02 September 2008

A little bit of music and war for the day

In class when the students are working on their own, or in groups I play music for background noise. I've heard many education "experts" say that it is a good way to get students to focus, good for transition times, and good for helping students not be able to hear what other groups are saying, yet be able to focus on their own group's discussion.

I typically use musicovery.com since it is not blocked and since I can select which music I do/don't want to have played. So when students really need to focus, I can select a genre that either won't have a lot of lyrics or will have lyrics the students may not know and be able to sing along with.

Today the song Three Little Birds by Bob Marley (Exodus album) came on. First I was really happy that a few kids in that class knew that the name of the artist. Then I almost became sick with the next student's comment.

"Oh, yeah. This is I Am Legend." At first I thought he was just misnaming the Legend best of album by Marley.

But, no.

The only reference the kid has of Bob Marley is a from that Will Smith movie. I haven't seen it. I looked it up to see what else was on the soundtrack and there are a few other Bob Marley hits on there as well (though the soundtrack cd available on cduniverse does not have the Marley songs on it - just the list on imdb).

I guess I should be happy that they are at least getting to hear the music. And maybe it will get them to hear more of his music and really listen to some of his lyrics.

One I really love is War. Just love all that he is saying and the emotion involved in it. I think it is perfect for not only this election season, but until all this stuff really does happen.

Posted here for your viewing and listening pleasure.

Though perhaps I shouldn't post this song since some may think that since he is saying there will be war "until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned... Until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes... Until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race."

Some may misinterpret that he was a hateful terrorist.

Perhaps this one will be ok instead -- Africa Unite

Have a great day! I am trying to do the same.


  1. You're doing a good thing exposing your students to a wide variety of music. I can't remember the number of artists I first heard on a soundtrack, then went back to check them out.

    I really like Bob Marley. Thanks for the videos!

  2. That kid not knowing Bob Marley is just a sign that you and I are getting old.


    I'm a 2nd genation West Indian (my parents are from Trinidad & Tobago)and I grew up in a household exposed to Marley. The man was a genius when it came to writing.

    I'm curioys to know if you ever play any hip hop, and how they react to that.

  3. Kathy - Thank you. And you are welcome.

    Rippa - Ouch. I guess it is a sign that I am getting old. Perhaps that is why one student didn't catch the comedy/irony in the Tupac or SWV lines I used today while in the hallway, too.

    I do play some hip hop at times. The students are actually shocked when they hear that the older stuff is older. And that some of the stuff they hear today have lines, beats, and music from the older stuff (whether it is hip hop, or rock, or miscellaneous).


I share my thoughts and would love to read your thoughts, too.