The photograph was taken by Mandy Scherer, a most capable and professional reporter working for the Bennett county booster.
I wish to sincerely thank all the dedicated and hardworking staff at the Nursing Home for allowing me the privilege of spending some time, meeting and sharing music with the wonderful folk there. The time and dedication that these people put into caring for those in Nursing Homes is truly wonderful and was an experience I will treasure.
By Mandy Scherer
The Bennett County Nursing Home received a visitor from afar, Savvas (Steve) Savva, was born in London and has spent his first time to the United States here in Martin, sharing his knowledge and joy of music with residents and staff.
Tonya Gilmore, Occupational Therapist at the Bennett County Hospital and Nursing Home, met Savvas in Italy and asked him to come to Martin to visit with residents.
Savvas is a linguist and a Teacher of Methodological Approaches in Language Teaching. He is an official oral examiner and invigilator for Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. He is also an English as a Foreign Language teacher. E.F.L. is the teaching of English to people whose first language is not English.
In the summer he does work at Oxford Brooks University allowing him to meet many diverse people. Savvas speaks several different languages and is currently studying Hebrew and koine Greek.
He uses the communicative approach while teaching in the classroom (use it or lose it) and is a firm believer in the use of music while teaching. Music is effective, creates a more social awareness and cognition. Savvas is preparing (written) to write an article on the power of music.
Savvas exclaims “There is no fun without learning and no learning without fun.”
He has tried to break the old habits of teaching. He explains that the desk is the pulpit of the teacher and he encourages teachers to get away from that methodology.
One of his methods of teaching is Total Physical Response – T.P.R. is a method of teaching language or vocabulary concepts by using physical movement to react to verbal input. The process mimics the way that infants learn their first language, and it reduces student inhibitions and lowers stress. Then he establishes the communicative approach where students learn language in chunks then apply that in role play.
Savvas explained how C.L.I.L. Content and language integrated learning is an approach for learning content through an additional language, thus teaching both the subject and the language.
“It has been interesting to watch how the music has affected the old folk,” Savvas says.
Music is a super stimulus to the brain. He pointed out that while the music was playing it triggered the motor mechanism of the brain, such as toe tapping, as well as emotional and psychological responses.
Savvas says that songs are an integral part of language and human experience. Music helps with emotional learning, making learning come to life.