Music’s main value has always been entertainment, in that it transfers feeling to us. Music makes us laugh, cry, pump our fists in the air, and otherwise feel a full range of emotions. But can music videos make us smarter?
Music has always played a role in learning, from the alphabet song to memorizing multiplication tables. A new study on educational music videos by the University of Washington, has indicated that music accompanied by video is a lot more effective in teaching kids material.
“It makes sense that we shouldn’t teach all kids in the same way; we should individualize,” said Katie Davis, an assistant professor in the UW’s Information School and co-author of the study with Greg Crowther. “We need to provide multiple entry points in all subject matters. Music is a different entry point into scientific concepts.”
When you combine music and video, you’ve greatly increased the touch points on the subject matter and facilitated a more fluid learning environment.
Crowther has also created a website singaboutscience.org as resource for teachers and students to find music videos about relevant topics. But educational music videos are nothing new. They go all the way back to the ’70s with Shoolhouse Rock! They sang about everything from politics to science. My favorite is the music video about electricity.
A truly effective education music video covers an already familiar popular song such as ‘Party Rock Anthem’ by LMFAO and gives it a twist, such as The Fossil Rock Anthem.
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For the right artist, recording an educational music video about an appropriate topic can add value to their brand, expand their demographic, and broaden their touch points with fans. It is also important to not get bogged down that educational music videos are for elementary school kids. A wide range of topics can be covered such as social issues, health, current events, philosophy ect. that can be tailored to fit any education level.
As a bonus, let’s not forget the pseudo educational video Insane Clown Posse – Miracles.