Saturday, June 15, 2013

What does the classroom sound like?

First Up: Thinking Music Playlist

When looking at my future classroom, I have been planning what I want the classroom to look, feel, and sound like.

I love music. I realize that not everyone likes the same music as I do, so this is why I wanted to find something that would motivate and not annoy others! Also, it's important to find music that will work with any age student.

Just a quick note: I always ask students permission before I play any music. When I walk into a classroom, I am not the dictator who forces others to listen to my music. I want everyone to have a say. If it's distracting then what's the point in using it? I haven't had anyone turn me down when asked if they'd like to hear music while they work. I often tell them that brain surgeons, the president, and even teachers use music to help them stay on task! When do I play the music? I pick a time when students are quiet and working hard anyway. I feel that if you put music on when students are rowdy they just get even more pumped up and distracted. 

I currently use these different playlists in the classroom and hope they help you out.

Artist: Brian Eno
Albums: Ambient 1, Music For Airports (My all time FAVORITE!)
Music Style: Ambient
Use: Anytime

Artist: Brian Eno & Harold Budd
Albums: Ambient 2, The Plateaux of Mirror
Music Style: Ambient
Use: Anytime

I had the privilege of being able to hear Brian Eno speak at MoogFest last year.  He talked about many things but his views on how music have different effects on the human brain really caught my attention. Music has the ability to frustrate, motivate, relax, anger, and help people enjoy what they're doing by activating different brain waves. 

I put this music on repeat and it can run for hours as background music! I notice how it really does help students (and teachers) stay focused. 
*Eno's music and artwork is currently being installed in a hospital waiting room in England. This idea came about to help patients, doctors, and family members a chance to escape and just let their brains relax for a moment. How interesting! 

Artist: Rockabye Baby (This company makes lullaby renditions for tons of different artist)
Albums: Elvis, The Beatles, Bjork, Radiohead, The Beach Boys, etc.  (any of the titles are appropriate for the classroom, there are no words only music)
Music Style: Upbeat lullaby 
Use: during group activities, project work, research, working around the room, etc.

I found these when looking for songs that wouldn't drive ME crazy in the classroom (how many times can you hear the same classical song over and over?) Don't get me wrong, I seriously love classical music but Rockabye Baby helps students get moving, while still staying focused. I see students working hard while bobbing their head or tapping their foot. GET THAT ENERGY OUT FRIENDS! The occasional frog sound makes students look up and laugh every once in a while and I LOVE LAUGHTER IN THE CLASSROOM! Some of the albums are more quiet than others but I haven't found one I don't use. 

There's an App for That! 
If you don't want to use music but DO want to use relaxing music in the classroom, why not use an app? I personally use this one, Relax Melodies Oriental (free version for iPhone). I like it because you can mix music with nature sounds.
Might be a fun way to get students involved in the music selection! Take a vote on which sounds to use that day. :)

Also, Brian Eno has a few musical apps that could help students relax through the day. Can we say Brain Break? I do not have these but plan on purchasing them one day. His apps also have an option to just listen to the music instead of playing it.

I have used other music but this is what I use now. I've seen these albums motivate students and not annoy them (or me).

I find a place for my iPhone up on a shelf and push play.The music also gives the classroom a different feel to it. It turns into a fun, interactive, engaging atmosphere of learning! 

Keep them motivated and engaged in what they're doing!

What music do you use as your "Thinking Music Playlist"?
Have you tried Brian Eno's music? I would love to hear what works for you!

Up Next: Dance Party - Reward Playlist, Get Up, Move On -  Transition Playlist


Post a Comment

Pin It button on image hover