Cymro-Breatnach wrote:When I was teaching I always used music in the classroom. For one thing it's grammar in action. Then, of course, the sound of the target language comes over. Thirdly, why do you think that non-English contact schools have such a success rate with English? The music scene is in English to a great extent and this is a huge incentive for youngsters to learn English. Also, actual songs, not made-up songs for the classroom had a better effect.
There seems to be a very strong link between music and the part of the brain that stores and retrieves information. Of course, we have the infamous "Alphabet Song" (which I still find myself humming when I'm looking things up in the dictionary, much to my chagrin!). Then there was the very popular and effective Saturday morning series "Schoolhouse Rock," which taught many a child basic math, grammar and historical concepts. I remember taking a test in American history once, and one of the things we had to do was write out the Preamble to the Constitution. No problem! I sang it all the time on Saturday mornings! (Actually, I still know the Preamble, thanks to that song. Sure wish they'd done the Gettysburg Address too!) When our daughter was young, we found all the old Schoolhouse Rock songs on tape. She became a mega-fan, especially of "Grammar Rock," and used to amuse her nursery school teacher by parsing sentences!
I was looking up a Psalm for someone the other day, and unconsciously found myself humming the plainchant we use for that particular Psalm. I couldn't learn without music (and I have no idea how tone deaf people manage!).