The Benefits of Music in the Classroom

There has been much written over the years about the benefits of music in the classroom, therefore, why is it that when you visit most schools they are like mausoleums. The benefits of music can never be underestimated. For example, a track like the theme tune from “mission impossible” helps to speed up the slow changers for PE or get the classroom tidy at the end of the day, whilst Louise Armstrong’s “a wonderful world” is great for settling the children after break or lunch.

Rather than seeing music as a bolt on that many teachers in a primary setting feel unqualified to use, we should take the opportunity to immerse the children in musical experiences. Obviously not all music is suitable and you need to be selective, but not so much so that it becomes a chore.

When teaching MFL, access radio stations in the language you are teaching. Most are free and available on the WWW and you will certainly be surprised at how quickly the children recognise words they have been learning! 

To avoid imposing your own prejudices, play a variety of music and include all genres (remember not everyone likes Marmite!).

I have heard on countless occasions that children will find music distracting and initially this could be the case, but after a relatively short period of time it will become “normal” and works as a great volume control.  Give it a try in assembly; have music playing when the children come in and when you turn it down the conversation level will go down and vice versa!  

Do you use music in the classroom to enhance learning?  Why not let us know in the comments below?

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