Grade: Senior
Subject: Language

#3543. music and violence: what message is music promoting to our y

Language, level: Senior
Posted Wed Aug 3 11:56:35 PDT 2005 by Rose George (
former teacher, brooklyn, USA
Materials Required: music lyrics and music videos
Activity Time: ?
Concepts Taught: nature of violence, the perception of society's ideals, hypocrisy in government, injustice,

Aim: How do popular musicians and their music affect us as individuals and our society?

To analyze music lyrics and music videos from various artists that promotes a social awareness
To identify and distinguish how music lyrics from all genres can benefit and harm an individual
To identify the messages that the musicians are trying to convey
To find a connection with music, society, politics and religion
To distinguish hypocrisy and contradiction in society and in religion
To discover how music such as rock and rap can impact an individual to violence
To find a solution and an answer to school violence
Why do students and young adults listen to such music that promotes violence, hatred and aggression?
Why are their sub-groups and cliques in schools?
To find a way to unify the student population
The reason why there is a separation of church and state in the public schools

Music lyrics from rock, rap, hip-hop, country, etc that promote social awareness as well as questions pertaining to religion. . .in this case Christianity.

Linkin Park, Evanescence, Rage Against the Machine, Tupac Shakar, Enya, Lifehouse, Akon, Kanye West, Nirvana, Green Day, Good Charlotte

The above musicians are some examples of individuals who are questioning society and their elders, and God about injustice. . ..war, perception of beauty,violence, hatred, disenchantment with the system etc.

Warning: Try to stay away from explicit lyrics unless a teacher is given permission from his or her superiors, the school board, the Principal, the Assistant Principal and fellow teachers, parents. It would be interesting to analyze heavy metal which mostly deals with anti-Christian statements and why they would be influenced to write such song. I would answer that question to find answers to injustice to hypocrisy, to promote honesty and end conspiracy.

Once you have selected one or how many lyrics you would like to analyze and explore, you can have a solid discussion on violence conflict resolution, life,. . .all aspects of society and life. . .including religion, the war. . .leading to our present society as well as the past. It depends on the lyrics that you have selected. This could be a whole unit, on day lesson, a week-long lesson, it varies. . .be creative
You can ask the students to draw out the images that come to mind when they read the lyrics and if you want you can play the song for them with superior permission of course. . .superior meaning the principals and the A.P's
You can also analyze music videos b/c the visual media is a powerful force. . .you need words to convey the message.
Example: Kanye West's "Jesus Walks" video----startling parallels and questions about race, religion, violence, sense of belonging, identity
Evanescence" Bring me to life" What is the video suggesting? Perhaps a battle of what. . .leading to the discussion on the gothic.
Linkin Park" "Numb" video---what does the video suggest? Conformity, outcast, belonging. . .significant issues for high school students