Tag Archives: conferences

Linking Music Lyrics to Learning


Many have different tastes and styles about the best music for reading or studying. Melodies like classical or light jazz are occasional suggestions, but there is something about hearing words, lyrics, and turn-of-phrases that teaches the experiences of living and learning. 

I think musical lyrics are often ignored lessons for learning and education.

In fact, I have a couple of questions for you:

First, what’s your favorite song or best lyric, verse, or title?  I mean the kind of song that you can remember without assistance from karaoke or concert.

Next question: Why is it remembered?

For me it depends on the specific lesson that the song brings. This can be the way the singer captures a moment that explains my whole life; or a key verse that teaches me something about society I won’t find in books.

We as listeners learn stories from music and its lyrics.  Stories about singers, situations, and solutions summed up into 3-5 minutes.   I argue these harmonious snapshots consist of our continual ups-and-downs, either personally, socially, or even spiritually. Sort of reminders of thoughts, choices, and actions seen through the mirrors of music.  Certain lyrics speak to us and lead in transforming our thinking, in how we treat others, and in the kind of life we would like to pursue. 

If all of us can agree that music teaches, then why not feature it in classrooms too.  In lectures, conferences, and discussions as well as exams, essays, and other forms of evaluation.  As adults, in addition to crafting a resume for employers, what about building a portfolio of learning music for yourself, linking lyrics to lessons learned that teaches others about who you are and in what ways you  have grown.

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Self-Directed Learning in the Sunshine State


Name TagI’m attending the 24th International Self-Directed Learning Symposium in Cocoa Beach, Florida and ON DAY ONE , I wanted to report a few thoughts while it’s fresh.  The symposium is presented by the International Society for Self-Directed Learning www.sdlglobal.com founded by Huey B. Long, who is an author of over 700 articles, books, and book chapters on a variety of topics including self-directed learners. Some other major thinkers in the field who are present: Roger Hiemstra, Ralph Brockett, and Lucy Guglielmino (pronounced goo-yell-me-no, she told me directly!)  

Self-directed learning (SDL) is basically where the learner is “in the driver’s seat” relating to his/her education and exploring options based on personal interests. 

I would argue that self-directed learning is an approach and a subset of the larger field of continuing education. (If you take continuing education to mean both formal and informal learning.)

So, SDL is rooted in a motivation to learn wherever and whenever; at home, school, work, etc.  Today, professional fields such as human resources, business, and even the medical field, are trying to find ways that encourages learners to be more self-directed. These activities go beyond the required instruction directed from a teacher, trainer, and lecturer or mandated by an administration, educational board, or executive leadership. 

One question that interests me: How to promote self-directed learning beyond the individual that is inclusive, interactive, and social in our global and connected world?  Just food for thought…