February 12, 2016

The Music of Teaching Children to “Be the Change.”

screenshot: https://youtu.be/n_gQxVOmod0

From the time babies are able to gurgle and smile, they love music.

Lullabies, nursery rhymes and games all set to music—not just to make the tiny new human’s face light up with joy, but to ultimately teach them something.

We hold them, rock them and sing them a lullaby, so they know they are safe, loved and nurtured. We sing them “Itsy-Bitsy Spider,” so they can learn hand-eye coordination. We sing them “Paddy-Cake” as we clap and teach them the first letter of their name.

As we grow older, music continues to be an exquisite conduit for making learning easy and fun, from first knowledge of the alphabet to getting in touch with our earliest likes and creating a sense of personal style.

As a conscious parent, I try my best to surround my children with the highest possible vibration in all that we do. As they get older, it becomes increasingly challenging to find messages of love and light, especially in the music they are exposed to.

In my search to be my children’s guide to all that is love and light, I really wanted to expose them to “hip” and fun music that would reinforce our family values of authenticity, vulnerability, truth and a life of service.

As soon as you walk into our home, you are greeted by our most sacred space. Our foyer contains all of our spiritual treasures—statues of Buddha and Ganesha, various crystals, a Tibetan singing bowl, a Native American drum and a tapestry our family’s favorite Gandhi quote.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Needless to say, this led to my eight-year-old and nine-year-old having questions about: Who is Gandhi? What does he mean, and what did he do to share that with the world?

When these questions came up, I remembered a song I’d once heard which helped me remember Gandhi’s exquisite story.

The song is “Be the Change” by MC Yogi from his CD “Elephant Power,” and it goes like this:

“When he was young, he studied to be a lawyer
And then he became a great spiritual warrior
He read from the scriptures of every religion
Came to the realization that we’re all God’s children
Because he understood that we’re all equal,
He became a spokesman for the people,
A “karma yogi” devoted to service—to spread truth & peace was his purpose…

Be the change that you wanna see in the world, just like Gandhi.”

The song is a very hip, super-fun rap, blended with Indian melodies. When I shared the song with my children, they absolutely loved it. They were singing it for days.

As an educator, we have mountains of evidence that show us—the best lessons engage the mind and the voice. A great lesson sticks in your head, and repeats over and over again, just like a great song—and when it is over, there’s an awesome, happy accident, in that you learned something that will stay with you forever.

My children now know more about Mahatma Gandhi than the average human being. This entire MC Yogi CD has been an exceptionally good teaching tool for sharing with my children what it means to live a life of service—not just by teaching them about Mahatma Gandhi, but by showing them that people like MC Yogi are following their passion and their art to a life of service.

While most of us are not Mother Teresa in training, her transcendent words touch my heart, and I hope I can pass them on to my children with role models like MC Yogi.

“Do small things with great love.”



MC Yogi: “Be the change that you wanna see in the world, just like Gandhi.”


Author: Christie Del Vesco

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Screenshot.

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