Instilling Morals through Children’s Songs
For the last few months, at the end of each class at SA Prumpung, you can hear the voices of the children and volunteers singing together. The song, of course, has special actions and moves to go with it! It has been Kak Maria’s daily task to teach kindergarten and sing songs with them. We decided this at the beginning of the year and she has also been assigned to be the principal of the Study House at SA Prumpung.
We came up with this idea to have singing sessions with the children because many of us have realised that children are rarely singing the songs that are meant for them. Television and radio rarely play children songs and commonly many pop songs have very adult themes. Pop songs are frequently about love, broken hearts, hopelessness or partying. The children will frequently sing the songs as if they understand what the song is about. When they sing these songs we can see from their faces and their voices that they like to imitate the song exactly. This made us aware and concerned that the children might have the wrong understanding about the songs. So we decided to start introducing songs that have child appropriate themes, a good message and songs which are appropriate for their ages. At least 15 minutes before we send the children home after each class we will sing and dance together.
Just a few years ago there were actually lots of songs for children, created by former teachers and even by singers. But all of a sudden, these songs disappeared and were replaced by adult songs.
Through the songs we choose we hope the children will learn from the lyrics of the song. They can imagine the train station and how important it is to line up and have a well regulated station. They can learn to love their country, and know which village their parents came from. We also sing songs about being obedient and about how important it is to be clean and to keep the neighborhood clean. Every Tuesday and Friday it is not only the little children who are waiting for this singing session, we are all waiting for this session. Both the volunteers and the children love singing the fun songs together!
We enjoy seeing the expressions on their faces when they sing the songs with the volunteers. It is also always exciting to see the children write down the lyrics of the song before they go home so they can practice or sing the song again with their family.
There are a lot of thing that we can do to educate children. We can help them return to formal school, introduce them to and teach them about morals through religion, build up their creativity and imagination through books and being expressive through singing songs. We start with very small actions and know that there is huge potential for the future. That is what Sahabat Anak is trying to do throughout all activities and programs in each tutorial area. By one small step at a time, together we can achieve great things. .
Let us invite, introduce and teach Indonesian Children quality children’s songs. (SM)
Here are some lyrics that we often sing in Prumpung
Di stasiun di stasiun
Sungguh ramai sekali
Hiruk pikuk semua sibuk
Di sepanjang peron
Ada yang berpergian
Ada yang menjemput
Ada pula yang mengantar
In the train station
So crowded, lots of people
Everybody is busy in the train carriages
There are people going
There are people coming to pick up their family
Or to take their family somewhere…
Children from Kota Tua singing together at Sahabat Anak Day in February: