Read the article ‘A connection beyond words’ and answer the following questions. Then share your answers in pairs, small groups or on a classroom discussion.
1. For most of us music plays a huge role in our lives. The music of our nursery rhymes stays with us for decades. As a young person how does music affect you? Do you play it in times of joy and of sorrow? If you are down does music help you – in what way?
2. Get into groups of four and discuss your favourite Australian bands. Why do they appeal to you? Would you be brave enough to email your favourite bands and ask them the sort of questions the author did? If you emailed them, what questions would you want to ask them?
3. Think about other examples where music is used to bring people together, for example through national anthems, or sporting team songs, or songs that we sing in church. What effect do these songs have on you? Why do you think groups like having songs that they can identify with?
1. Listen to Yamma Ensemble singing Psalm 104 in ancient Hebrew. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--UABwqW9Sg This is the sort of music Jesus would have listened to. What do you think of it? How does it make you feel? Put together a list of Psalms put to music on Youtube that you might use for morning prayer in your classroom.
2. Listen to ‘Someone’, a modern song by Hebrew writer Ehud Manor, at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel, on Yom HaShoah , Holocaust Memorial Day. The song is for remembering the people who were killed in the holocaust and for all the victims of terrorist attacks. Write a reflection on why is it that music and songs are written in times of joy and sadness, using this or another example.
3. If there is anyone in the class who writes songs ask them to bring the song to school and perhaps play it to you and explain what made them write the song. What triggered them to write it? Students can then spend some time reflecting on some of the themes that are important to them, and perhaps even write down some lyrics they could put into a song.
4. The author tells us that when he/she listens to music he/she is transported to another world. Would you agree with this? Get into groups of 4 and talk about your favourite song that transports you to another world. Why does it do this? Students could then put together a playlist of songs that transport you away, and write a brief description of each song.
For younger students
1. What is your favourite song? Why do you think you like it? Were your first songs, the nursery rhymes that many of us were brought up on? Why do you think you still remember them?
2. What is your favourite hymn? Why do you think you like it? Do you think Jesus would have had some favourite songs? When the Israeli people walked between towns or went to Jerusalem for special feasts they often sang as they travelled along the road. What sorts of things do you think they may have sung about?
3. Have you ever tried to write a poem that you might like to put to music? If you are very brave you might like to try it and perform it to the class.
Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash.