Music in the Everyday Classroom
Another school has come and gone and I feel like I have settled into the rhythm that is school. I have been trying this year to be a little kinder to myself by allowing myself time to do the things I like to do. With that in mind, I am very proud to say that I have made it to the gym 3 times this week! I was aiming for 4, but 3 is good. I have also tried to relax for a while when I get home from school before doing the usual cook dinner, get the washing in, do more washing routine. I have also been fairly successful at this, but could do better!
As a Music teacher, I use Music in the classroom everyday. This is either as performing or listening in our course of study. However, a lot of times that I use music it is more as a tool to get the students to do what I want them to do. There are many studies out there that tell us that music is an effective tool and the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. So below are some of the ways I use music in my classroom.
Depending on the topic we are studying, I use music from that area of study as background music when students are completing written activities. I find that music that is not too fast or too slow works best, I also find that instrumental version of songs is a lot less distracting to the students. Once upon a time I would create endless CD’s with the tracks on them that I wanted to use, I would lose them, then create more. Today I insert the music files into my PDF classroom versions of what we are studying. This way it is a simple click on the board, and the music starts. One song I love to play when students are writing spelling words is “ABC” by the Jackson Five. Another well played CD collection is a set I bought from one of those cheap shops for a couple of dollars, it is a Relaxation collection of songs that include natural sound effects and long tracks of approximately 6-10 minutes each. I find that the length of songs i very important because I cue the students that when the music stops they should be finished their work, and this does work to get students to complete work in a timely fashion.
I train my students to know that when they hear certain music it is time for a particular type of activity. One of my favourites is to play “Hit the Road Jack” when I want the students to pack up and return to their seats. Another one I like to play when they need a hurry up to clean up after an activity is the “1812 Overture” or the “William Tell Overture”, they know that when the music stops they should be all cleaned up and returned to their seats, (I also teach Visual Arts).
When my students are working on group tasks I play a lot of Bach’s Music. In fact the research states that most music from the Baroque era has the right tempo and melodic structure that encourages a good working environment. Sometimes though a I get a little bit cheeky with them and play music like “Yakety Yak”, or “Tell me Something Good”. I like to do whole class Kagan style activities such as Inside/Outside Circle and Walk/Freeze/Group. When doing the Inside/Outside circle I like to play “IT Takes Two”, “Hello”, “Hey Good Lookin’ ” and “A Little Less Conversation”. While playing Walk/ Freeze/Group I play “Walk This Way”, “Walk Right In”, “Good Vibrations” and “I’m Walking”.
In know that there are a lot more ways to use music in the classroom, but I know that I use these strategies everyday, in every lesson!
Sorry no pictures today :(, have a great week.
Julia from Jooya