Music has been in the classroom for decades, but not everyone highlights the musical, which then neglects some of the most amazing storytellers from classic writers and composers such as Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webb to modern and unique writers and composers Jason Robert Brown and Lin-Minuel Miranda.
Besides breaking up power point lectures and textbook readings with the entertainment of music or YouTube performances, musical performance can enhance the curriculum by offering an alternate voice to the same lesson. Perhaps a song or two from 1776 will help students remember the founding fathers who wrote the Declaration of Independence.
While a musical is not 100% factual (most need to speed history along to fit in a 2-3 hour production) the positives of including musical theater into a curriculum or library collection outweigh the historical inaccuracies. Find me any historian who doesn’t rise up to “Do You Hear the People Sing?”
Many libraries already include musical soundtracks or DVDs, but I want to encourage the partnership between libraries and the academic curriculum by going beyond books and articles. Let the students listen to a different type of lesson. Musicals such as Wicked are based on popular fiction, but people often forget about the musicals that can help teach history or culture, such as racial prejudices shown in Show Boat to Vietnam protests in Hair. American culture has always been portrayed in music and theater, why not use musicals as another format to teach? Continue reading Musicals Can Enhance Collections and Curriculum