Music is a powerful teaching tool! Multiple studies highlight the benefits of using music for kids of all ages. Here are easy ways you can improve your classroom environment with music. These ideas can be tweaked to fit any grade level!
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Integrating Music in the Elementary Classroom
Should you let students listen to music in the classroom? Well, that depends! Of course, it’s going to be hard if you imagine every student wearing headphones and jamming away to their own individual tunes!
That’s not what this post is about.
There are multiple benefits of using music in the classroom with whole group activities. Incorporating music into your routines and procedures doesn’t requires tons of time or money.
Plus, music can transform your classroom environment in an instant! Here are simple ways to show you how.
Train Students to Transition with Music
Transitions in classrooms can eat up precious instructional time if students lose control and get off task.
One simple way to improve your classroom environment is to choose quick and simple tunes as signals for transitions.
For example, while students are cleaning up from their literacy centers, play the Mission Impossible theme music or some other catchy tune. Train students to have all materials put away by the time the music ends.
Teach Multiplication Facts Using Music
Another wonderful way to use music as a teaching tool is with multiplication facts! Let’s try a popular nursery rhyme like Row, Row, Row Your Boat.
Get the tune in your head real quick…
Now, let’s use that musical tune to practice our 3’s multiplication facts:
3, 6, 9, and 12, 15 and 18. 21, 24, 27, 30 and 33, 36
See how the tune of a simple song applies so well learning the multiples of 3? By singing the numbers to a familiar tune, students are introduced to another way of practicing their math facts.
Now imagine the power of learning ALL multiplications facts with music!
Improve Your Classroom Environment Through Soothing Sounds
Calming, soothing music in the classroom helps students to wind down quickly after high-movement activities.
Using music in this way prevents you from yelling at your students in order to get their attention.
In my classroom, I have my computer set on smooth jazz or classical music through my Amazon Music program right after recess and lunch.
My students are extra wiggly after playing outside, so having the soothing music playing in the background as they walk in my class helps BIG time in getting them to settle down.
Not only does soothing music help with the whole class, but it specifically improves the environment for anyone with anxiety.
Playing relaxing music in the classroom leads to amazing results for kids and teachers with challenging social-emotional sensitivities.
Integrate Music As Classroom Timers
Telling students “You have 2 minutes left.” honestly doesn’t work well! Some students have a strong sense of accurate timing, but most do not.
Instead, use musical tunes as timers and cues to help students gauge how much time they have for an activity.
Just as you would train your kiddos to transition between activities using music, you can train them to complete certain tasks by the time the music finishes.
For example, I love playing SCOOT games in my classroom. Some students finish their question quickly, while others need more time. So I train my students with popular theme songs playing in the background. Playing something fun like the Jeopardy tune–becomes an alert to help students know when to switch during our SCOOT games.
Play Zumba or Other Dance Music for Indoor Recess
Yes, it hits almost every teacher at some point! Rainy days!
Depending on where you live and teach, there could also be other environmental factors that cause you to have indoor recess. No matter the reason, integrating music during this time is a great option!
My favorite way to use music for indoor recess is with GoNoodle. no affiliate
Using fun music like Zumba dance songs energizes students and gets them moving, which gets their blood flowing too, leading to increased focus later.
That is another way to improve your classroom environment with music.
Mapping Out Your Music Plan
Hopefully one or more of these teaching tips triggered ideas for how you can use music as an effective tool in your classroom.
Here are additional resources to help you map out your music plan:
Hi! Can you list more of the songs/tunes that you use in your classroom?
I use a lot of instrumental songs that are smooth jazz, classical, and instrumental nursery rhymes. 🙂