Tuesday, May 19, 2015

5 Ways to Add Music to Your Classroom

Hi there folks!  It's Lisa, from over at Second Grade Stories with a Techy Tuesday post all about ways to integrate music into your classroom.
And just where is the "techy" part of this? Well, that depends on you! You can use so many different kinds of technology, from ipods and ipads, free music sites like Pandora, paid sites like iTunes, old-fashioned CD's (or (gasp) cassette tapes!), many can be found on YouTube, or my favorite music place - free streaming from Amazon.  Yes, that's right - did you know that a membership in Amazon Prime allows you to stream tons of music for free? And why is that a big deal you ask? Good question - because it wasn't until a few months ago that I realized how great this is and I've had a Prime membership forever! (Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Amazon, except for the fact that I buy from their site ALL.THE.TIME.  These opinions are mine.) Read on to find out

1.  Background Music
This is the way I started using music in my classroom.  A little quiet classical music during writing time, some piano music during quiet reading... some jazz when we wanted to liven up our activity.  "Working Music" as my kiddos call it not only is helpful to many students in getting them to stay engaged and involved in an activity, but by playing a variety of music, you can introduce students to new musical genres. 

Note: Sometimes I have a student who is more distracted by the music, someone who works best with NO sound.... I have headphones in my room just for this purpose. Here are a few of our favorite "working music" artists and pieces:

2. Use music as your inspiration.
Instead of having music just be the background, bring it front and center! Each March, my students write a very creative and fun piece about chasing a leprechaun.  Nothing new about that, right? But what if they did their brainstorming and planning to go along with this musical piece?
("In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Edvard Grieg)
Can't you just SEE the leprechaun running around?  We draw, talk, label, draw some more and then write.  My students' stories are always filled with detail and have the perfect blend of rising and falling action. (You can read more about how I use this piece in my leprechaun writing by clicking{HERE}

Try using seasonal music to inspire your writing.  George Winston (yes, another favorite!) really brings spring to life with his album, "Winter Into Spring."
3.  Make Music the Hook
Imagine starting a new math unit with this music! 

I began our subtraction with regrouping unit with a "Mission Impossible" theme.  Each day we played the music at the start of the lesson, and talked about what our objective (otherwise known as our "mission!") was for the day.  They were hooked. Simple, but very effective and engaging.
4. Take a theme to the next level.
Camping, anyone? Our third day of our ABC Countdown for the end of the year was a "Camping Day." And no camping experience is complete without the sounds of the outdoors.  As my students rotated through each activity, I would give them a couple minutes to settle in, then I turned on the sounds of nature.

5. Just Have Fun!

Sometimes you just need to break loose and dance around! Or maybe the day has been dark and dreary and you're looking for a little pick-me up to get the energy flowing. There's nothing better than a little KidzBop to get you up and moving!

Play upbeat music as your kiddos come in for the morning, as they're working on a fun project or just because :-)

Remember, music can work FOR you - rev up the energy or calm down the crazies.... use it to inspire a writing project or to hook students on an activity.  Whatever music technology you choose to use, think about how you can add music to a part of your day.

Thanks for stopping by!

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