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5 Ways to Incorporate Music in the Classroom

Music in the classroom can foster concentration and create a welcoming environment.

“Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents."   - Ludwig van Beethoven

Whether you teach history, geography, math, or kindergarten, music in the classroom can completely transform your learning environment. Studies have shown that music can help kids learn in many different ways, from helping them focus and aiding in memorization to promoting self-expression and physical movement. These tips will help you harness the power of music to create an enjoyable, effective teaching environment.

1. Foster increased concentration

Music can establish the atmosphere for concentration, making it easier for students to stay on task when reading, studying, or even listening to a lecture. This applies to kids as small as 4K to seniors in high school. The Johns Hopkins University School of Education recommends the following albums as a great starting place for background classroom music that encourages focus and concentration: 

  • Relax With The Classics, from the LIND institute
  • Velvet Dreams, from Daniel Kobiaka 
  • Music for Relaxation, from Chapman and Miles 
  • Accelerated Learning, from Stephen Halpern 

2. Promote rhythmic learning & self-expression

Incorporating easy-to-play percussion instruments like guiros, percussion egg shakers, tambourines, and bamboo rain sticks offer rhythmic sounds that are especially effective for counting and word exercises. They also offer an opportunity for students to learn about lesser-known instruments and express themselves through music.

3. Cultivate a welcoming environment

For greetings or even exits, playing a warm, welcoming opening or closing song can foster an atmosphere of excitement and well-being. It's also a great opportunity to introduce students to new, upbeat pieces of music for a burst of energy during the dreaded post-lunch lull. Try the following: 

  • Dance of the Renaissance, from Richard Searles
  • Celtic Destiny, from Bruce Mitchell
  • Sun Spirit, from Deuter
  • Boundaries, from Scott Wilkie 

4. Boost memorization and recall

Trying to memorize all the U.S. presidents, the years each state joined the union, or the Pythagorean Theorem? There's a song for that. Whatever your subject matter, chances are good there is music out there that will make it much easier to learn (or you could always make one up).

5. Bring history and culture to life

As a supplement to a history lesson, era-appropriate music samples can help historical epochs come alive, and world music can help students visualize new cultures better than a book alone. Read more about incorporating music into historical lessons to promote engagement and understanding.

For more information on types of music and instruments that would work well in your classroom, feel free to stop by our musical instrument store and look around! We'd love to help you find ways to integrate music in your classroom this school year and for years to come.