Kids take to music like fish glide through water. That’s why Rizal quipped in Noli that children can pick up tunes and give their opinions after listening to them after a listen or two. Is it a good idea to use this inherent liking to make poetry lessons as easy as humming a catchy song?
So far, using the Beatles’ songs to learn about poetry is working. Most of my students don’t shun the Beatles’ music as relics: one student tells me he had “Yellow Submarine” stuck in his head for six weeks after his dad first played it for him. As for lessons: one was surprised by the surreal but colorful imagery in “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Others found rhyming words in “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” that I missed at first.
Poetry is supposed to be colorful. When the words don’t form the shapes by themselves yet, the music can help make it come to life. Many learn to take a liking to poetry by appreciating its musicality.
The Beatles’ music might also offer a good opportunity for parents to turn the tide against technology’s power to divide rather than bring together. Play an album as you drive and sing along together. That itself is a poetic moment.