Should You Use Music in Your Classroom?
Should music be allowed in a classroom?
There's some debate on this question, as it can be a matter of personal preference. Some teachers can find it distracting while others may not want to put in the effort for what they see as white noise.
- Music trains the brain for higher forms of thinking.
- Did you know that listening to classical music exercise cortical neurons in your brain, strengthening circuits used for mathematics?
- Incorporating music can teach second languages faster and easier.
- ie) Frere Jacques
- Effective classroom management tool
- When used correctly, music can calm excitable children, maintain focus on tasks, and even raise energy/focus levels of lagging minds.
- Music creates an open and enjoyable atmosphere
- Silence can be oppressive and uncomfortable, whereas engaging sounds can trigger creativity and interest.
- Lyrics are distracting.
- It's true, if there are words, students won't be able to focus on their tasks.
- If it's too fast paced, it will wind them up.
- The tempo and style of the music has a lot to do with the energy level you're trying to attain. Playing upbeat music in the morning can wake the students up, while calm and mellow music in the afternoon can slow them down.
- Distraction to find that perfect song.
- Rather than fumble with the music, create a playlist beforehand so you won't need to correct the music every three minutes.
- Students will fight over the music
- If a student genuinely cannot focus with music playing, that's between yourself and the child to decide. However, any other fighting over the choice of music shouldn't be endured. It's a privilege, not a right.
As you can see, it has quite a case. It can be either distracting or a very useful tool, depending on how you use it.
If you do decide to begin using music as a tool, here are some easy tips:
- Bring your own ipod in. If you don't own one, use a free music station, such as Pandora, Spotify or Grooveshark.
- Select music without lyrics. Lyrics can distract attention away from learning.
- Create a playlist in advance, or have a good idea what you'd like to play. It should never be time consuming or need much attention throughout the day.
- Keep the volume low. This is not a dance party and you shouldn't have to scream over it!
- Go ahead and use it as a reward. Perhaps on a Friday, you'll allow the class to have a song of their choice for a reward for good behavior!
What do you think? Would you allow music in your classroom?