English through music“Why does everyone like music?” asked Katie, AAANY’s Adult Education Coordinator, to the class of adults who had just listened to songs by Fairuz and Cheb Khaled. “Because music always makes you feel happy,” answered one of the students. A discussion ensued about whether or not music always makes you feel happy, which concluded in the idea that whether the resulting feeling may or may not necessarily be “happiness,” listening to music definitely triggers some sort of emotional response, regardless of what language the listener might be accustomed to. Music is the language that goes beyond linguistic barriers.
By using music as the medium through which to teach English, Daro Behroozi, a new volunteer, is revolutionizing the Adult Education classes offered at the Arab American Association of New York. In the first class, he taught vocabulary related to music, such as names of instruments, elements of music like rhythm and melody, and different ways of describing songs. After this vocabulary lesson, the students listened to Arabic songs and were asked to discuss what the instrumentation was and what they liked about each song. Daro’s goal is to simultaneously teach English and improve the students’ close listening skills. In future classes, Daro plans to play English songs for the students to enhance their listening ability and make the conversations more challenging. Eventually, as a final project, the students will be given the opportunity to write their own songs in English.
Daro Behroozi grew up in Brooklyn, NY. He began taking piano lessons at the age of 5. He attended LaGuardia Arts High School where he studied music. As an undergrad at Columbia University, Daro studied Anthropology with a focus on Music and graduated in May of 2012. In addition to working on various music-related projects at Columbia, he was an organizer in Students for Justice in Palestine. He is currently pursuing various musical endeavors as a performer, composer, teacher, and researcher.
We are all very excited to have Daro Behroozi working with us to offer such a fun and educational class.