Music is a defining part of the human experience. It’s good for our brains and our moods. It helps us remember things and inspires us to new ideas. It definitely belongs in your classroom. Even if you're not a music teacher, you can still bring music into your daily teaching...here are five quick ways to get started:
Listen to music to set a mood. Let students act out a math or science concept, or place students in ways that show the concept. Symmetry, for example, or the time references in tenses can be shown by placing students in the right spots. Have them develop a dance from that initial acting out.
Use music as a mnemonic. We remember better with rhythm and rhyme. Put your facts into raps, set them to familiar tunes, or use fingerplays to practice basic skills. Students will remember better.
Connect music with history. All music has a place in time, and most lessons include some reference to time. Listen to music from the historical period you’re studying, music the author of the book you’re reading might have heard, music written in response to the new era ushered in by the scientific breakthrough you’re learning about.
Experience music as poetry. Sing a song from the place in your geography study, and then learn more by studying the lyrics of the song.
Use music as examples. When you need an example for a lecture or discussion, choose a popular song your students might know. When you’re studying energy, use a musical instrument as an example of sound energy. Bring ballads into your discussions of history and literature. Enjoy your time in the classroom!
Not only does music encourage learning, pattern formation, and organization of information in the brain, it also lightens the mood in your classroom. Music lets you mix learning and pleasure.