I remember it so vividly… the classroom would go silent the static on the raido would adjust just in time for Celine Dion to belt out the chorus to "My Heart Will go On".
It was 1997. I was in the third grade. I was sitting next to Corey O'Donald (my third grade crush). Clearly I remember it like yesterday.
That moment in the third grade belting out "My Heart Will go On" with 15 other 9 year old girls I made a decision.
When I am a teacher I will play music in my classroom.
I break the music up into 3 categories;
Lyrics but not "popular"
1. Control Behavior/ Volume
Being able to listen to music is a major privilege in my classroom. The kids have been taught if you behave you get to listen to music. The moment the music gets turned off you know you better SHAPE up.
In case you were wondering 20+ 12 year olds can get pretty loud pretty fast. Majority of the time my kids REALLY REALLY want to hear the song playing and they know I am not going to touch the volume so they fix their volume if they want to hear the song.
It works like a charm.
2. Encouraging Writing.
Music effects a persons mood. Period.
I make special play lists depending on the writing prompt.
Deep/Nostalgic prompt: slow ballad, acoustic, melodic
Fun/thoughtful/mindless prompt: up beat, pop-y, energetic
There are three types of music I play
1. No Lyrics: My personal favorite is Vitamin String Quartet, they take popular songs and record them in the classical style.
2. Lyric but not "popular": My version of "popular" and 6th graders versions of popular vary greatly so majority of the time I play Matt Wertz. They love having lyrics to hear but they don't know them well enough to sing along with them.
3. Popular, THIS is for when my kids are working in groups or being REALLY good! Majority of the time I end up playing t-swift or the Lee Brice Country Pandora station (good country with out all the beer songs)
I know not all of you are teacher or going to be teachers BUT maybe this has given you a few study music tips ( ESPECIALLY the Vitamin String Quartet)