In the classroom there have been many occasions where I have intended to use music however, due to the pressures of delivering a high quality lesson,the music is quite often forgotten. This is a good time to remind myself and others that the inclusion of these technologies enhances not detracts from the quality of the lesson providing stimulation, calmness, and a connection to the tasks (providing the music is used constructively and appropriately).
During my time working in the childcare industry, prior to moving into education, music and song were used effectively to create an atmosphere of learning through words, actions, movements and listening. Children were able to connect with tasks (such as the alphabet, days of the week), transitioning and physical movement, responding in a positive and engaged way. Sometimes we choose to forget that students will also respond in the same positive way.
As mentioned in my previous YouTube Posting, the video 'Give me five - a song about healthy eating' was used to encourage physical movement in the classroom during a lengthy lesson. Not every class has the benefit of an Interactive Whiteboard, however music played from the CD player or the computer using a playlist is also effective. There are many uses for music in the classroom including introductory engagement, connection of topics and information, experiencing different culture, and physical movement (classroom comfort, dance, drama).
Recently my placement class developed video advertisements for a recycled toy they constructed, and this was shown at culminating day to parents. It would have been advantages for the students to have accessed a website called Incompetech and download a genre of royalty free music which complements their advertisement.
The playlist I have developed on this posting has been selected from the Incomputech Royalty Free Music Site, composed by Kevin MacLeod. I have chosen vocal free soothing music to play during lessons where students may others wise get distracted. When I think of engagement I usually think about the hook to a lesson, however I believe the incorporation of soothing music during some well chosen lessons can provide an atmosphere where students remain relaxed, on task and engaged in their work.
As one of Howard Gardner's major intelligence areas, music is valuable for its own sake as well as for what it can add to a lesson (Prescott, 2005). The infusion of music into the curriculum can ensure that the students who are inclined to learn through music (auditory learners) are receiving opportunities to maximise learning..
Prescott, J., (2005). Music in the Classroom. Retrieved 18th August, 2009, from: