International Teen Blogger: Exposure to Different Languages Through Choir

Awareness of international culture can be achieved from reading news from around the world, learning another language, traveling to a different part of the world, making personal connections with those of a different culture, and endless other ways. One of the most simple ways, perhaps, is through music.

In popular culture, the culture that includes what the majority of the population in America wears, says, or does, at times can integrate pieces of international culture. Dare I say that pitbull is enlightening our youth, but in the least, the common teenager is exposed to spanish. Now, let me narrow the scope down to international music incorporated into the school system..

Students in choir, like myself, even with only one year of taking the class can be exposed to a multitude of languages. Recently, I engaged in a competition that required that I sing a song in French. All others who participated also had to choose a song in German, Italian, French, or Spanish; this competition is called Solo & Ensemble.

The point is that I observed that the students in choir are not only exposed to music of different countries, but have the opportunity to sing the songs themselves. Even if the singer has no idea what they’re saying, through the movement of the song, they can connect emotionally to a language previously unknown. Some students may even take the initiative and discover what the meaning behind the words are and how the dynamic of the song reflects the words.

The song I sang at the competition was called “Les Berceaux”, which translates in to The Cradles. I interpreted it as a woman who was singing as her husband is sent off to sea; The ocean would be cradling him as she cradled the child at home. I could be completely off on the meaning, but it gave the song a new beauty I wouldn’t have realized had I not looked up the meaning.

Through the organized, musical instruction, those who normally wouldn’t start looking up words in different languages can do more than just learn the meaning of words, but know how they are expressed through music. I am a grand supporter and participant in choir, and hopefully this will enlighten your views on how much impact singing a foreign song can have!

SA Public library link to Choir Books! Choir Music

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