Music can change the feel of a classroom and make learning more engaging for students of all ages. Using it in ways that benefit students the most is key. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to use music in the classroom that will make learning more fun and your teaching a lot easier.
We asked the veteran teachers in our group, Mrs. D’s VIPs, what their best tips were for using music in the classroom. As always, they had some fantastic ideas and were generous with their suggestions. Read their ideas below and check out the original post here.
Using Music in the Classroom
Give Your Brain a Break!
Learning is hard work, and it is essential to give students a chance to breathe and give their brains a break. Using music for brain breaks helps stimulate different areas of the brain and improves students’ moods before they need to concentrate again. When the songs are over, their brains are ready to learn.
Calm Down Corner
If you have a special area in your classroom where students can go to calm down or have a few minutes of quiet time, music is a beautiful addition to that space. Have a CD or an MP3 player uploaded with nature music playing. Headphones are a must, but they are worth the investment!
Everything from skip counting to learning the letters of the alphabet can be reinforced with music. YouTube is an excellent resource for finding learning songs, but it is important to preview them before playing them for your students.
Indoor Recess/Social Time
Some fun, kid-appropriate dance music is a fine alternative for indoor recess. It helps kids burn off some energy as they dance and releases those happy hormones that will make the rest of the day go more smoothly.
Background Music During Lessons
Having calming music playing while you are running small groups is another way to use music in the classroom effectively. Classical music or nature sounds are good choices for those times, but it really depends on your students.
For some students, the background music may be more distracting than not having any music playing at all. Take a poll of your students and see what works best for them. Playing music that distracts them is definitely not ideal.
Moving from one activity to another or from one class to another can be difficult for students. Music does a lot to make that transition easier. It is a good idea to use the same song so that students have consistency. If playing the same music all year is not appealing, change up the song every month or every week so that there is variety while still having some consistency.
Calendar Time/Morning Meeting
Starting the day with upbeat, uplifting music is a great way to set the tone for the day. It makes kids smile and lets them know that the day is about to start. Concept songs related to the months of the year or days of the week can also be incorporated into this time.
No matter how you use music in the classroom, make sure that it is appropriate and conveys the mood you are trying to establish. Music can transform your classroom if you give it a chance!
How do you use music in the classroom? Share with us below! We’d love to know how you make it work for you!