Classroom Management: The Power Of Music

piano music in the classroom

So, you are making dinner in the kitchen while the television runs in the living room. You have completely lost track of time. All of sudden, without even looking at the clock, you realize it is 6:00 and the news is starting.  What gave you this great epiphany? Was it your radio alarm clock? Or is your internal clock that precise?  My guess is that the news program theme music triggered a brain cell that alerted you that it was 6:00.

Music is a powerful tool, one that can tell you it's time to watch the news — or help you manage your classroom.

Just as Pavlov trained his dog to salivate to a bell, you can train your students to have a conditioned response to music. Before we talk about when to use music, let's go over the rules:

  • Be Consistent — This is the hardest rule to master.  I would advise introducing musical elements slowly into the classroom.  Experiment with the effects.  It can be pretty cool.
  • Do Not Overuse It — As with anything, knowing when to say when is important.
  • Have a Purpose — Music in a classroom without a purpose is counterproductive.
  • Make Sure It Is School Appropriate — It might seem obvious, but be sure you know the lyrics (or the hidden meaning) of any song you pipe into the ears of children.

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