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Do you play background music in class?

Discussion in 'Science' started by griffin63, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. Sure sep2. Using backgound music in class -and for that mattter the wider school environment is an interest of mine. I wrote a dissertation on it and occasionally give workshops/write articles on the pros and cons. I have also done a little consulting to the marketing community on the psychology of music listening on behaviour - but only a little, as education is my preferred interest.
    Hence I am interested in the opinions of teachers and their experiences -poitive or otherwise, in using music to enhance classroom attmosphere and student engagement. Recently I gave a 'Making connections; Music and Mathematics' presentation in France, and later this month will be giving a presentation 'Backgound Music in School Spaces' for a conference in Perth.
    Thanks for your opinions on this -and to others who have responded. Should you like me to email you any articles i've written about this, please do so -or download from my site.
    mdgriffin2002 at yahoo dot com dot au
    www dot musiceducationworld dot com
  2. Yes Griffin is my surname -never been to Chicago.
  3. blazer

    blazer Star commenter


    When I saw your email address in the other post I realised you were not the Music teacher called Griffin that I know!
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Music is also useful for timing activities. I put the track on and they have till the music finishes to reach a certain point. Or this activity will continue for 3 tracks etc.
  5. Hi, I am a science teacher and have used music in different contexts:
    - lots of sciencey songs as mentioned earlier - love them and use whenever i can at all ages. they help to reinforce knowledge in a fun way, can be motivating too. i like it when we can all leave the room with smiles.
    - timing usually at the end of the lesson if eg a song was used in the lesson that the students enjoyed (and likely want t o hear again) then i will play it when they pack up and give them the challenge to be back in their seats by the end. helps to provide structure and 'learning' to a non-part of the lesson. if we revisit the topic next lesson i may have it playing when they come into the lab, too.
    -have experimented with using music to control noise level when students are engaged with a longer task. eg put some classical stuff on softly and tell them if i cant hear the music then they are too loud. that way they can listen out for themselves whether THEY can hear it and i dont have to repetitively remind them to be quieter which saves my voice and dignity! I occasionally of course will have to indicate that i can't hear the music. I find this doesn't work well for all classes. Some groups will just spend the rest of the lesson requesting their favourite music stations which i do not allow.... I have not used this as often because its success is variable but it has potential if i had the patience to apply myself.

    ps my first post ever so apologies if formatting doesn't work out.
  6. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    When I want them quite and settled I like to play some classical music quietly in the background. I do find this helps keep them settled in the lessons. I have also occasionally played relevent music, like Blazer. eg She's Electric when teaching about the nervous system. As a treat at the end of the week I have occasionally let them play pop music while on task. (through my PC only and not free choice, usually just the charts form we7)
  7. K.C


    Although I am currently in a non class based role, when i did have my own class (primary) I tried to use lots of music. We used short peices of music as cues for transitions - great for EAL children and those who struggle with routines - fast tempo music works well for tidy up time - 3 mins of William Tell Overture a favourite. I also used music to accompany any independent work e.g. Chopin or Schubert to support sustained/creative writing or Mozart or Bach to support maths work. The children usually responded very positively and would end up asking for music if I hadn't remembered.
    Someone somewhere has actually cross referenced specific pieces of music which because of their tempo, phrasing etc have a particular effect on certain parts of the brain involved in maths. writing, art etc. Will try and find/remember details.
    Music, even background music, definitely adds an extra dimension to your classroom in terms of inclusion, widening ch's experiences, helping children to focus or chill or even to create an atmosphere as children come into class.
    It can even be quite soothing on those rare occasions when teachers are feeling a little frazzled.

  8. I have played background music for years, usually classical, following reports that Mozart facilitated better concentration. Once classes get used to it and stop complaining about the "noise pollution" and requesting their own music, they actually like it and on the whole Mozart and virtually anything else for that matter, usually has a calming effect, sometimes to a huge degree.
    Dee, Bedfordshire
  9. Thanks for all the responses. I have some guidelines on choosing background music for the classroom here: http://db.tt/qk12XWBU

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