Social and emotional learning (SEL) plays a vital part in education and human development. CASEL.org, a thought leader in SEL implementation, defines the subject as “the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.”
Music is an excellent tool to support SEL initiatives because learning an instrument and performing is, for example, emotional, collaborative, challenging, nerve-racking, and frustrating. Music provides a unique environment to test and learn SEL compared to other subject areas.
The CASEL 5 framework focuses on addressing 5 key areas: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.
Moosiko is designed to support each of these 5 areas:
Self-Awareness: The ability, or act, of consciously evaluating your own feelings, emotions, character or decision-making.
- Identifying Emotions: Anyone learning a new instrument will get frustrated. Create an environment where students are comfortable expressing when they get frustrated and proactively ask, “Who is feeling frustrated?”
- Self-Perception: Moosiko supports in-person assessment and video-recorded assessments for students who are a bit more shy. Use video-recorded assessments to help students build confidence and work up to live performances over time.
- Growth Mindset: Our skill tracking makes it crystal clear which skills the students have learned and which they haven’t. We strive to challenge students by showing them their personalized growth path.
Self-Management: The ability to effectively manage your own decisions and emotions. Identifying what it takes for you to remain disciplined and self-sufficient.
- Self-Discipline: Our self-guided, step-by-step lessons make it easy for students to easily back track when they hit a wall. If a student gets frustrated or stressed, they can easily diagnose why this is happening, back up, and fix the problem.
- Goal Setting: Every Moosiko song lesson is goal oriented: to play a song or part of a song. We lay out the path to get there, but it is up to the student to take the responsibility to achieve it. There are no excuses with Moosiko’s learning methodology.
- Self Motivation: By tracking practice time and skills, students can learn to hold themselves accountable for how much effort they put in.
Social Awareness: Being cognizant of the feelings and experiences of those around you. Exhibiting an understanding of other people’s perspectives, as well as their strengths or weaknesses.
- Appreciating Diversity: Our extensive song library contains music across a dozen genres including Mexican, KPOP, Country, Traditional, Religious, Classic Rock, Protest Songs, etc. We strive to teach diversity through the diversity of music and artists. Our blog Music Matters discusses this in greater detail.
- Perspective-Taking: We intentionally include songs such as “The Man” by Taylor Swift which discusses her struggle of being a female in a male dominated industry. “Same Love” by Macklemore or “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town are personal songs about coming out of the closet as a young gay person.
Relationship Skills: Showing an effectiveness in communicating with others, establishing and maintaining supportive relationships. Displaying an ability to resist social pressures.
- Relationship Building: Playing music with others requires communication, persistence, and being ok with screwing up a lot in front of your peers. Being in a band is one of the best ways to build these deep emotional connections with others. At 50, you might not remember who was in your 9th grade math class, but you definitely remember who the lead guitarist in your band was.
- Teamwork: Being in a band, it is frustrating when the drummer keeps screwing up, and even more frustrating if you’re the drummer. Being a part of a team teaches students to help others, be patient, and ultimately overcome failure together. There is no greater feeling when you nail a performance as a band.
Responsible Decision Making: An ability to make thoughtful and empathetic choices in a given situation. Having an open mind, and using critical thinking skills when making a selection.
- Identifying Problems: There are always problems in a band. They could be technical or personnel. The ability to identify them and address them in a respectful manner is a skill most adults don’t have.
- Behavior: In any music class, it is very evident who is better than others. Unlike a math test, your ability is out in the open for everyone to see and judge. This type of environment teaches students how to respond to these differences whether they are on the skilled or unskilled side of the spectrum.
Many school districts across the country use the CASEL 5 to “establish pre-school to high school learning standards and competencies that articulate what students should know and be able to do for academic success.” Using music and Moosiko to support the CASEL framework will help individuals and educators create a more hands-on, proactive learning environment and build their social emotional learning capabilities.
If you want to learn more about Moosiko and see how we can help your SEL initiatives, click here to get in touch.