I’m a huge advocate for bringing music and the arts into the classroom wherever possible. I think there is a significant benefit to students as well as making the classroom a more welcoming and enjoyable space. My personal favourite is to have classical music playing quietly in the background. Students respond differently to music. One year playing music in the morning might be a great way to welcome students and get them excited for the day, while with a different group of students it could wire them up and be a distraction. Teachers know their students and what works for them. Here is a list of ten ways you can bring music into your classroom:
1. Atmosphere: Play classical music during quiet reading time or seat work.
2. Discover: Feature a different genre or style of music each week for students. Incorporate writing practice by having them write a listening review.
3. Remember: Have students create songs to remember definitions, acronyms, or order of operations.
4. Dance: Use music to have a minute or two of activity as a brain break to get the wiggles out of antsy students.
5. Explore: Bring music into the history or geography classroom by playing musical selections from a particular time period or location.
6. Think: Play different styles of music and have students write about which emotions they associate with each.
7. Motivate: have a selection of inspirational music clips on hand. Play them when students are handing in work. The right soundtrack can make handing in a simple quiz feel like finishing a marathon.
8. Stimulate: have some upbeat music playing when students enter the classroom on a sleepy rainy morning to wake them up and get them ready for a fun day of learning.
9. Attention: use rhythmic clapping beats or call and response songs to get students attention and bring them to active listening prior to making an announcement or giving directions.
10. Create: encourage students to bring music into their own work. Whether it be a drama performance, presentation, or study group, music can be a great addition to many projects.