Music can be one of your biggest assets in your volunteer teaching efforts. Yet in most classrooms music is rarely if ever heard. Oh, an occasional Bible class of young children may sing some old standards, but it is rare to find music being used to educate students.
Music is a special language many people understand better than the written or spoken word. It can stir emotions, communicate important messages and even help with memorization. Teachers working with children who have special needs learned the power of music in the classroom years ago.
If you want to start using music in your Bible class or faith based tutoring program, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Consider using music to set a mood. If you are teaching a particular Bible story, was there music involved? Many of the stories in the Old Testament involved songs and musical instruments. Find a recording of traditional Hebrew music. Although we don’t know the tunes used in the Bible, most likely the tonality of the music is similar.
- Consider using music to calm your students. Many students work better with soft classical music playing in the background. You will have to experiment with your students to see if it helps them and what types of music work the best at keeping them calm and focused.
- Use sheet music of the favorite songs of students to teach secular subjects. Lyrics can be used for reading practice. Notes can be used to create unique math problems.
- Use music to help students memorize important scriptures and other important facts. There are a lot of songs that have been written to scriptures or to help students memorize everything from the books of the Bible to the multiplication tables. If you can’t find a song to match your needs, consider writing your own. In high school, I took the tune to Jingle Bells and wrote a song listing the helping verbs to help my friends memorize them for a test. The easiest way to write a song is to use a popular tune and match the words you need syllable to syllable with the current words.
- Use music to help your students share their thoughts and hearts. As a teacher who is also trying to help her students get to heaven, you can be more effective if your students share their thoughts and hearts with you. Encourage them to write poems and put them to music or jot their thoughts down and match them with a popular tune.
Music can add a lot to your classes. Used properly it can help make your lessons more memorable and help you get to know your students better. So pull out your iPhone and start searching for the tunes you need or write your own!
Please respect all copy write laws. In some cases you will need the permission of the composer to use music in various ways. Check with your attorneys for legal advice.