It starts with a lone pianist sitting down in an airport lobby and slowly turns into a full-scale production involving dozens of performers, coming together like a scene from a musical that you didn’t realize you were in. Love them or hate them (I’m in the love camp), could flash mobs really have tremendous educational value? Read on for 5 reasons why flash mobs are the best educational resource you’re not using.
1) Children are able to HEAR music. Even when listening with no visual stimulus, hearing new instruments, beats, and sounds does incredible things for a developing mind! Even better if the music is an international genre that they are totally unfamiliar with! All that information is processed by the brain and contributes to the growth of new neuropathways.
2) Children are able to SEE the instruments being played. When children see the instruments being played, they may recognize a guitar or violin, but they may also see new instruments they are not familiar with, again, feeding the brain even more stimuli for neurological growth. Again, this is especially true for flash mobs that showcase a global musical genre.
3) Children are able to MAKE CONNECTIONS. Watching the musicians play also helps children to CONNECT the sounds they hear to the instruments, and to the motions of the musicians that actually produce the sounds.
4) Children are able to EXPERIENCE the layering of sound and impact. Flash mobs usually begin with a single performer and build, piece by piece, into a “mob” of people performing together. Young minds will not only be processing the individual parts being played, they will also observe the layering of sound and numbers that build the impact of the performance as a whole.
5) Children are able to observe the EMOTIONAL AND INTERPERSONAL IMPACT of the performance. They will see the surprise, confusion, and delight among the audience members as they dance, sing along, point, smile, and take pictures. Observing the various reactions from the crowd gives young minds the opportunity to make even more meaningful connections related to the emotional impact of the performance.
Check out a few videos from the web!
Flash Mob in Germany - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTVMek-JxuQ
Mexican Mariachi Flash Mob - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78vdEJgFsn8
Irish Dance World Record (not a flash mob, but so fun!) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiU-n_lWAio
When watching a flash mob video with your child, make sure to put words to what they are seeing, and ask them questions about their observations!