10 Brilliant Ways to Use Music in the Classroom

Posted by in childrens songs, Interesting Articles, primary school songs

Teachers are forever being told to use more music in the classroom, and for good reason. Singing serves as a great memory aid, promotes healthy intellectual and emotional development and offers children a welcome break from the daily grind of reading and writing. If you’re looking for more ways to use music in the classroom, this article offers a combination of time-honoured tips and fresh inspiration to help you integrate more songs into your teaching schedule.

How to Use Music in the Classroom

  1. Maths songbookTo support the curriculum and help children retain information. A carefully selected song can help engage them from the outset and reinforce what they have learnt at the end of the lesson. You can find primary school songs to support virtually any topic by searching online, from adding and subtracting to the Ancient Greeks.
  1. To teach them to listen. Music also works well as a prompt: simply play them the song then ask them to write few sentences or draw a picture relating to what they have just heard. Alternatively, present them with the lyrics with a few words removed, and ask them to fill in the blanks as you play the song.
  1. To keep them motivated. When your class seems particularly lethargic, perhaps after lunch or at the end of the day, wake them up with some vocal warm-ups or a rousing song.
  1. Harvest songbookTo celebrate special occasions and teach children about important cultural festivals, traditions and events around the world, from Harvest Festival to Diwali.
  1. To raise awareness of important issues. The strong effect that music has on our emotions makes them a useful resource for broadening children’s outlook and teaching them about everything from the environment to the importance of getting along with others.
  1. To prompt discussion. Songs with an emotional undercurrent are also ideal for firing children up to voice their feelings and opinions in class.
  1. To aid concentration and stem creativity. Play stimulating music during tasks that require sustained focus, memory and creativity for optimal results. Classic FM has created a playlist containing some of the best songs for studying; this can be found here.
  1. Sing TogetherTo break the ice and encourage teamwork. Singing together creates a strong community atmosphere, encouraging children to work together and enhancing social development. Try interactive songs, such as those sung in harmony or rounds, for an added element of fun.
  1. To get them moving. Getting them to stand up whilst singing and combining songs with actions are great ways to keep your class physically active, boosting circulation and keeping them mentally engaged.
  1. To time their activities. Rather than giving children five or ten minutes to complete an activity, introduce some variety into your classroom routine by using one of their favourite songs to time them.

I hope this article has helped you to reap some of the many benefits of using music in the classroom. A more extensive list of ideas can be found here; alternatively, visit www.outoftheark.co.uk for a great selection of songbooks for schools compiled by leading children’s songwriters.