Using Music to Memorize Geography

We all know the experience of recalling the words to a song that we haven’t sung or heard in decades. This is particularly true with music we hear as young children. The child’s brain is a powerful sponge on its own. And music presented to a child is quickly absorbed like water.

Music is a powerful medium to harness the brain. When we put information into a melody and rhythm, the brain retains the information quickly and effortlessly. For this reason, more and more educational materials are written into learning songs – like math facts, grammar rules, and geography. These are wonderful tools.

There are many geography learning songs on the market, but they are all missing an attractive musical quality and its lyrics lack context. What good is a song that simply rattles off ten or twenty countries? The student can parrot the song, but they cannot identify the country on a map or tell you anything them.

Personally, I love geography and I wanted more for my students so I created Geography Songs for Everyone – highly functional and musically harmonious music.

Here’s how I incorporated both these goals:

High Function:
  • Countries in geographical order – Songs sing through the countries in the order they appear on a map. As the student sings, he/she can point to a map and move the finger to each country as its sung. As a result, students learn both country name and proper placement.
  • Small groupings – Each song highlights no more than seven countries to aid memorization.
  • Geographical context – Most songs feature lyrics that offer context regarding the location of the region and/or its global significance.
  • Geographical terminology – General geographical terminology is inserted throughout the songs, ie. isthmus, as well as specific landmarks, ie, Lake Titicaca, to spark conversations and further study.
High Musicality:
  • Diverse musical themes – Each song is inspired by the region highlighted resulting in diverse melodies, harmonies, and rhythms throughout the collection to keep the ear engaged.
  • Simple accompaniment – Each track is produced without melodic accompaniment to accentuate lyrics and country pronunciation.
  • Repetition – Most songs feature repetition of the countries as well as the region name to help listeners pick up on the place names and practice singing along.

This project resulted in Geography Songs for Everyone. It has been a blessing to my home school co-op and my own children, so I make these songs available for free on my website and YouTube Channel.

To download and store to your device, visit my Geography Songs for Everyone Store.

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