Music can be a very useful tool in our schools. It can help to create a desired mood, relax us, and energize us. Listening to music helps to improve productivity. It helps students stay focused and not be distracted by other noises. In the classroom, we can use music to create an atmosphere that enhances our teaching and students’ learning.
Here are 5 ways you can incorporate music into your classroom:
Aid in retention. Music helps us remember information. Use a chant, rap, jingle or song that is familiar to the student and change the lyrics to correlate to the subject. Better yet, have the student create their own. For ideas, go to YouTube and watch various examples of songs created by students to help them learn.
Create a welcoming atmosphere. Background music will create a welcoming atmosphere and motivate the students to learn. Use music before class to welcome the students, energize them and build excitement for the day. Movie themes can be great to use. Pick a specific song and let students know when they hear that song, they are to return from break. You can also play low volume music while students study to help calm and relax. It will improve their retention and help them focus. Smooth jazz works great for this purpose. When in the creative process, classical music works great!
Relate music to the subject being taught. Play music from different eras and have students create the looks that would go with that time period. For example, when working with wet hairstyling, play music from the roaring 20’s while students practice finger waves. While working on shampoo sets and back combing, put on some 50s and have some fun.
Celebrate successes. Play music to celebrate student successes. Pick specific compositions for moments of emotional highs such as music from Rocky or the Olympics.
Close a class. Play special music selections to close class. Pick songs such as Wonderful World, I’ve Had the Time of My Life, Happy Trails, or Simply the Best.
Lisha Barnes is a Cosmetology/Barber Instructor with over 25 years of experience. She started out in a small private school working in Admissions, Financial Aid, Education, and School Director. She was a Director of Education for a chain of Private Cosmetology schools. Currently she serves as the Academic Development Manager for Milady where she supports schools and educators around the nation with continuing education, curriculum development and product knowledge. Lisha has served as an Educator for Milady’s Career Institute; NACCAS Commission; Career Educators of America Committee Member; and has authored numerous writing projects for Milady. This industry experience allows her to see the industry from a variety of viewpoints, which helps in sharing information and ideas with educators all around the world.