The newly released “Human Body School” CD by Talking Hands Talking Feet, the teaching artistry of Songs To Educate, gives children an opportunity to learn about their bodies and their inner life through catchy, fun and theatrical songs. Teachers and parents can use these songs to bring human body studies alive whilst enhancing emotional intelligence.
The album is a whole body curriculum. Every single song is an enjoyable workshop. For example, the song “Feeling Language” has a wonderful
lesson plan designed to foster emotional fluency and intelligence in primary school aged children. The summer blockbuster movie “Inside Out”
has brought the subject of emotional ‘intel’ front and center in the minds of many parents and teachers.
Here is an excerpt from the lesson plan for “Feeling Language”:
“Emotional intelligence perception is an important tool in any educator’s teaching toolkit. Our cultural lexicon of ‘feeling language’ is often shallow and generalized. Helping young lives to expand their vocabulary of feeling is helping them to navigate their inner life. That’s where the song “Feeling Language” can be used as a springboard.
It’s a bit more involved than asking a child, ‘how do you feel?’ or ‘how does that make you feel?’ It is supplying young lives with a perceptive and versatile mosaic of feeling language. It is not superficial sentimentalism or melodramatic misuse of emotions. It is about reading what is going on inside oneself with awareness and sensitivity.”
We all learn to navigate our emotions with varying degrees of fluency. Creating opportunities to express emotions through the arts, particularly music is a powerful tool for building emotional literacy and intelligence. Songs like “Feeling Language” can be part of a parent or teacher’s emotional intelligence toolkit.
The Pixar movie “Inside Out” got a lot right about navigating emotions and the central role they play in one’s overall well being. The setting for the story takes place in the command center of the brain of an eleven year old girl, with five core emotions at the helm. It couldn’t be appraised better than in a current article by the Greater Good Science Center.
Songs To Educate passionately advocates for the inner life of children. A child’s character development depends on the depth and scope of their experience; and how they handle the challenges of growing up. Human emotional character and sentiment is seeded in childhood. So providing diverse and fertile fields of experience and exposure to the greater human story is a vital part of inner life education.
Expanding emotional vocabulary (emotional literacy) comes with understanding and “companioning” complex emotions as they come up.
Happiness is not derived from avoiding emotional turmoil. We tend to suppress painful emotions like grief, profound sadness, melancholy, anger, anxiety about the state of the world and fear of death; whilst giving free reign to ego-defensive emotions which actually prevent emotional growth, maturity and depth.
A much truer “happiness” comes from a transcendent quality of emotional connection – near to the heart of the art of living. Helping young lives within this ‘art’ is an honor, privilege and gift. There is a growing awareness in education that emotional fluency is key to learning. The songs of Talking Hands Talking Feet are here to help.