, there are
many other creative ways to open the eyes and ears
of your students to people who are different than themselves.

Consider the short videos at RaceBridges Studio Videos