Music in the Classroom

I don't know about you, but I don't do silence. It makes me anxious. Seriously anxious. I know that many people picture a classroom with students working independently and silently, but that was never what our classroom looked like. Unless of course it was state testing time, and then again, there was the anxiety. 
Music in the Classroom-Ways to incorporate music into your classroom to support the learning environment.
Our classroom was always full of talking, movement, and music. I ALWAYS had it playing in the background or integrated it into an activity. I would like to share some of my favorite music sources as well as a few way that I used it. 

First, a few things that I know about music:

  • I have never met anyone that wasn't affected by music. 
  • Music can change your mood in a split second. 
  • A resting heartbeat is 60 beats per minute and music can match that. 
  • Hearing the same song, at the same time is an AMAZING way to build routine. 
  • There is countless research linking music to academic achievement. 

Now, my favorite music for the classroom.

I LOVE YouTube playlists. They let you build your own list of music that you would like to listen to, or find playlists from others. 
My absolute favorite channel for the classroom is Vitamin String Quartet. They play instrumental versions of popular songs. I love this for a couple of reasons. The first being that sometimes you, and your students, just want to listen to a song that you have stuck in your head. The second being that students love current music, and don't like the instrumental versions any less. I feel much safer playing an instrumental version of a pop song than the original, even if the lyrics are completely clean. I think the best part may be hearing my students sing along to their favorite songs.

This music is perfect for when you are working on something that is going to be a little on the noisy side. I will turn it on and let students know that if we can't hear the music we will have to have some volume control. It works like a charm every time!

This one is my favorite! 
                         
Here's a great Buzzfeed Article with more greats by Vitamin String Quartet!

There are several other great instrumental artists, so I would recommend looking around for one that suits your taste best!

Music for Independent Work

Resting heart beat is sixty beats per minute, so in order to bring a calming mood to the classroom playing music that is also sixty beats per minute will do the trick. I would again recommend going with instrumental over something with lyrics, but that is really up to you. 
Music in the Classroom-Ways to incorporate music into your classroom to support the learning environment.
A simple search of "60 beats per minute music" on YouTube yields thousands of results of quality music. This is really nice, because it provides a great variety. If you wanted to, you could listen to a different one each day and never hear the same music again.

Music to Build Routine

I love to use music to build routine within the classroom as well. For example. I would play the same song every day after recess. It gave students about three minutes to get a drink, put anything they need to away, and be ready to get to work. In the beginning, it took some structure to make sure that this happened, but by about week three it was automatic. 

Music in the Classroom-Ways to incorporate music into your classroom to support the learning environment.Another example is packing up at the end of the day. I played the the song above, Home, each day while students packed up, cleaned up, and lined up to go home. It brought such serenity to the end of the day which is usually a very hectic time. BONUS: I got to hear 22 fourth graders sing and whistle along each afternoon, how could I not smile. 

Music to Reward 

Oh my goodness what a student will do to hear their favorite song! I had one friend last year that would do just about anything to listen to Shake It Off, and I was more than happy to oblige him. We also use music to have "3 Minute Dance Parties" for whole class rewards. I usually have a list of songs (Vitamin String Quartet and Kidz Bop) that they can choose from for either an individual reward or class reward. Not going to lie, I loved dancing right along with them! 


***I know what some of you are thinking, I can't get to YouTube at school. I hope that more districts are realizing the academic advantages of access to YouTube, but if not, I would recommend selecting a few of your favorites and saving them as MP3s to your computer from home to bring in. I have also purchased a few CDs at second hand shops of music with 60 beats per minute, just so that I would always have them on hand.

2 comments:

  1. This is excellent! I'm a pediatric occupational therapist that works in schools and this was an informative post I can share with teachers!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is excellent! I'm a pediatric occupational therapist that works in schools and this was an informative post I can share with teachers!

    ReplyDelete

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