The Boston Public Health Commission has come out with a great new innovation in sex positive music — the Sound Relationships Nutrition Label. Playing off the idea of a food nutrition label, this one serves as a worksheet for assessing the messages that a song sends about relationships. They even had teenagers rate the current most popular 100 songs and published a top 10 list of popular songs with unhealthy and healthy messages.
I took these 10 songs and made a mix CD that I gave to my sixth-grade students as part of their end of the semester president. I hope they’re listening to it and enjoying it right now — and absorbing lots of positive messages! (I really liked the CD myself.)
I do understand that they might not be enjoying every song. But I told them that they’d have a chance in January to nominate their favorite songs for our next team mix CD.
What they don’t know is that in order to nominate a song, they will have to analyze the song lyrics using the BPHC’s Sound Relationships Nutrition Label.
I’m really looking forward to engaging my students in exploring the effects of the music we listen to and dance to. I’m still working out the details of the process to make sure that my students meet the learning objectives and also feel fully engaged and excited. Additionally, you need to figure out how much I want to adjust the Sound Relationships Nutrition Label in order to make it age-appropriate for sixth-graders and the extent to which we have and have not discussed healthy relationships so far.
What characteristics do you look for in songs that make them feel healthy, positive, or simply like something that want to internalize? What criteria would you use in choosing which songs to play for children? How would you explain to children and adolescents how to analyze messages in the media and make healthy choices about media consumption?
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I'm the Director of the program at BPHC that created the "Sound Relationship" label. I love the project you're doing with your students. I'd love to hear how it goes…maybe you can do a blog post about it once it's complete.
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