The best classroom tools are quite often the simplest. Music is one of them.
It’s scientifically proven that music makes you happier, lowers stress, and helps you learn and recall information better. It can also enhance children’s ability to understand words and explain their meaning, so why not use this powerful resource in the classroom?
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”
If you’re not sure how to incorporate a musical interlude or two into your teaching routine, then here are a few suggestions:
Brain breaks – These should be an important aspect of classroom life. They help restore pupils focus, attention and memory. GoNoodle is a great site for providing musical brain breaks or just use a track of your choosing to let the kids have some time out.
Transition times – Switching from one activity to the next, coming in from playtime and other transitional times can often be the catalyst for unwanted behaviours. Playing calming music as your class move around will have a positive impact on how they act.
Classroom rewards – Whether the Star of the Day gets to choose a song at home time or the whole class is rewarded with a sing-along at the end of each week, music can be a great way to promote good behaviour.
To start and end the day – Set the tone for the rest of the day as your class arrive. You could choose a song or piece of music connected to the days topic or activities or simply play something really powerful to get them fired up for the lesson.
As a timer – Whether it’s tidy up time or to finish an activity a song can make the perfect timer. Your class has until the end of the piece of music to have the task completed.
During topic work – Music can be used to evoke feelings during writing sessions and help them to articulate their thoughts to get them on the paper. You could create playlists for different lessons depending on the topic.
Broaden their taste – Playing a variety of music in the classroom exposes your class to a range of music that they may not otherwise listen to. Maybe music from another era, or a piece from another culture or country. Help them to discover something different.
Promote positivity – An uplifting piece of music can lift your mood too. Have the children listen to the lyrics and discuss how it makes them feel. Hearing lyrics from musical artists can really help to reinforce messages about bullying, body image and other important issues.
Looking for a bit of musical inspiration? Here are a few of our favourite songs that are child friendly, fun and inspiring. When searching for songs make sure you’ve listened all the way through to ensure it’s the clean version, so you don’t get any flack from parents.
Jamie Cullum – Work of Art
The Script – Hall of Fame
Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten
Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Pharrell – Happy
The Jackson 5 – ABC
Stevie Wonder – Faith
Keala settle – This Is Me