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Who do you think gets credited for making the very first “lyric video”?
Three clues for you:
Did you guess Prince? AMAZING!
You’ll see it debated that Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” is the original. Regardless, Prince’s concept of showing a song’s entire lyric in a video affected George Michael. This evolved to Cee Lo Green, which made professional lyric videos extremely popular.
But what do words in music videos have to do with education, anyway?
It’s a hook to help with literacy.
To further your child’s interest in reading (and music), look up a song’s lyric video on YouTube. The benefit? She can connect what she hears with the words she’s seeing onscreen. (It’s like when you put a name to a face: “I thought that word sounded familiar. Yep, I definitely recognize it now.”)
Lately I get to hear songs with a more mature appeal while my daughter watches words pop up in Bruno Mars’s “Treasure” and Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” which helps to improve her vocabulary (with parental assistance).
It lets her ask about new words, too. While listening to Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” she inquired:
“What is ‘Jesus’?”
And I reminded her:
“He’s the little baby that you took out of Grammie’s nativity scene and got stuck in the Fisher-Price gas station elevator shaft.”
You might be in a hurry for your kid to switch from Wiggles to Buggles… Baby Beluga to Achtung Baby… “Humpty Dumpty” to “Humpty Dance”…
You’re either the best parent or the worst.
But, just like a teacher must, you should prescreen the content of YouTube videos. The “Treasure” intro has swearing (!!) and in the “Free Fallin’” link everything is crashing to earth: spelling, capitalization and punctuation. (I recommend that those YouTube users watch more lyric videos to improve thei–oh, yes, I do see the problem there.)
If it’s a recent song, however, look for the official lyric video that’s manufactured by the artist or label. Those ones are done correctly.
You’ll need to show interest for this to be effective as a teaching tool but the videos give you a chance to chat about a piece of writing. A lot of youths don’t enjoy studying a book but they’ll stop to read the fantastic “Roar” lyric video from Katy Perry’s record company.
Yes, I just credited a Katy Perry song for promoting literacy. Build your ideas with whatever materials the kids want to play with!
Find more education ideas from Peter at MrPeterCullen.com.
Message him on Twitter: @MrPeterCullen.