TONGANOXIE, Kan. — It’s no secret that high school students aren’t always thrilled to go to class. But there’s one class at Tonganoxie High School that has students singing a different tune.
Matt Beat, teaches world history, and has found a way to connect with his students through music. Mr. Beat makes songs about history and creates YouTube videos to help teach lessons.
He’s made videos about all the presidents and other history topics to help teach his students.
“I’ll make up jingles for the students to remember certain concepts,” said Beat.
His last name says it all. “I make songs anyway, and it makes sense to incorporate this into the classroom,” Beat added.
He’s made songs about all the presidents, the three branches of government, and he’s working on one for World War I.
“You can’t go wrong with music in terms of learning new material,” Beat said. “Teachers across the country have used my videos in class.”
Beat has around 150 videos, and his students say they’re really helpful on tests.
“Learning about capitalism and communism, I couldn’t remember which one. I had really struggled with that, and he showed us the video and during the test I sang the song to myself,” student Jasmine Sejnoha said.
“His music is really catchy, so what helps me remember is the beat of it,” student Lucas Masters said.
Beat even held a contest where his students wrote a parody song about Napoleon with their own lyrics. He’s going to record the winning team.
“He’s one of the most liked teachers just because he’s different,” Sejnoha explained.
“He teaches in a really fun way, and he makes it really easy,” Masters said.
For his next project, Beat is petitioning to meet the president. He’s looking to get information right from the source for his YouTube video.
“After his term is up next January, I’m going to write a song about him as I have all the other presidents,” Beat said. “I only need 100,000 more signatures before the White House has to respond!”
Beat said his videos are usually short and to the point. He simplifies sometimes difficult subjects to make learning more fun.
“Even when they’re in high school, I think a lot of them still appreciate music because it does help them remember and it makes it more engaging,” Beat said.