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Classroom Activity: Teaching About Love Through Song

Author and psychology professor Dr. Barbara Newman talked to us on the Neuro Transmission podcast about one of the class activities she enjoys. When she teachers the Sternberg's theory on love she asks students to come ready with their favorite love songs. Here's what she does next:






In the discussion of early adulthood, we talk about intimacy versus isolation and we look at different models of the idea of love: what is love and Sternberg's idea about the triangle (triarchic theory of love). I ask the students to send me their favorite love songs and they send me a lot of different ones. They have different musical preferences and different genres. Once I've gotten a lot of these songs that have been nominated from the students I will take a class and I'll play a song and then we'll talk about [how it relates to] the model from Sternberg. Is it a song about passion? Is it a song about commitment? Is it a song about a closeness? How is this song portraying the idea of love? Some of them will say, well, I really never listened to the lyrics that closely – I just like the artist or I like the melody or I listened to it once with my boyfriend or my girlfriend. [Students never thought about how the song] actually relates to the literature about intimacy and that it's connected to our understanding of how love plays out through music. I've used music a lot throughout the course. I try to find songs that I can play in class that connect to the topic, but in that particular activity, it just helps to see that there's something real in this literature that is expressed in the musical life that they enjoy.



Professor Newman is the author of Development Through Life. You can access her text within MindTap as well. Login into MindTap here. MindTap is available to your students as part of Cengage Unlimited.