The Power of Turning Conversations Into Teachable Moments

Perhaps it is how we are made; perhaps words of truth reach us best through the heart, and stories and songs are the language of the heart. – Stephen R. Lawhead

Like many of my fellow Nashvillians, I am a singer/songwriter. From a very young age, I discovered that music had a way of unlocking the secrets of my soul. Getting lost in lyrics and rhythm helped me find my way through the labyrinth of questions about faith and life. As a teen I knew I wanted to offer a safe haven for others through my songs. I remember one of my voice teachers telling me the job of an artist is to help people feel. Similarly, my childhood role model Amy Grant spoke of singers as storytellers whose job is to create a space for connection.

Not only does music provide a connection point, but stories do also. Stories help us dig into a topic that may otherwise seem too big, scary or uncomfortable. Bruno Bettelheim (1976) states, “Just because his life is often bewildering to him, the child needs even more to be given the chance to understand himself in this complex world with which he must cope…He needs ideas on how to bring his inner house into order…” A great story can help bring order and open the heart and mind. An open heart and mind is ready for conversation, for true dialogue about the thoughts and feelings evoked by story.

Tamara Fyke
Tamara Fyke
Tamara Fyke is an educator and social entrepreneur with a passion for kids, families, and urban communities. She is the creator, author, and brand manager for Love in a Big World, which equips K-8 educators with a social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum that is both research-based and practical, and also provides the supporting resources necessary to empower students to be socially competent, emotionally healthy problem-solvers who discover and maintain a sense of purpose and make a positive difference in the world. Tamara is the editor of Building People: Social & Emotional Learning for Kids, Schools & Communities, a book that brings 12 wide-ranging perspectives on SEL to educators, parents, and leaders. Now more than ever, we need to teach our children what LOVE looks like. Find out more at

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