Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Music? That is the Question--Freebie Needs Survey

Who knew that listening to music in the classroom would be so controversial?  Not this girl!  I listen to soft music in my classroom whenever my children are doing seat work.  I have listened to the SAME soft music for years and was doing some research on what other music teachers play in their classrooms.  All the while, articles about why you shouldn't listen to music in the classroom run rampant. I have always heard that it's great to listen to music in the classroom and have always had success with it.  Listening to music helps ME concentrate...always has. I have a serious version of self-proclaimed ADD (sometimes ADHD).  I can't concentrate in all.  My mind is off planning the weekend, my lunch for tomorrow, or going through the list of things I still have to do.  If I listen to music, or watch some mindless TV I can focus.  Weird.  I know.  Anyway, it turns out, based on all these articles, that not everyone is like me (well, duh....thank goodness).  So if it's so bad, why do my students request for music to be turned on?  I don't get it.  Am I hurting some of the kids in my classroom by having them listen to music?  This is something I definitely need to get to the bottom of.  I do a learning style inventory every year (Learning to Study Through Critical Thinking by Jonelle A. Beatrice), but this year I'm doing another inventory. Click here to check it out. The first page includes the learning style inventory, the second my new inventory.  This way I can really figure out what my kids want/need!

What are your thoughts on music in the classroom?  Good or bad?  Also, if you love music in your classroom, what are some of the albums that you listen to?

Here are my top 4 while the kids are working quietly:
1.  Above the Clouds by Kevin Hoo
2.  Water for Elephants by James Newton Howard
3.  Enya (any of her albums)
4.  Four Seasons-Vivaldi

Here are my top 4 for fun:
1.  Michael Jackson's Greatest Hits (I have to skip a few)
2.  The Lion King
3.  Aladin
4.  John Mayer

**Free clip art from:

Play on.


  1. I listen to anything classical in my 4th grade room, and when I have the 6th graders for 45 minutes for spelling and reading, we've been known to listen to high school musical songs on pandora.

    I also have no concentration and need some kind of background noise when i'm working.

  2. I am the exact same way! My husband makes fun of me because I can't concentrate if it's quiet :) Thanks for the music ideas too!!

  3. I always play classical music on Pandora while kids are doing seat work, and they know they must be quieter than the music. Sometimes, they earn the tween channel on Pandora, but they really have to have a great day to earn that! I don't know about the research, but it seems to "quiet the beast" so to speak.

  4. I usually put on music when my kids are doing art, after I've given the directions. I tend to tune in to a classical station or put on a cd. If it's been a particularly good day I like to put on the Beatles, or some other type of pop music.

  5. I use music everyday in the classroom. I like to play something quiet and soothing during our independent reading time. I play a "3 minute" song while students do their math warm-up. Then I also like to play classic rock while they work on math homework. We also use music to take a break. There is a web-site that is full of funny little camp songs all sung by a couple of silly guys. The kids sing and dance along. They have a great time and it breaks up the monotony of a long morning. However, if they get too wild and crazy they know the music goes off.

  6. I like to play a fun song as the students enter the classroom. The rule is that they have to complete all morning procedures by the end of the song and be ready to learn. Then throughout the day I like to have some classical going on in the background. Like you said, it helps me concentrate.

    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  7. i love music!!! but one day we were listening to classical, (kinda rare in our room) and one kid said, "Ugh!!! i hate classical...i can't think with it on!!" i try to play different genres to appeal to all.

  8. I'm with you about the music! Baroque classical is my favoraite but I change it up to appeal to the different tastes of my students. I have the same issues with working with the lights on or off. Some just LOVE it dimmer and a few can't stand it. Sigh....

    Mrs. Allen’s 5th Grade Files

  9. I teach high school social studies, and I have the same self diagnosed ADD/ADHD too. I cannot stand to sit in a completely quiet space. The hum of the fluorescent lights drives me insane. I have played music, the same music, for years. I have very eclectic musical taste, and I play all types of genres. I figure, especially in 9th and 10th grades when I am teaching more global studies ideas, that music is culture and it always pertains. We never EVER listen to anything too current. I take it as an opportunity to expose my students to music they would never listen to otherwise: Broadway, classical, 80s, 90s, disco, classic country. I also try to get CDs or create a playlist on for the country/region/time period I am teaching and play that in class.

    I have had a few kids tell me that it bothers them, and I normally don't play it if that is the case. I keep it VERY VERY low at my desk so I can hear it (so I don't go insane)

    I think some students do take advantage of it. They just want to be-bop to the music, but overall I think it is a plus.

    I also NEVER play music students bring in. I have found that creates too much unnecessary conflict.

  10. I find it extremely distracting to have music playing while doing work that requires extra concentration. I love music and I always did really well in school but when music was played during work time, I found my productivity to go down quite a bit. I think the issue of playing music has to be taken very lightly and maybe worked out for certain times with the students in your class.

    I know for my own classroom, I will probably play music during free writing time and during art classes but won't be playing it during math or silent reading as the students in my class have higher difficulty with those areas.

  11. I am in my first year teaching 4th and 5th math and social studies, and we are a braid based school and music is one of the main things they want us to include in our classrooms (including water, snack, and movement) but we have been told Baroque music is really good because it has 2 different melodies playing and stimulates the left and right brain at the same time,and when both sides are firing information is better learned and remembered. Aside from all of that, I am a fan of music in the classroom. Your blog is great by the way!

  12. I have tried both - silence and music and.... music wins. The pupils not only work better the work quicker! And the results are better.

    I shall add your music choice! Thank you!

  13. Thanks for sharing this! I'm going to use it next week!

  14. Thanks for the information. Hope everyone's having a great 2014-15 school year!

  15. I enjoy having music in the classroom. Thank you for all the information. :)

  16. I use the Kagan music in my classroom. One of my favorites is the Brain Booster - Lasting Concentration.

  17. I am a first year teacher and I am really curious about incorporating music in my classroom. Thanks for the post!

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