Friday, 10 May 2013

Using Music To Create Awareness

I am a strong believer that we can use music to spread awareness in the classrooms. Many songs, and their accompanying videos, present a strong message and give students something to think about.
One issue that I have found to be well represented in music is homophobic bullying. The following two videos are ones that I have found and I think that they have a very powerful message to be shared with music. I believe that using videos such as these can be a way to connect with students through a medium that they can relate with and, hopefully, allows the message that goes along with the video to leave a meaningful impact on the students.

Same Love - Macklemore

Same Love by Macklemore follows the life of a young male individual who battles with being homosexual. He explains the stereotypes that go along with being gay and what society expects from people. Macklemore's message in the song and video is for equality in the world and that we should be be accepting of people and who they are.

Rise Against – Make it Stop (Septembers Children)

Rise Against's video focuses on the effects of homosexual bullying. Tim Mcllrath, the lead vocalist, of Rise Against says "The song was written inspired of the teen suicides in the month of September 2010, who were bullied for being homosexual. It deals about how people are treated from homophobic bullying and feeling so tormented that they feel there's no place for them in the future and that killing themselves is a better option. It was written by my nephew, who wrote it about his best friend. His friend had killed himself a week before it was written."


  1. Hi Courtney!
    Thanks for posting this! As a music major, I think that the power of music is extremely important.
    In my EMUS course last fall, I created a unit that had to do with social justice, and I used musical examples of artists creating awareness (ie Young Artists for Haiti collaboration). I love your idea of using music to create awareness on something that is much closer to home for the students-bullying is something everyone sees and experiences, in one way or another. I think that using something they can relate to would really make the message resonate with the students.
    I hope that I would be able to incorporate something like this into my internship in the fall, as I am going to be in an elementary setting doing Kindergarten-Grade Eight Arts Ed. The conceptual focus for Grade Eight Arts Ed. is social issues, and this would fit in perfectly, giving the students something relevant to study and to make what they are learning in music at school seem cool and real.
    Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. I'm so glad to hear that you feel the same! I also think music can be effective in an English classroom! In a unit plan I created in ELNG 300 I created lessons where students looked at music lyrics as poetry, related the main themes of the course to the song lyrics and video and even created their own video as the final project of the unit. While I have never tried this unit plan in the classroom yet I am excited to hopefully get the opportunity in the future to teach these lessons!