Some of our earliest memories may be of our mother or father singing to us as a child. It is likely to be one of the earliest memories for our parents having instinctively gone to song to calm a fussy infant down.
Music is very common in most cultures with traditional lullabies being passed down from generation to generation. It is therapeutic for the parent and child alike.
One conclusion made by some mental health clinicians is that the vibrations in music help to release the tension in the cells and organs, thus relaxing the body. Maybe this is why we can hear music in some of the oddest places; elevators/lifts, dentist offices, waiting rooms, etc. They are trying to keep us calm.
So, if music has the ability to support our calmness, then surely this can be used as a simple mindfulness technique used in the classroom. Playing low music in the background as the children transition to a new activity or as they work diligently on their maths problems and writing, might be a way to support behaviour management in the classroom while also supporting children’s learning. Some research even has shown that music can increase the speed at which children do their school work.
So, music in the classroom is something to consider.
If you do decide to use music in your classroom, you must be mindful of how music makes you feel and that some music may not be appropriate; especially music with deep base or high pitch sounds that may actually cause you to feel upset. Trying a variety of musical selections would be best in identifying which ones are best for you and your class. This can be easily achieved via doing a simple search on Youtube for “mindfulness music” or “meditation music”. They come in varying lengths, with some more suitable for children than others.
Some that I have come across on Youtube that children have found soothing are:
1 Hour Yoga Music: Yoga for Kids & Children, Meditation Music, Calming Soft Instrumental Music- https://youtu.be/Zd-ybxrTyvs
Relaxation For Children – Quiet, Music for Learning, Harmony & Positive – CUTE FOALS- https://youtu.be/DBNaIRZ3AIg
RELAXING YOGA MUSIC FOR KIDS In Classroom, Children, Kids Yoga Music & Meditation Music for children- https://youtu.be/jbe6R2lmvwY?list=RDuMyMPb-ix-E
While free can be good, there are some relaxing CDs and compilations that are good to use in the classroom. My favourite is called Yoga & Mindfulness- Music for Buddhist Meditation. But, there are loads out on the market with free samples to listen to so you can gage if they are appropriate.
Top Tip: I use the soothing music while children are coming into assembly. Once everyone is seated, I have all the children close their eyes and do deep breathing; there favourite is snake breathes. For those that have problems with the idea of closing their eyes, I have a soothing scene projected on the large screen to focus on while breathing. Then, at the end of the assembly, I do the same again as each class leaves the hall. Assemblies are calmer and more in control.
How do you use music in the classroom?