Literacy Through Music & Poetry

You can find the #DidYouKnow blog series here: www.nornstriad.com and www.jmnorthup.com

Did you know that music and poetry have walked hand-in-hand throughout time? Perhaps if you consider the minstrel it will be more evident. Did you know that rhythm in language helps develop readers? That’s right – it is an important part of literacy.

In antiquity, poetry (which was the popular form of storytelling and communal entertainment) was put to music or sung. Today. FOLK poetry and FOLK music share the same foundation of being based in this oral tradition because it, too, is passed from generation to generation. Another tie between Folk music and folk literature is that they’re often found more predominantly in rural communities, shared among families and small groups. If you relate this to literacy, it makes further since because you often find a lack of resources in these same areas. Oral traditions are more readily available for communities to convey histories and learning.

There are other similarities, as well. Folk music is often used to tell a story about life, which is why it varies from region to region, changes across time, and is affected culturally. Of course, this is also true for poetryPoems use sound and words to convey their message – to tell a story that is reflective of life. Both have rhythm, cadence, and are universally understood. After all, “art reflects life.” This is why the griotbards, and other storytellers have been so coveted throughout time.


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