Using Music in the classroom

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Sci, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Sci

    Sci New Member

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    Jul 24, 2011

    Does anyone regularly play music in their classrooms? When do you use it, what type of music do you play and where do you get it?

    I would like to use music during my warm-ups. Another teacher at my school uses current music, but I an nervous about using a song that might be "inappropriate" even though it doesn't have foul language. I have heard of teachers using classical music, but I can see some students complaining about it, especially if they leave ELA listening to Lady Gaga and come to my class and hear Beethoven.

    The goal would be to focus students and keep them quiet as they listen to the music and work on their warm-up.
     
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  3. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Jul 24, 2011

    I use relaxation music in my room for DEAR time and writing. I found a few of those soundscape CD's at Walmart.
     
  4. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    I am lucky in teaching HIstory because I can easily tie music into what we are learning. So yes we listen to Beethoven, Greogorian Chants (which my students love btw), Baroque, jazz, operas, bluegrass, swing, etc . . . I wouldn't worry about what your students are listening to in other classes. Exposure to all types of music is a good thing :)
     
  5. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Much like INteacher, as an American lit teacher, I use music from the time period we are studying quite frequently. I almost ALWAYS have music playing when the kids are working independently. The silence makes me edgy. :)
     
  6. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Jul 24, 2011

    I had a class of 4 last year and the silence during quiet activities was maddening. There just weren't enough bodies in the room to create a productive buzz. So, I played soft instrumental music, usually jazz. If the activity didn't require concentration, I'd play easy rock/blues. I actually think music helps the students quiet their impulse to chat during individual activities, like writing.
     
  7. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2011

    I play music during some activities. I use Pandora to pull music from. Sometimes I will be nice and play their specific requests, but it has to be something I can tolerate as well. I play lots of 80s music, country, and even opera and classical guitar. The volume is kept pretty low so students have to also keep their tone down to hear. Funniest student request: bagpipes. Yep, Pandora had it.
     
  8. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I frequently use Pandora to play music during work time. I have a channel of movie music that works great for 'background noise.'
     
  9. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Jul 24, 2011

    One day a first grade student of mine came to school with an Eminiem lunchbox.

    After that, I decided there would be nothing wrong with using my authority as a teacher to influence the music tastes of six year olds.

    So I've played a lot of U2, Arcade Fire, classic jazz (Coltrane, Davis, Mingus etc.) and even punk like Ramones and Green Day. The latter is, of course, carefully vetted for lyrical content. I play nothing to which I have not listened closely.

    I do not play anything I do not like myself. So no country or classical. Sorry.
     
  10. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 24, 2011

    I use upbeat oldies (50s and 60s) for classroom management.

    I use movie scores (ones the kids feel good about - ET, Superman, etc) for silent work.

    The rule is: No music, Ms. Chebrutta talks; music with words, students talk; and music with no words, students work silently.

    Every thing is on my iPod in a separate playlist so there are no surprises.
     
  11. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I like the rules, chebrutta!
     
  12. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    I play a variety of music classical, jazz, rock, pop. I also have instrumental version of pop & rap songs. At the beginning of the quarter I have students list their favorite "old" and new songs. (I like to play their songs, especially on Fridays. It's also a nice compromise...you listen to my songs & I'll listen to yours.) I check ALL lyrics. Occasionally something slips through...but I'm usually pretty quick at catching it. (I about died of embarrassment though last year when the word "sex" in the Lazy song by Bruno Mars slipped through. I knew the song; heard it on the radio often. However, little did I know that the radio didn't have the word "sex" in their version). :blush: I apologized to the class. They found my shock of it amusing. :D
     
  13. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    I, too, like your rules.

    I use music for transitions, during group work, to set a mood, etc. I even have a selection made up of approximately 40-60 seconds of several types of music that I use for a writing lesson on word choice, mood/tone. They listen to the piece and have to write anything that comes to mind - certain emotions, visions, colors, etc. Afterwards, we share our lists and then segue into talking about how authors use words to make the readers part of the stories. And it goes on from there.

    I've even played music and just had the kids get up and dance their excess energy away. Not all of them dance, but everyone has to stand and there are always those students who like the spotlight, really get into acting crazy, and get many of the others to follow. It is a good tension releaser.
     
  14. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I play all kinds of music during student work time...classical, jazz,rock, etc. Kids love it.
     
  15. LiteratureLover

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    Jul 26, 2011

    I like the idea of playing music in the classroom! I use music a lot with lessons. Students always love it.
     
  16. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    I just took my husband's old ipod that wont hold a charge anymore and loaded it with all my instrumental music (Gary Jess, George Winston, Missa Jounichi and the like).
    I have a player in my room that charges while it plays.

    I even set a new play list of "good morning" songs to play as the students enter the room and prepare for the day. Hopefully as the last song on the list ends, the kids will be in their seats with their backpacks put away and pencils sharpened etc.
     
  17. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Btw, I was able to get 3 iPod Shuffles for our English classrooms through Donor's Choose! :)
     
  18. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Aug 28, 2011

    I love this idea, can you all post some more specific song titles that you use? Or album titles?
     
  19. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    If you look at the research, classical music is fantastic for the brain and will greatly help your students! You can try googling the Mozart Effect to find details. The research is finding that listening to classical music such as Mozart will relieve stress, improve communication and increase efficiency. Creativity scores soar when listening to Mozart. Music activates the whole brain and makes you feel more energetic. They're also finding that using music effectively will help calm students with ADHD or children that are autistic. It also helps with retention of the material being studied. It certainly seems worth a try!
     
  20. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I'm going to try music this year.
     
  21. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    The music I use either relates to the theme I'm teaching or the time period. :)
     
  22. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Hard to do in science, so I'm trying to think of good playlists. I have some movie soundtracks, whale sounds, some classical though not much since I mostly listen to opera and not instrumental.
     
  23. teach'ntx

    teach'ntx Comrade

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    Aug 29, 2011

    My second graders were shocked last week when I played the a CD of the London Symphony. Then they asked for it again. I also play some Andrew Lloyd Weber (but I have to be careful of which ones).
    My new favorite is one I picked up in WI this summer Tom Pease. He has a folk sound and most of them are about learning. We sing "How do I know? I learned it in a book" almost daily before our reading section. It is so fun to hear them humming those words through out the day!!!
     
  24. ScubaSteve

    ScubaSteve Rookie

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    I would never use music in my class. I don't see how in any sense this could improve student learning. They're already plugged into their iPods every minute they aren't in class. I don't need to feed their addiction. Plus, nothing I could play would please everyone, unless it seriously displeased me.

    If it is a short clip tying into a lesson and it is analyzed, fine. But during work time just for leisure, no way.
     
  25. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 20, 2011

    I wouldn't say that playing music during work time is "just for leisure". There's quite a bit of evidence that supports the belief that playing certain kinds of music (particularly music that has a certain number of beats per minute, but I don't remember specifics) at a low volume during work time triggers areas of the brain to wake up and become more active.

    I also think that music can be a great bridge for connecting new material to prior knowledge and past experiences. You can use "anchor songs" to establish and maintain a strong and productive classroom climate. You can put new information into song format.

    Music doesn't have to please everyone. When I play music during worktime, I play a little Morrissey, which I love but they hate. :haha: The fact is that I notice that they get a little less spacey when there's music playing, whatever kind of music it is. In my experience, music works.

    Many, many, many of our students gravitate towards music. Why not use that to our advantage?
     

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