Upper School students host song & belief workshop for 6th graders

Classes: Religions and Beliefs, Songbook
Grades: 11
Teachers: Ms. Jain, Mr. Liebowitz

How do song, change, and belief intersect in secular and non-secular settings? This was the essential question being explored by the 11th grade Songbook and Religion and Beliefs classes during their week together. Using research and specific examples, students were tasked with creating a workshop for a 6th grade audience related to this essential question.

In Religions and Beliefs, students analyze belief systems and how they influence society, government, and an individual’s actions. Furthermore, the class has recently been examining how coexistence and conflict can be products of this influence. In Songbooks, music is studied as literature; this includes the context, impact, and influence a song or artist may have over a group of people.

Using the literary analysis skills developed in Songbook and the understanding of influence and society from Religions and Beliefs, students gained a deeper understanding of both topics and the overlap between music, belief, and change. Inspiration came quickly for workshops; topics ranged from Kendrick Lamar to Taylor Swift to anti-war music released during the Vietnam War. Students used these topics to make concrete connections between cultural movements, societal beliefs, and music. For some 6th graders, the presentations were a chance to dive deeper into the context and influence surrounding their favorite musicians. Others used the workshops as an opportunity to learn about changes in society associated with music they were previously unfamiliar with.

More about this course: Ever wonder why, despite ideals of religious freedom and acceptance, different religious groups and religions of the world unite or lead into conflict? In this course, students will explore a wide range of religious and spiritual ideologies including their origins, beliefs/practices, and adaptations over time. Investigations into how belief systems shape contemporary politics, government, and conflict will also be explored.

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