In our classroom music serves a variety of purposes. Most commonly I use music to help with transitions. The following songs inform the kids of what they need to do, and I don’t have a say a thing. When they hear the “2 Minute Warning Song” they know to find a good stopping point, finish a sentence, place their bookmarks and mentally prepare themselves for a new activity.
- “2 Minute Warning Song” (A Quai by Yann Tierson from the Amelie soundtrack)
- “3 Minute Warning Song” (Heartbeats by Jose Gonzalez)
- “Clean Up Song” (Vianne Sets Up Shop by Rachel Portman from the Chocolat soundtrack)
Music also helps us focus. While students read, write, work on math or other projects, I put on a playlist that fits the mood. I, personally, enjoy music playing in the background. I find it lends a rhythm or cadence to my work, helping me reach a state of flow. The music in our room also encourages an appropriate amount of conversation. Talking is often a part of the creative process, however, it shouldn’t overpower the music or the task at hand.
What are we listening to?
All of my music comes from my husband who is a music junky. Lately I have been collecting instrumental music with a hint of electronica or rhythm. Here are a few examples of the tunes we have been listening to:
Recently I have been diversifying my music collection, adding African artists (Toumani Diabate, Amadou & Mariam, and Ali Farka Toure) as well as Cuban artists (Buena Vista Social Club and Compay Segundo). But yesterday, a parent shared a fantastic idea: children could suggest songs to add to our classroom playlist! I love this idea. Thus, next week I will invite the students to help me grow my music selection with the songs they like.
How do you feel about music in the classroom? What are you listening to?
- The Power of Music in Preschool Education (brighthub.com)
- Using Music in Education to Teach Movement in Drama Class (brighthub.com)