Art, Music and Language Throughout history art, music and
Throughout history art, music and language have been connected as things specifically associated to being human. Some of the earliest forms of language were constructed entirely of pictographs; representations of the ideas and objects they represent in life. Spoken language and music have also always been interconnected. Music and art both convey ideas and messages the same as spoken and written language. Even in the modern classroom pictures are used to give examples of what a word means. Music is used in a similar way today; songs are used to help with memorization or as a medium to relate a new language to people in a familiar form.
Many early languages started out using a pictograph system of writing and slowly evolved into more complex and less representative forms of their earlier selves. One language that is a good example of a modern pictograph language is Chinese. This is the only modern language to completely keep its identity as a language of pictures. Over the centuries the symbols slowly developed into the modern language we see today. Many of the neighboring countries developed these pictographs into their languages, but most of them have added various character sets to represent sounds. Japanese for example adopted the Chinese writing system, and eventually added hiragana and katakana to fully develop their written language. Although hiragana and katakana are developed from the kanji themselves they represent sounds not ideas. Even in modern Japanese the use of kanji is a major part of the written language. When reading kanji it is similar to looking at a picture; the ideas are represented without having to read. In a modern class teaching English with the use of pictures to develop language skills is a necessary component. This is especially useful when teaching students with no understanding of the language. Showing a picture describes to the students exactly what is trying to be conveyed without the use of words. Sometimes there are words that have no equivalent in their native tongue. In this instance a picture can often be used to give them a better understanding of what the word means. For example; if there is a single word in one language, but many subtle variations in another language, pictures can be used to show each subtlety of the new words.
Music is an integral part of sound production for humans. Language is also a primary component of music. Every culture in the world has a form of language and music. Learning the folk music of a people introduces their language at a fundamental level. It represents their mode of thinking by way of sound cultivation. This representation of culture through song is a good way to introduce students to a new language and its people. Music not only represents the majority of a culture, but also can give insight into sub-cultures within one society. Thus music is as much a part of learning language as learning the culture behind a language in order to understand its though processes. Language adapted to a culture changes. Just think of the ways English has changed when adapted into a culture and becomes a primary language. Just hearing the language, you notice different ways of pronunciation based of the other languages of the region. New words are introduced that do not exist in the former culture. All of these attributes are included in the music from each place. So when teaching language the use of music helps the students in several ways. It introduces a familiar medium to convey a new language. Music can also be used to show the students aspects of a different culture at the same time teaching them language use. Introducing art and music into the classroom can bring a better understanding of the new language, as well as help learn the new language. Utilizing fine arts in the classroom should certainly be adopted to learning any foreign language. When a lesson is planned make sure these features are implemented so the students can really enjoy the class and come away with a better understanding of what they are learning.
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