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The School of Rock! Watch the UEA lecturer who sings his lessons

PUBLISHED: 08:53 08 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:29 08 November 2019

UEA lecturer Steve Smith writes songs about nursing for his lectures. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

UEA lecturer Steve Smith writes songs about nursing for his lectures. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

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His musical covers could include School's Out, I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing and I Don't Like Mondays.

UEA lecturer Steve Smith writes songs about nursing for his lectures. Picture: Ella WilkinsonUEA lecturer Steve Smith writes songs about nursing for his lectures. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

That's because this University of East Anglia (UEA) academic is hitting the right notes with students by using his musical talent to spice up lectures.

Rather than the traditional Powerpoint presentation, senior nursing lecturer Stephen Smith uses songs to help his students remember the course content.

Mr Smith, who has a background in nursing neuroscience and specialist care for patients with neurological diseases, regularly holds sing-along lectures with his guitar featuring songs he writes himself.

He held a special singing lecture at the UEA's Julian Study Centre on Thursday, stretching his vocal chords for an invited audience including second year nursing students.

UEA senior lecturer Steve Smith has become known for his musical approach to teaching. Picture: Ella WilkinsonUEA senior lecturer Steve Smith has become known for his musical approach to teaching. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Mr Smith estimates he has written 40 songs relating to nursing.

"It is something to make it light and lift spirits," he said.

"I started this myself because I struggled to remember a lot of the things I was being taught and I found if I read the text books and converted it into something that rhymed and had a chorus, it stuck. Some of the students tell me that's still the case.

"Some students who have graduated and qualified get back to me and say 'years later I can still remember that chorus every time I think of this particular subject' so I am encouraged by that."

UEA senior lecturer Steve Smith has become known for his musical approach to teaching. Picture: Ella WilkinsonUEA senior lecturer Steve Smith has become known for his musical approach to teaching. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

He added: "[Music] is part of me and I think teachers should bring whatever is them."

His song-writing talents have struck a chord with nursing students.

Grace Upton said: "Normally I find lectures quite hard to sit through because some of them aren't so engaging, but this one was really good and I absolutely loved it.

"I learn more in a visual way or a way of hearing things. I know from my GCSEs and BTEC learning songs has helped me to remember key aspects so that is a really good way for me to learn."

Keavy Wright said: "I thought Steve's song was engaging and fun and it kind of reminds me why I want to be a nurse.

"It's made so much better when you have a lecturer who is really motivated and empowers their students to want to be there."

Elizabeth Stothers, who Mr Smith supported while she was on a work placement in her first year, said: "Seeing him sing and seeing the same enthusiasm he had on placement but 100-fold is amazing."

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