www.lyrics2learn.com is an interactive, web-based reading program for teachers and parents interested in helping youngsters become better readers, thinkers, and people by integrating relevant music into literacy. Lyrics2learn is already being used in classrooms and homes with great success, but the curriculum is not complete. Students are motivated to learn (Learning can be fun?), engaged, and accountable.
Here are a few of the kids from mytest pilot, speaking about their experience. They were nervous, but made me promise I'd use them on Youtube. I've added many more for further investigation, just search Lyrics2learn!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
It's no big secret, music helps us learn. Study upon study has proven this. So does rhyme and certain types of pentameter. Think of the nursery rhymes, or songs that pop into your head! By using music, we open our brains and address many different learning styles. We are a people of many styles, after all. The Lyrics2learn project does a variety things when it comes to learning. Here are the core three:
Fluency - Teachers often use a strategy called "repeated reading," to increase fluency. This is exactly what it sounds like. Kids read the same page three times, and each time they get a little more fluent. They become familiar with the words. When done often enough, it works. It's quite redundant and rather boring, but it does work. Lyrics2learn makes this concept fun, novel, and more effective. Using hip sounding music and funky lyrics/stories, kids become more interested and motivated to read, listen, and think about a story. We're talking serious fluency. Kids love it because they're reading along with a musicians and solid beats. It's more like becoming a rock star than a school or learning related activity.
Comprehension and Depth of Thought - Here's the deal; the brain can change. You just have to train it. Day one, the kids answer literal questions. Day two, the questions become inferential. Day 3, we hit the complex concepts. As kids get more familiar with the story/song, they are asked to think more about content and meaning. By day three, they essentially have the story memorized (due to the rhythm and rhyme) and can really look and think about inferential ideas.
Background Knowledge: To me, this is the biggie, but it often gets overlooked because it's not easily assessed. Basically, we learn by connecting with things that have imprinted in our brain. Movies, parents, books!, food, etc. all make connections to some degree. It builds depending on what we deem as important or interesting. Neurons fire, dendrites sprout, and explosions happen, making that particular piece of knowledge stick. The more of these we have, especially throughout our developmental years, the more we can connect with other experiences. Lyrics2learn takes this information, integrates music to open the brain and provoke emotion, and applies it to reading. We're inserting a story per week into the minds of students. As they progress through the program, connections upon connections are being built on top of each other. This transfers to any other reading, speaking, writing or action. Its effect is exponential.
Does it Work?
Yes! On average, my pilot students in second through fifth grade, tripled their fluency gains after using L2L. Here are some testimonials from Administration, teachers and parents who have used Lyrics2learn.
SO WHAT'S ON LYRICS2LEARN?
Shown below is a small portion from the first installment, on line now. The second year's worth of curriculum is waiting .
1. Alien Invasion I: A boy learns about responsibility. His family gets abducted, and happily leaves! Poor fella.
2. Alien Invasion II; The second part is about his realization and lesson learned, and of course a trip to Mars to rescue them.
3. Perspective I : A boy judges someone by their appearance, and learns some real life character lessons.
4. Perspective II: Continued . . .
5. Integrity: A young girl is put in a tempting situation with some cash, and has to make a decision.
6. Ambition: A man named Stan becomes his fam's hero.
1. Thomas Jefferson (Hip Hop & Jazz melodies)
2. Abe Lincoln (Hip Hop)
3. Jane Adams (Jazz)
4. Harriet Tubman (Blues)
5. MLK Jr. (R&B)
6. Cesar Chavez (Hip Hop)
. . . and many more
Here is an example from the intro. level followed by more of the titles.
Monster in the Closet: (Hip Hop)
1. Always Annie
4. Dancing Donuts
1. Gilly on the Go
2. How do you say Hello?
4. Journey of the Seeds
6. Lollie's Loves
. . . and two more quarters.
What I'm beginning to add:
Susan B. Anthony
The Path (Choose who you will be)
Masks (metaphorical story about learning to be yourself)
Supply and Demand
Day and Night
Life & Death (The Life Cycle)
and 30 more
Before making a decision, please take an in depth look at my site progress thus far. It's hard to conceptualize without a first hand look. I have spent my money on patents, copyrights, and help with development, thus . . . Kickstarter. This money will allow me to finish next year's curriculum, and stretch goals would allow more subjects, character stories, and math concepts. I'd love to add a full year's worth of science, history, grammar and math.
Ideas and energy aplenty!
These are the people most heavily involved in writing, producing and developing lyrics2learn.com.
Check it out, invest in young minds, and help Lyrics2learn make a lasting impact. www.lyrics2learn.com - Thank you!
Risks and challenges
Because I have already developed the first, and most difficult portion of my project, the second, third, fourth . . . should be less of a problem. I have my core musicians, know the expenses involved with programming and the legalities and initial expenses have already been accounted for. Everything is budgeted.
The only thing that may delay the progress would be editing and ironing out small glitches that inevitably bare their teeth with new site material. The amount of time associated with beta testing and correcting those issues has also been taken into account.
I see no reason why this would not be complete by June. If it stretches until July, which would be a worst case scenario, your reward would still be given to you in time for the school year, or even a portion of the summer.
Regardless, I've made a commitment to my self, my family, and current subscribers. I'll get it done.
Your name on the site under credits (Should you wish). The knowledge that you are contributing to a project that will continuously work at developing creative and engaging ways to close learning gaps across the country and improve young minds.
For this price, you get around 130 on-line stories, the majority of which have music set to the tale. It's a full year, small group subscription (5 student users) for an elementary teacher, parent or student in your town, city or state. It could be you, or anyone you choose. This one is perfect for parents with kids, as a gift to parents or teachers, or just cuz u care bout improovin literasee.
Again you get the 130 online stories and full year subscription, but this one can be used with up to 30 student users. This is a beaut for educators looking for an effective yet inexpensive literacy tool in the classroom that kids will actually like to do! Tracks data for the whole class.
A one year subscription to have or give, and the opportunity to write a story, poem, or song in collaboration with Lyrics2learn. It would then be published on Lyrics2learn.com. As long as it's beneficial to kids, we'll work with you. This can be done by elementary, middle or high school writers as well! This one's where it's at. C'mon parents.
Your school, or a school of your choice gets a full year subscription, plus collaboration with L2L to write a few stories/tracks specific to your school's needs. This could be anything from specific concepts or subjects to test taking skills. If it'll help, we're in.