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Using Music in the Classroom

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When and how to use music in the classroom is a great debate. Here are some solutions from fantastic teachers.
Music in the classroom
Posted by:JES #24954

I have some CDs that are classical music, "Tune Your Brain with Mozart" and "Bach for Book Lovers" are two titles that come to mind. They are supposed to stimulate brain activity. We always listen to classical music before standardized testing. I rarely play music while students are working because some are distracted by it. Sometimes if we are working on a project that requires some doing but not a lot of serious concentration, I put some music on. I NEVER play music while testing. I also NEVER just turn on the radio because I can't trust what the DJs will say these days.

I went to a workshop to hear a motivational speaker, Spence Rogers. He was great! Everything he said and did was based on research. He played music as workshop participants came into the room and found seats, etc. The music Spence...

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Music to Teach By
Posted by:CP #118634

I know not too long ago, some of us posted idea for using music in our classrooms. I for one...use music ALL the time! I listen to music differently now that I use it for teaching purposes...especially now that I have an iPod and use it in the classroom!

So anyway, my husband and I were listening to music while making dinner and I got a GRAND idea...different songs for different lessons...

Here are a few we came up with:

The group - ELO: Turn to Stone - Teaching geology!
???: I Feel the Earth Move - Earthquakes!
???: You Spin Me Round - Circles!
Carly Simon - You're So Vain - Biographies!
??? - American Pie - War!
2 Unlimited - Get Ready For This - Getting ready for the next activity!
??? - Let's Go - Get ready...

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Posted by:Rachel #79108

I actually teach a college class on Music in the Classroom as well as teach 5th grade so I definitely believe music is important in the classroom. I really recommend finding the Nature CD's that have sounds on them accompanied by music. These are very relaxing for the students to listen to. As students enter in the morning, I often play march music by John Philip Sousa to help wake them up since they seem "dead." I use classical music, jazz, etc. to try to expose them to other styles of music that they may not be familiar with. It has been amazing for my students to realize how much classical music they really know because they have heard it on commercials or in movies. A great resource is your local library because they usually have TONS of CD's that you can check out for free and that way you can...

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music in the classroom
Posted by:Misty #38761

When we are working on something that takes great concentration, I play classical music or nature sounds. There are some great ones out there. My kids really like one called Solo Guitar that I got from Target. Target has a display set up with this kind of music, and you can preview it all right there. When we are doing something "projecty" that doesn't require too much deep thought I play James Taylor. It's good, but it doesn't hype the kids up. Also Enya is kind of flexible. The only time I don't play music is during a test. Next year I am thinking of putting a waterfall in my classroom. Either a real one or a picture of one with sounds. Hope some of this helps, sorry I rambled so long. E-mail me if you have any questions

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Posted by:RitaFirstGrade #76893

I LOVE playing music in my classroom. Sometimes I will play soft instumental music to calm the room and at other times I will play upbeat songs. My kids LOVED the Finding Nemo CD. It has some fun beach-themed instrumentals, and also had some fun songs with words as well. I played CDs like that when the kids were working on a simple coloring/painting project or something that doesn't require alot of thinking. They loved to "dance" in their seats as they listened to the music and worked on their project. I also have a Greg and Steve CD that has movement songs on it, such as "Shadow Dancing" and "Animal Action". If the kids were restless and I could tell they needed 5 minutes to stretch and have fun, I would play one of those songs....

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Love music in the classroom
Posted by:de'anna #117749

I've played music in the classroom for over ten years. My favorite to play, is the December cd by George Winston. It is very mellow piano music. Most of the kids like it after they've heard it a few times. I've also played mellow pop music, the stuff you'd hear on the radio, with classes that could handle it and like it. In my daughter's 5th grade class a couple of years ago, the teacher played classic jazz and said the kids really liked it.

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music in the classroom
Posted by:Rebecca #38760

I let my kids listen to any kind of classical music. Usually Bach or...I can't remember what his name is but he played "Four Seasons." I teach 3rd grade and at first I thought they'd laugh me out of the classroom, but I have several students ask me to turn the music on when I forget. They love it and it seems to help some of the kids concentrate. Hope this helps.

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music in the classroom
Posted by:Michelle #38762

I teach 6th grade and I always have music on when they are doing independent work. My goal for this year was to "widen their horizons" and I played everything under the sun - Frank Sinatra, John Denver, Count Basie, Elvis, Broadway musicals - I could go on - they absolutely love it. I have a CD that I burned that has "Cheesburger in Paradise", "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green, "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" By Barry White and the Copacabana by Barry Manilow - the kids know all the words and they love to sing along. I know that classical is probably better for their minds, but I also think that variety is the spice of life! Have fun!

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music ideas
Posted by:CAM #93143

Here are some things I have done over the years:
1. music of different nations/regions - the very different sounds of India, China, US, Brazil, for example.
2. music in history: try some World War I or II music - purposes of songs, such as to encourage enlistment, reassure families, poke fun at enemy, etc. I have lists of song suggestions.
3. music in psychology - "brain" music, effects of loud rock with mega-bass, Mozart's effect on brain activity. How music calms, excites, brings out different emotions.
4. compare the music of the 1920s, or 1940s to today's music. Some old stuff was fairly naughty.
5. use "We didn't Start the Fire" - it's a history of the 1950s-1980s. We made a timeline with pictures from the internet for each thing Billy Joel mentions. Also, writing new verses for other decades. My world history classes even...

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Posted by:Grace #21796

I play loads of different kinds of music. I also have a celtic music CD and one from the same series is of instrumental Beatles music mixed with water sounds and bird sounds. It is very calming. These CDs are actually made in Canada and you would see them in gift shops where you can go and press a button to hear extracts from each CD. I also use bits of Carnival of the animals by Saint Saens, the swan for calming,Fossils for Halloween music and the elephant for low, slow sounds. I also find that children enjoy Strauss marches and waltzes, particularly Blue Danube and the Radetzky March. But if you want something to liven up a lethargic lot and bring a smile to everyone's face then look for music by the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra. I really like one called Cead Mile Failte ( a...

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Posted by:Abby #24995

Hi. Last year, we always had music on. I usually played piano music by George Winston or some of the other classics like the others mentioned. Music became a part of our QUIET Free Writing Time. Our motto, "When the music starts, the voices stop." I would also check out cultural music from the public library. My kids especially love Japanese Meditation music during writing. The library had so many styles/cultural music and I made sure to get music from all the cultures represented in our class and many that were not. Some of my kids were surprised how they really enjoyed music from other cultures. And of course at times, we did play "Who Let The Dogs Out" (usually Friday afternoons to wind down the week---we all would dance and have fun). Check out music stores with a used CD/Tape section. The relaxing , quiet type music is...

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Posted by:Leslie #24955

I teach fourth grade also, and use classical music on a daily basis. The music is constantly on all day, but I turn the volume to "mute" when I am talking/teaching and while others are presenting projects to the class. I leave it on for morning work, writing, morning meeting, math work, group work, snack, end of day, independent reading time (SSR), you name it! My kids really enjoy it, and even bring in their own CD's to listen to! Mind you, the volume is never overly loud, and my students know they can turn it down if it is causing a distraction...none have done this! Some of my favorites include Baby Needs Bach, Beethoven for Babies, Mozart Effect for Children, Baby's First Classic, Vivaldi, etc. During clean up time we listen to disco (which the kids know and love) and also new popular...

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