Music – The Powerful Influence on Brain (Practical Teaching of Literature)

English Literature sinipping

A. Introduction

The power music has over the human soul is acknowledged long before the fifth century and represented in various myths (Louisa Sakka, 2009).

Most of us must say that music is a need for our soul. Life feels like vacuous without music. It cannot be apart away from humans’ life and they need it in order to declare that they have such a soul which consists of Mind or Thought, Emotion, and Willing. We do not think of people who do not like any kinds of music, if it is, then they should be in Psychological Treatment for further therapy. This life should be full of arts and music is able to enrapture human life. Various function of music that can transfer impetus in human life. Music can make a splash for instance, mostly people especially adolescents are like bees that are interested on glow flowers, music is like the glow of flower that catch people attention to come. It is not only because of the glow but it is all about the anther that contains sugar. The harmonization of lyric and melody is like a flow of river that comes from headwaters to downstream, everything in its path will get wet by water. The case of the human soul, when someone listens to any melody of music s/he must feel it. Its melody will bring him or her to the situation of the lyric or somewhere else. At least, however, he will enjoy to beaten the time of music. Both lyric and melody will get him or her from his or her mind down to the heart. It absolutely makes both mind and heart be as fit as fiddle. The point is that music has a great influence on human life; it can make us happy, enjoyable, and even doing something harmful. Music is a literary study that can be used in learning process in terms of encouraging the students’ motivation, stimulating their brain, and gaining moral and esthetic messages that can be a comprehensible input for them. Teachers should understand that music is important to teach as literature in order to get the students become more motivated, courageous, enthusiastic, gentle, calm, critical, and easy of manner.

B. Problem Statements

It can be said that music is an influenced powerful lyrics and melody that united to create a harmonic wave in breaking through the soul. This harmony has bound our past, present, and future thought and emotion. Mostly teenagers are within this situation where they put themselves for enjoying, pleasure, friendship, social interaction, discourse, sexual relationship, and learning anything they want to gain. F. David Martin and Whitehead said ‘Music more than any other art forces us to feel causal efficacy, the compulsion of process, the dominating control of the physically given over possibilities throughout the concrescence of an experience’ (Richard Elfyn Jones, 2007). The thing is that most of people especially adolescents are not able to psychologically control their physical condition. They tend to be only enjoying music just limited to mere pleasure. They do not know what music is, to what extent music influence on their psychology, and they do not how to utilize this literary in motivating themselves in learning at school or college. Nowadays, some TV channels present musical program in various packages or ways. Even, it is broadcasted in the early morning and seemed that the audiences are mostly adolescents, in fact, that time is the time for school but they appear to jump, sing, dance, and shout out hysterically. It seems that they consider such crowded music important instead of going to school. They tend to be happy being in the crowded people at musical entertainment rather than being at school. They feel unwell-rounded if they are not being there; in contrast, they feel bored when they are being at school. It is not merely because of willing to see the artists but it is more to uncontrolled psychological behavior.

What is then now, are teachers and lecturers not able to provide such situation in order to make their students feel at home when they are being at school? We do not think so. The thing is that both teachers and lecturers are not able to utilize and teach music as literary discourse; even they never provide music in learning process. In fact, ‘music has been successfully applied to ESL learning, both in an early childhood education setting and a middle school setting’ (Howard Research, 2009). It is not then surprisingly that we see most students run away to the situation where they can meet musical entertainment, artists, and new relationships. It is not exclusively their false but we are; both teachers and lecturers.

C. Solution Discussion

After focusing on the problem above, we know that it is a responsible for both teachers and lecturers to trigger an effort to the solution. In the case of solution, we do not merely talk about the pattern of its solution but it should be more comprehensive and developed strategy in order to make vary in the term of ‘How To’. Dealing with this, we would like to present some strategies in providing methods for teaching music as literature in the class room because Vygotsky stated that the real learning is when teachers are able to provide new concepts that out of the students’ understanding. Before going through the strategies, it is better for the teachers to understand some points concerning the teacher’s competency as follows:

  • Teacher should have understanding on Literature; Types, Content and Its Function.
  • Teacher should have understanding on Music as Literature.
  • Teacher should have understanding on Music Influences; Brain, Mind, Emotion, and Willing.
  • Teacher should have Sense of Music.
  • Teacher should be able to stimulate and penetrate Student’s Existence through Music (Classical, Pop, Reggae, Rock, Ska, Jazz, Blues, Dangdut, etc.)
  • Teacher should be able to provide Messages from Music.
  • Teacher should be able to transfer the Power of Music into the Students’ Real Life.

Those  points above are very important to the teachers in applying the strategies. The followings are the practical strategies of teaching Music as Literature:

a. Providing Meaningful Input

When we talk about input then we refer to a Comprehensible Input. Dealing with the Input, there are some things that should be put into account as Comprehensible Input.

Authentic Material.

Authentic Material does not mere refer to original material but also it should refer to autonomous material. Here, we are talking music as an authentic material means that the material should be from local where the students learn. In this step, we provide students with local English Music which is of course gathered or made by own teacher’s creativity. Teacher can record his or her voice in a lyric or s/he may record someone else’s voice then presenting it to the students. The recorded voice should be clear and the lyric should contain or tell about local life of society where the students live or it may contain a folktale from the local.

Teacher is an Input.

The most efficient way to provide comprehensible input is to show teacher as an input. Teacher is the best input for his/her students; s/he can orally present his or her lyrics in songs by performing them directly. In this step, teacher can use any music tool in performing the lyrics of his or hers. In this case, teacher should have good or ideal voice in singing the lyrics. Do not perform this way if the teacher does not have good voice to present because again that the voice should be clear even more the lyrics should be interesting in order to gain the students’ interest on the lyrics. So, the teacher can sing clearly some lyrics or chunks of the lyrics by expression.

Multimedia as an Input.

In learning process, it is important to involve multimedia as the tool of learning. There are many kinds of media that the teacher can use to present any literary circle. Let say an audio visual with an In-Focus. Teacher can use this to present lyrics with a singer for example. By doing this, students will be able to listen to and see how lyrics are heard and how the singer is expressing the lyrics. By listening to and seeing the singer, students can get some comprehensible inputs as the intakes. They can get many messages by doing this. They can also get to know the lyrics influence their soul and motivate them in learning process.

b. Providing Meaningful Output

After doing the first step that the students have done, the next is to be the thing of getting a meaningful output. Students are supposed to produce meaningful output to indicate that they are being in your class and role. Bring them to the next step of your purpose that is to let them produce the meaningful output. In this step, there are some points to put into account:

Getting the students to work on things that matter.

The indicator that the students are with you is that they are able to work on things of what you have primarily presented. As a meaningful output, it is better to let the students to do or perform things of what they have seen or listened to. The better the students perform the things the better they get meaningful output.

Letting the students to have the chance to participate in the production of knowledge.

It is not sufficiently enough to just get the meaningful input, the students need to participate to learn or practice those things to produce knowledge. They should use language in meaningful interaction in order to learn the things. Teacher should get the students participate in using language in interaction. In this case, that the students should be able to perform the lyrics and sing or express the lyrics in their own way. By doing this, students will learn the language by using literature and produce knowledge of it as the meaningful output.

Getting the students to share something in terms of what they have got.

In this step, teacher asks the students to share something. We are sure that when the students have performed or sung the lyrics in their own ways, they must have something to share with. Over all, the students get comprehensible input to meaningful input, they get meaningful output to produce the knowledge then based on the knowledge they have got, and they will be able to share their knowledge of what music is, how the lyrics influence on their brain, how music can motivate them in learning, and how to share it to someone else they meet in interaction.

c. Providing Language Focused Learning

In order to provide a language that focuses on learning, a classroom should provide the opportunity to practice the language. In this step, teacher can provide various ways to get the students practice the language of performing the lyrics. There are some different ways to get this done:

Focusing on sounds, intonation, and stress of the lyrics.

Music as literature absolutely can improve students’ pronunciation. By listening to the lyrics presented, they can hear the intonation, stress, and sounds. In this step, teacher provides the opportunity for the students to focus on the three items. Let them immerse in to the melody by hearing the intonation, stress, and sounds of the lyrics.

Listening to particular words or phrases.

After focusing on the sounds, intonation, and stress, now the time to listen to particular words or phrases in the lyrics. Ask the students to point out what particular words or phrases they have got and then ask them to write them down as glossary.

Hearing and Repeating Behaviorism.

The next step is to sound off all particular words or phrases that they have got and then ask them to repeat after the teacher. By doing this way, they are indirectly practicing how to spell some words or phrases in a good sound, intonation, and stress. Teacher can make directly correctness as soon as they make mistakes.

Expressing discourse matter.

The last step in this language focused learning is to ask the students to express the discourse matter. This means that the students will use the language of lyrics in their daily life of conversation. In other words, they should be able to listen to some lyrics, perform them in their own way, get the messages, and then use them in their daily conversation in order to share something of what they have got from such literary circle.

d. Performing the Fluency Development

In general, the purpose of L2 and FL Learners in this scope is to show the development of their fluency. The fluency then, of course, should cover the four skills; Listening, Speaking, Reading, and writing. To make this cohesively real, it is important to refer to the sub skills. In these sub skills, the students can develop their comprehensible fluency in his/her four skills. Teacher should provide the sub skills of each skill in order to get the students integrated to the target language. In developing the fluency of Reading Skill for instance, teacher can ask the students to read chunks of available lyrics in their own melody. By doing this, the students will be able to pronounce words, make creative lyrics, and read lyric sentence for grasping the messages. Let say the other skill like Writing Skill, ask them to write their own lyrics and give chance to perform the lyrics in a melody. After that, ask them to say the messages and write them down in their own writing. The most point of this step is to get the students integrated into the target language by having fluency in four skills. Teacher should always get the students immerse into the target language by performing the sub skills for each skill because immersing is one of ways in making the students being in practical situation.

D. Possibility of Applying the Solution

François Duc de La said ‘It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves’. Again, suggestions could be efficient when they are successful to apply. All strategies that have been explained are only suggestion. It will be successful if it is applicable in learning process and it has corroboration.

Even though the strategies seem to be easy but we still need cooperation in both teacher and students in order to make those strategies successful. If we refer to the possibility of applying the strategies, we then might say that all strategies will have significant success for each item of the strategy. Providing meaningful input and output, providing language focused learning, and performing the fluency development will bring the students in a practical situation when they are learning literature, in this case, music.

Meaningful input will make the students understand to what the importance of music is in motivating them. How authentic materials, teachers, and multimedia will become their meaningful input in learning music as literature. They can understand that music as literature is important to develop their ability in learning languages. Meaningful output is the indicator of having meaningful input. Students are able to work on things that they have seen, students have the opportunity to participate in producing knowledge, and students are able to share something of what they have got. All these capabilities will enable them to perform in their own way, enable them to get knowledge and share their knowledge to the others. They will experience something significant, they feel guided in such situation of learning literature and they feel being in independent in doing what have taught to them. The points of language focused learning will enable the students in using the language as the result of learning music as literature. They will be guided directly step by step use of the language. Through the steps, the students will start using the language. From the first step that is to focus on sounds, intonation, and stress will enable them to distinguish the three items which are important in pronunciation. The second step; listening to particular words or phrases will enable the students to grasp any important or key word in the lyric as the message and of course the words or phrases will be their new vocabularies. The third step is to hear and repeat what teacher said. This will enable students to correctly pronounce some words. Repetition is important to make them familiar with the correct pronunciation and also will enable them to efficiently save those pronounced words in their memory. The last step is to express discourse matter. This will enable the students to use the particular words or phrases in interaction or conversation; they know how to use the language appropriately based on the messages of what they have found in the lyrics. They are able to deliver the messages to the others as sharing to.

Finally, the last purpose of learning literature by using music is to develop their ability in four skills and sub skills. The students will be able to listen to the lyrics in melody by focusing on the sounds, intonation, and stress. They are also able to speak by using the language based on the messages they have got from the lyrics. It is not just being able to listen to and speak or use the language orally but they will be able to read the lyrics in order to get the gist of messages and also they are able to write the messages down to improve their writing skill.

E. Closing

As stated that mostly students are more interested in outside music entertainment and this situation should be put into account for the teachers in order to get the students become interested in the class room by teaching practical literature using music. We can conclude that music is important and successfully taught in EFL. Teaching music as literature by using Practical Technique will enable students to get some messages from it and will become their ability to communicate the messages and apply them in their daily life of conversation. Teaching literature practically will make the students enjoyable in learning it in the context of EFL because the students are truly involved in the situation of learning. This paper suggests the teachers to teach literature in practical way of learning and music might be good way in teaching literature. This really motivates and encourages students in learning Literature.

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