Last week we talked about a book that could change your classroom management dramatically. Well, today I am going to share another powerful, addition that can greatly impact your behavior management as well. The power of using music in the classroom!
Music was one of my favorite things to add to my classroom that dramatically changed the mood. If you were to walk into my classroom, nine times out of ten you would hear SOME type of music being played.
Music in the classroom can be powerful.
Have you ever listened to a song and it can either bring you down if it is a sad song or lift you up? If I need a pick-me-up I know exactly what type of music to listen to that will do just that. When I am working out, I know the kind of music that will keep me going. If I am in a bad mood, I know what music to play to help me work through it. Music affects us everyday and if we aren’t incorporating it into our classroom, we are doing a disservice to our students and ourselves.
Where do you get this music?
Y’all… Pandora should be your best friend. I had Pandora open on my computer all day. If you didn’t know this already, they customize stations for you and they do it well. I also have Apple music. I tried using it (for the benefit of no commercials) but the customization just isn’t up to par with Pandora.
Best Stations for Music in the Classroom:
Disney (Children’s) Radio
Anthem Lights Radio
Ludwig van Beethoven Radio
Radio for Kids
Classical Music Medley Radio
How I used these effectively:
Before the bell rang, I would start Disney Radio. Disney has SUCH good, upbeat, happy-go-lucky songs that ALL your students probably know. As they walk into the classroom they are greeted with these songs and put in a better mood. Usually I would catch 4-5 of them singing along while putting their backpacks away and getting ready for the day. Instant mood lifter.
When announcements began all music would be shut off. As soon as they were over I began playing Beethoven very softly in the background. It was sooo soothing. Anytime we were working, Beethoven or Mozart was playing.
If we needed a brain break we would sometimes listen to a song on Radio for Kids which is basically children’s covers of famous songs playing on the radio (Kidz Bop).
After lunch, I always had a 10 minute rest time. During this I played Classical Music Medley. These were all famous covers of songs that were just instrumental. It is probably one of my favorite stations to listen to on my own still.
During learning center time (which was more play based) I would play Anthem Lights or Radio for kids. Anthem Lights mostly plays slow-downed covers of popular songs.
Tips for using music in the classroom
- Be mindful of the situation. If your students are writing, you probably shouldn’t be playing the Trolls soundtrack. Sure it is fun but it is going to make them a bit fidgety because they are going to want to jump out of their chairs and DANCE!
- Don’t make it too loud. You shouldn’t have to be talking louder than your normal voice while the music is playing. Allow it to be a background noise, not background chaos.
- Pay attention to the cues of your students. You don’t want to be playing something someone absolutely hates… think about if you were forced to listen to music you thought was awful. I don’t know about you, but I would be pretty annoyed.
- Remember that some music could be a trigger for kiddos with autism. Make notes and assess everything going on around you when introducing new music.
Music will change things
Once you get into the groove of what you and your students like, you will definitely see a shift in behavior. Like I said, we all know music can affect a mood. Once you get into the habit of using music for different results, you will LOVE the changes it makes in your classroom.
So tell me, do you already use music in your classroom? Share with us the type of music you use and the outcomes you have had!!