New Jersey Project WET Coordinator Wants To Help Others Teach Water Through Music

NJ Project WET Coordinator Kevin KoppNew Jersey Project WET Coordinator Kevin Kopp Kevin Kopp has had a song in his heart for years. Now, the New Jersey environmental educator and Project WET Coordinator wants to put that song—and many others—into a format that others can use. Kopp recently launched a Kickstarter campaign called "Water We Singing About?" to record and produce an album of water education songs. The 14 songs on the album will be available on CD and via digital download and will include a listing of the Project WET activity or activities that go with each song—20 activities in total from the Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide. For parents or others who work with children outside of formal learning venues, the songs can stand alone as well, allowing anyone to enjoy learning about water through song.

We recently interviewed Kevin about his songs and the use of music in water education, a discipline more often associated with science instruction, to learn more about the project:

Project WET Foundation (PWF): When and how did you first start combining music with Project WET activities?

Kevin Kopp (KK): I have been using music in my education programs since I began my career as an environmental educator in the 1980s. When I first received the Project WET Guide, I saw the activity “Aqua Notes” and thought, “They included an activity with songs. I should be able to use some of the songs I know with other activities.” So honestly, I do not remember ever doing a Project WET workshop that did not include songs.

PWF: Why do you think songs work so well in helping kids remember what they’re learning?

KK: We know that people learn in many ways and the more ways an idea is presented, the more likely it is to be remembered and incorporated into learning. That is my educator side speaking. Everyone has had a tune in their head that sticks around. So if the chorus from the song "Don’t Be a Drip" pops in your head as you are brushing your teeth, you will remind yourself, "Don’t be a drip. Turn of the faucet!" That is my musician side speaking.

PWF: Do you have a favorite song and lesson?

KK: I would have to say that I don’t really have a favorite. Participants are involved in different songs in different ways and each becomes my favorite at the time we are working together. When a group sings a five part a capella song on their own only minutes after hearing it for the first time, that is my favorite. When small groups work together to write a new chorus that tells the story of their watershed and sings it for the group, that is my favorite. When a group sings together and the one person who loves to sing adds harmony, that is my favorite. They are all my favorites, but I might be biased.

To learn more about Kevin and his Kickstarter campaign, watch the video below and visit his Kickstarter campaign today! Campaign ends October 4th.

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