Musicals Are Not That Bad

Brianna Brown

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A middle school teacher raps his lessons to his students.

School is the place we spend most of our childhood. It is our place where we stress out, meet new people, make friends, take numerous amounts of tests, and sit and listen to teachers teach for more than an hour. Students often feel that the teachers do not care about our education nor teach to help us learn. This is true in some cases, but in other cases, it is just that they do not know how to explain it to our level of understanding. When situations like this arise, the teacher uses different methods, such as adding music into his or her lesson like David Yancey.

On March 15 at Edwards Middle School in Conyers, Georgia, an eigth-grade teacher David Yancey was discovered rapping his social studies lesson to his students. He has been doing this method for 8 years. He has a strong passion for education and wants the students to be able to learn instead of just memorizing everything to pass the class.

The 31 year old said, “students have always hated social studies since the dawn of time” and that he came to the realization that students struggle to understand. He decided to find a way to help the students to retain each lesson. “I realized that students almost choose to be disconnected from the material,” said Yancey. “In an attempt to bridge the gap, I chose to ask my mentoring group ‘What songs are in right now?'” The students were a little shocked at the question and laughed before they mentioned a song with the lyrics “About a Week Ago.” David decided to change the lyrics from “About a Week Ago” to “About a Month Ago.” The same day he also decided to change up the lyrics of Iggy Azeala’s “I’m So Fancy” and replaced them with “I’m Coach Yancey.” How does he include the lesson into the song? On YouTube, he has a lyric video of Migos’ “Bad and Boujee” and changed them to “Mad and Losing,”a lesson about Ulysses S. Grant and the Civil War.

Not all his songs are hip-hop. He has created a pop remix to Adele’s “Hello” to “Hello from the Cherokee.” The students have responded positively to this method. At the end of each unit, he gives a social study rap to help students remember the information. “I have found doing raps as a culminating activity has had an immediate impact on engagement,” said Yancey. “Students who will already be successful enjoy the expressions as much as those students who use it to connect the dots.” The students sing along, and he says that some former students have told him that they remember his songs until this day.

He was awarded Teacher of the Year but says he’s just “doing what he loves.” David Yancey said,”At the risk of sounding cheesy, the students don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.”


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Musicals Are Not That Bad