There has been a rising concern over the effect of music on education. Some scholars have conducted research and have reported various effects of music on education. One such scholar is Allan Bloom. According to Bloom, music has a direct impact on the education of children. He states that music influences negatively the lifestyles of children.
He questions the relationship between music and education. He says, “it is interesting to note that students’ education is affected by music”. He is convinced that students take most of their time listening to music at the expense of reading relevant literature. As a result, the scholar laments that children are able to memorize popular songs, especially rock music but not educative materials.
He observes that students who are vulgar, rude, and very lazy in class respond positively to any beat of rock music. It gives them the satisfaction that they cannot obtain through reading academic literature. Although this argument has some elements of truth, it elicits some questions as regards to its relevance. This study seeks to investigate the effect of music on education.
It is true that music is as old as education. In the Bible, we learn how songs played important roles in educating the youth. It is also true that education started a long time ago, even before the emergence of philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. The art of music, just as education, has undergone transition. Currently, there are various forms of music ranging from rock, reggae, country music, gospel, pop to hip-hop.
Education has also advanced much since its inception. The issue, however, has been the relationship between education and music. According to Bloom, music is one of the adversative factors in the field of education. This scholar notes that with music, a student would not think of opening a book to read.
He further states that it is only natural that when presented with two items, students would definitely go for the one that generates pleasure, which is music in this case. Education, according to this scholar, has minimal pleasure when compared to music. As such, a student would go for music at the expense of education.
This argument has a number of facts. However, there are some assumptions that go against this reality. Take, for instance, Akon’s Song ‘I Wanna Love you.’
This song is a passionate expression of love. It closely compares to one of the greatest poems, that is, ‘I Want to Die While You Love Me’ by Georgia Douglas Johnson. Poems are always challenging to comprehend for most students. Given that students succumb very fast to music, it is possible to utilize music to understand poetry.
With the help of such popular music that is, I Wanna Love you’, the literature teacher can make the student appreciate that there is no difference between a song and a poem. By singling out similarities between the song and the poem, the teacher would be transferring the popularity of the song to classwork.
Music, in this case, would be acting as an aid and not as an obstruction to education. Other songs are also meant to encourage people to work hard in all they do, including education. Songs are, therefore, not obstreperous.
- Bloom, Allan. The Closing of the American Mind. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988.
- Swanwick, Keith. Music, Mind, and Education. London: Routledge, 1988.