What if I told you that you could reduce your classroom behavior problems, improve student’s retention of information and attitudes, and do it all with five minutes of prep time? Most of you would answer, “No way would THAT work!”. The solution is MUSIC! OK, you’re not convinced. Stop right now and say your ABC’s out loud. I’ll wait. I bet you smiled and sang them, didn’t you? Most people do because the two are intertwined and stored in the brain together. Let’s see how you can make music work for you.
Music can cue students to wake up and get ready for the day, or calm down and focus on tasks. Music has been shown to improve student’s behavior and increase concentration leading to better test scores in math and reading. Music can also be a great addition to your “text set” to enhance the unit you are teaching. If you are studying the Colonial period, you could add Yankee Doodle as an example of popular culture of the time. Just like the ABC’s, you can put key ideas to music for better memory. You can make up your own or borrow from the Internet. Have your students make up a rap or parody a pop song to show mastery of a unit. Mr. Paar’s science songs are great for remembering science facts. My own 8th grade daughter still sings the RUNNER’s song from 3rd grade (Read the title and box it in, Underline the key words before you begin…) And remember, your music teacher has great resources to share. So, pick some music and get started.
Written by: Mary Ella Sharpe