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Tutor Tip of the Month

Does spring make you want to sing?

Flowers blooming, the sun shining, days lengthening . . . ah, spring! This is the season where life begins anew and many of us are filled with new energy and dreams.

If your tutoring sessions need a breath of fresh air, how about bringing in a happy tune? Did you know that the world of music is filled with songs inspired by works of literature? Songs and song lyrics introduce a new way of relating to poems, stories, and books, discussing them, and interacting with them.

For example, the Mary Chapin Carpenter song “Hally Came to Jackson,” which also became a children’s book, was inspired by the book One Writer’s Beginnings by Eudora Welty.

Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, and the Beastie Boys are just a few of the artists whose songs are featured in the San Francisco-based Artists for Literacy. This online resource features a searchable collection of songs inspired by works of literature and the lyrics for each song. If you and your learner are meeting in the library, you can practice using the card catalogue to look for a CD with one of the songs and then, find the CD in the music collection.

If your learner is inspired, writing a short poem, paragraph, or story inspired by something he or she has read would both help build writing skills and encourage him or her to build a personal relationship with the work.

Here is the link to the song collection. Enjoy searching!


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