In songwriting, a major theme is making sure that the whole of the song is one main point or theme. Marketers must condense mission or vision statements and come up with the perfect one-line catch phrase for branding purposes. Clarity, as well as creating the right visuals and mood tend to allow a well-communicated punch line or bridge to a song, to linger and become catchy through replaying in our brain long after the song is over. Teachers break down units like drawing, subtraction, or adjectives into lesson plans. A lesson plan has one main point per lesson, and it builds to a bigger understanding. Similarly, a song combines a lyric to a hook, to a verse, a chorus, and a beat making each idea part of one whole concept.
In my opinion, if teachers labored over writing lesson plans, making sure each main point was “catchable” and each lesson was one main point, then the execution and results of that lesson might be more memorable.
Crafting to your audience
There is a rumor running around educational research that learning styles are a myth; and technically, we should be calling them “learning preferences”. Having worked at a school where 70% of my class tested as the tactical learning preference, I poured over those articles looking for a glimmer of hope in teaching to the individual. I’ve seen that lecturing longer than 20 minutes produces glazed-over eyes and facial expressions; and that visuals often do help; and activities are actually where most content gets processed and understood.
My conclusion from the research was that at best, we move through all the types of learning: visual, auditory, and tactile to truly take in information. Research doesn’t officially prove or disprove learning styles.
If teachers taught students how they individually learn and how to manage their own learning preferences, we’d produce lifelong learners who are not afraid of something they don’t understand.
A really good teacher is aware of the need to teach in learning styles. An excellent teacher is a wordsmith, just like a great lyricist crafting a lesson’s main points with the aim of hitting each of the students’ learning preferences and interests. This of course, takes a lot of time to craft, just like a good song. Teachers don’t always have that luxury. However, it’s a bit unfair as a student to sit in a class 5 days a week knowing what’s coming…utter boredom because the person speaking is disinterested and disengaged.
A marketer does research, collects polls and content of the people and age range that would buy a particular product. They know what they like, why they buy something, what they do in their spare time; and thus, what location to place a product so that person will buy it. They will also design for the generation they are selling to. Social media marketers will comment on people in their communities' posts first, before they ever design content that asks those communities to buy. Relationships and knowing the audience comes first.
Why as teachers, do we forget that in meeting content standards, we ought to be relevant and relational class my class, student by student.
Don’t Be Cliche
For real, it’s very difficult in songwriting to come up with something new. How many songs are there about love that include the metaphor “like a fire” or flame? Along with the obstacle of cliché lyrics, throw in rhyming - and it’s fitting to give high credit to songwriters for clearly communicating a visual as originally as possible.
How many teachers beyond the 10-year mark actually change their lesson plans (and that is being quite generous)? In art, how many people learn about Picasso, and have to do a portrait they cut up and reassemble the pieces of for the same abstract look as his self-portrait?
We rely on repetition to learn. Good songs are repeatable. They catch because there was something original and relatable in the first experience. Marketing is the same: a good catch phrase is also original.
The top Fortune 500 companies in the world released a report in 2013 through General Electric suggesting the need to teach originality in schools early on, so as to produce students who will have the capacity to keep us booming in new ideas, sustaining the economy and the technological revolution. How can we teach originality to students if we have an assembly line education system? And how can we impart that gift as teachers, if we are teaching the same lessons we received when we were in grade school?
Music, Marketing, and Teaching are all professions with an audience and those inside these professions are in the business in communicating. Creativity also helps expand capacity as an educator, so signing up for a songwriting class, a different style of creativity for me, turned out to be the launching pad for developing my skills as an educator. I highly recommend to anyone in these professions stepping outside of what skill is proficient or strong in them and take a leap towards something that is new or challenging.
Kalli Hendrickson is a Press Service International young writer from Brisbane and now in the USA.Kalli was born in the beautiful State of Montana, USA. She works doing freelance Graphic Design, and is a teacher studying to gain school counseling licensure.
Kalli Hendrickson is a Press Service International young writer from Brisbane and now in the USA.
Kalli was born in the beautiful State of Montana, USA. She works doing freelance Graphic Design, and is a teacher studying to gain school counseling licensure.