July 14, 2008 / 12:34 PM / 9 years ago

Karaoke for the heart at Thai medical school

BANGKOK (Reuters Life!) - A Thai medical school is urging its students take up karaoke and sing from the heart, for the sake of patients' hearts.

Professors at Prince Songkla University are using the popular Asian entertainment as a teaching tool for its nursing students, condensing a 900-page cardiology manual into five karaoke albums with simplified lyrics and catchy tunes.

Favorites include "Heart Surgery" and "Heart Failure".

"The main focus of our teaching is that after classes, students can go back and review the subjects by themselves by listening and singing," said lecturer Kantaporn Yodchai who helped create the albums.

"More importantly, it will not be stressful to them and will ensure they can learn more."

The music videos, which feature colorful diagrams of different parts of the human heart, were created after teachers found final-year students were struggling to memorize key facts.

University officials now say final examination results have improved by almost 30 percent since they started the program.

"The song is like the conclusion of what we've learnt. I personally don't like to read, so when I listen and sing again and again, I can remember it," said Vatisrat Sritong, a graduate of the karaoke method who is now a qualified nurse.

Since the university implemented the karaoke program in 2006, more than 200 hospitals and nursing schools around Thailand have taken up playing the cardiology albums in their classrooms.

Professors now plan to expand the range of subjects taught through karaoke in the near future.

Reporting by Prapan Chankaew; Writing by Miral Fahmy; Editing by David Fogarty

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