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New club strives to teach through music

There is an innovative new club on campus – On the Lyrical Tip [OTLT] hopes to create an awareness of popular as well as diverse styles of music through the analysis of song lyrics.

OTLT’s mission is to expose middle and high school students to fresh types of music with the hopes of improving their proficiency in English. Club members will teach students in their homeroom classes how to analyze song lyrics in popular music for both its content and poetic devices. They hope to target group students with low reading skills.

Thus far, tutoring is set up with Ponce de Leon Middle School and Baypoint School, which serves students with special needs.

“I believe in the cause behind the organization, especially its gearing towards underprivileged youth and spreading diversity and literacy through music,” Nupur Verma, OTLT board member, said. “That motivated me to help make this club a reality on our campus.”

According to Melissa Bent, founder and president of OTLT, music is a way of life. It helps to pinpoint questions and to generate expressions of feeling. Her desire to explore musical interests from a young age motivated her to create the club.

Bent said she wanted to expand her interest in music beyond conversations with friends. In a club environment, discussions could be more structured and serious, and members could feel enriched through their volunteer work.

In high school, one of Bent’s English teachers had her write a daily journal in which she analyzed music. The knowledge she gained from this activity inspired her to offer the same opportunity to the current generation of adolescents.

“Music is a big part of our lives,” Bent said, “It affects everybody at each step in their life.”

Little research has been conducted on the effect that analyzing music has on a student’s performance in school. Most studies center on how students who play a musical instrument, on average, do better in school than their peers.

Bent hopes that the activities of the club will serve as a pilot study to demonstrate how students can benefit from examining musical lyrics.

OTLT wants to reach out to the UM community by conducting forums for the discussion and analysis of music. Club members will serve as forum moderators.

Official meeting times have not yet been set, but general member meetings for OTLT will be biweekly. Everyone is invited to check out the club, and for those interested in joining, dues are $10.

For more information about On the Lyrical Tip, contact Melissa Bent at m.bent@umiami.edu.

Reeva Oza can be contacted at r.oza@umiami.edu.

February 13, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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