July 19, 2012

Music in the Classroom? Yes please!

I used to think that when kids said that music helped them concentrate [i.e. can I listen to my iPod while we work], that they were incorrect. Well....I may have been mistaken. Apparently music can help you concentrate. What the kids were not correct about was the type of music. You see, there are different types of music for different activities that will best help the students.

Come In Song:
The Come In Song is a song you play as the students are entering the classroom. I also use this as my warm-up song; by the time the song is over, the warm-up has to be completed. For periods in the morning or before lunch, when the kids are barely awake, you'll want an upbeat and positive song to wake them up. This year, I'm going to use "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". I am using this song for a few reasons. One-It's upbeat and not too long. Two-it's the song they played as our Come In song at the QLN conference. This song reminds me of a time when I was stoaked about learning and excited about making my classroom better. So this song will put me in a great mood in the mornings too!

Now, if your after lunch class is CRAZY because they just ate Hot Cheetos and a Mountain Dew or Red Bull, you might want to try a more low key Come In song to set the mood. It doesn't have to be classical music, but just something to let them know that they have a few minutes to simmer down and get ready to learn. I don't have a song for this yet, so if someone has an idea, let me know!

Classwork Music:
This music should be neither too slow nor too fast, and should not have lyrics. The reason we don't want lyrics while they're working is because...? You got it...they'll start singing along instead of working. My amazing instructor at QLN, Amy Smith, uses instrumental guitar music with sort of a Latin feel. She recommends checking out Nightmares on Wax, they have a great variety of instrumentals on their CD.

Testing Music:
Now is where we sort of bring in the classical music. The best genre of music for testing is Baroque music. These songs generally have 60-80 beats per minute, which is a great, focusing rate for your body to be at for an optimal testing experience. This music though, needs to be barely audible. We want them focusing on the material, not the music. But having the music in the background will bring a great calm to the atmosphere of the classroom.

If you type in 'Baroque Music' into Google, a ton of sites will pop up with songs that will work. I currently have:
  • Pachelbel's Canon in D
  • Bach Brandenburg Concerto 3
  • Six Duets Op. 82 for two flutes
Here is a link to a YouTube video playlist of a bunch of Baroque songs. You could just put that on your computer and let it play...easy!
I will be adding more because listening to three songs on a loop four times a day gets VERY boring :)

If you teachers have any other good ideas or sites for music, let me know! I'd love to add some songs to my playlist!

Enjoy the music!
Ms. W

1 comment:

  1. I love this idea! I use Pandora in the classroom while the students are testing and working on individual assignments.