Music. It’s the universal language. Babies bounce to it. People tap their feet. Songs you learned decades ago can still be recalled with ease. Music lifts our spirits, calms our souls, and helps us make sense when life goes awry. Perhaps you play (or have played) a musical instrument? Mine was the upright bass. I played one for eight years. I have played selections from Mozart, Bach, and other classic composers. I played in an orchestra and a chamber group. I now have a love for classical music, but because of modern composers like John Williams, I have a love for musical scores that go along with such movies as Superman, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek, and many others. I love music from my teenage years. I love music from different genres. Music. It’s the universal language.
Music in the classroom
When is the last time you used music in a classroom or living room setting while teaching the Bible? Some learners have a preference for learning through music and rhythm, but teachers seldom use music to appeal to these learners. Every Bible study group has people in them who prefer to learn through music. Music is one of the least-used teaching methods, but one you should consider using more frequently.
- Play a song from secular culture that creates a bridge, connection, or tie to the theme of your Bible study (a few weeks ago I played the Beetles’ song, Yesterday, to open a lesson about Jacob and Esau . Because the song is about the regret of a relationship that went bad, I easily made a tie from it to the relationship between these two brothers that went very badly).
- Play background music as people arrive
- Ask group members to write a song that captures the essence of your Bible study to the tune of a familiar hymn
- Listen to a song and describe how it relates to the Scripture being studied
- If you have hymnals available to your group, use them to do a hymn search (songs that tie to your group’s study)
- Have a group member or a guest sing a song or play a musical instrument
For more ideas about how to use music in the classroom, pick up a copy of 7 Kinds of Smart. The author has a chapter titled “Music Smart: Making the Most of Your Melodic Mind.” I think you’ll enjoy learning more about this method of teaching your group, and how to connect with your musical learners!