News & Updates

Why Does the Grammar School Chant?

Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

As I type this, first grade is lining up in the hall to go outside as teacher Mrs. Bryant leads them through a call-out that reminds them how to conduct themselves in line. Across the hall, sixth grade sings through the countries of Asia – with a favorite chorus that rings out every few minutes. Downstairs, second grade sings all the first twenty-six presidents, third grade is practicing preposition jingles, and fourth grade reviews 1000 years of medieval history in song.

Why are songs and chants, jingles and rhymes such an important part of the Grammar School?

  1. Repetition is the mother of memory. But what seven year-old wants to repeat something that is boring? Singing and chanting enables students to repeat content without feeling tedious. Chants and songs make memory practice an interesting diversion from other aspects of the classroom.
  2. Songs and jingles appeal to the way children are designed to learn in the Grammar stage. Students at this age generally love rhymes, jingles, silly songs, and learning in hands-on ways using motions. They thrive with routine and love chances to move and participate in learning with their whole bodies. They also delight in acquiring new information.
  3. God created us to sing! There are many things we don’t know about eternity, but one thing that the book of Revelation makes clear, is we are going to be singing in heaven.Integrating singing into our day is good practice for heaven and provides a shadow now of the unity and joy we will one day experience.
  4. “Musical memory is a ‘thing’,” says music teacher Kara Faraldi. “It is more than just auditory learning, it is a whole different learning style that has been shown to be particularly effective.” Read more about this here and here!
  5. Singing creates shared rituals. From how we sing “Happy Birthday” at Regents to how sixth grade concludes the day by singing “Go Now in Peace” as a benediction over each other, songs create bookends and milestones and community culture.

The next time your student comes home singing a new jingle, ask them to teach it to you, and you will be surprised with how quickly you, too, can learn something new!

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