I love music. I love all types of music–alternative, rock, country, Broadway showstoppers, the list goes on. I believe that music has the power to uplift and motivate the human spirit. I also use it to connect with my students on a more personal basis; if I know the latest and greatest hits, then it opens the avenue to deeper conversations about the history of songs and importance of monitoring what we watch and listen to. While teaching middle school American History can be challenging, it is also very rewarding when you make a difference in a child’s day or even better, future choices.
On the first day of school, I always greet my new kiddos with a bucket of candy and fun music. I want students to have a desire to come to school and own their education, so sometimes we have to let our hair down in the classroom.
I use two different types of music in my classroom. The first type is relaxing and used during tests. The kids have come to expect a nice, calm tune to be played during an exam. I always ask the students for their input on the volume. Sometimes they beg to have “music with words,” but during a test this is not recommended. Below are some great Pandora stations that play relaxing, test-taking music.
On the other hand, I like to make Fridays a special day in my class. We start the day with some upbeat music while the students complete their class starters. Of course, the music is turned off when we start class discussions, but as soon as we resume group work, I let the music continue. The following are some great Pandora stations. As always, monitor the lyrics.
This year I will be kicking it up a notch on Fridays with a LED Party Light! I will be using my new Disco light for our fun music on Fridays, birthdays, and other occasions that deserve celebration. The light has a lifespan of more than 10,000 hours, so that’s a lot of partying! But my favorite feature is that it has the ability to sync to music and strobe following the beat. Remember to be sure no one in your class is sensitive to strobe lights.
How do you use music in your classroom?
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