If you are finding your way to this blog post from my other post, “Why You Should Use Music in the Classroom: Easy Elementary Music Classroom Ideas,”…Welcome! If you have no idea what I am talking about. Click here and find out.
A couple of years ago, one of my student’s parents called me at school to tell me a funny story about her son. She said Brent was home working on his math homework and started singing an addition song as he worked. Overhearing Brent, his mom replied, “I love that song! Did the music teacher teach you that?” She said Brent looked at her like she had grown another head, saying, “No, Mom. Mrs. Foxwell taught me that!”
She then thanked me for using music in the classroom. Why did she thank me? Well, Brent had been struggling with addition. He just couldn’t get the concept. But the song helped him understand the addition process. She also said that the song is now stuck in her head! (She wasn’t the first parent to tell me that either.)
Students like Brent are exactly why I use music and believe that music is not only for music class! Music is a powerful tool that should be used daily in the classroom. There are many benefits to using music in the classroom and teachers can effectively use music to help set a positive tone or mood, aid with classroom management, and get important information and concepts into long-term memory.
Elementary Music Classroom Ideas
Here are just a few elementary music classroom ideas. These ideas can be modified, developed, and made to fit your classroom, grade level, or subject area easily!
Using Music To Set The Tone
Think about how you feel when a slow ballad comes on the radio, or how about when a toe-tapping, dance-moves-waiting-to-bust-out pop song plays as you’re in an aisle at your favorite store? Music can greatly influence how we feel and can be an easy yet effective way to set the tone for your classroom learning.
If you’re looking for music to energize your students, you’ll want to pick upbeat music for your activity. I used upbeat music for brain breaks, content songs (e.g., we have a fluency rap to remember how to be fluent readers), and to get kids ready for a themed day (e.g., I play Polar Express music when students are coming in for our Polar Express Day.)
Slower music will have the opposite effect on your students as it has a powerful calming ability. I loved using classical or instrumental music during our writing workshop time. It’s so soothing, and my students knew that they needed to be writing the whole time the music played.
Classroom Management and Music
We sang throughout the entire first-grade school day. Whether lining up, coming to the carpet, or even during a science lesson—using songs, chants, and repetition is a fun and powerful tool.
It can effectively teach and help students remember classroom rules and routines. It can get students’ attention and maximize time during transitions. I could get 20+ 6-year-olds in a circle on the carpet in less than 30 seconds with our circle song or easily get have them give me their eyes and ears by using an upbeat attention grabber. Music is magical and is an absolute game-changer for effective classroom management!
Reinforcing Important Concepts
I can still sing every word of the 50 States song I learned over 20 years ago in 5th grade. We all can think of songs that we still remember from our childhood. Music triggers a different part of the brain than speech for memory retention, which is why it is important to use music in every subject!
We sang during reading (e.g., Sequence of Events Rap,) we sang during writing (e.g., Editing Song), we sang in math (e.g., the Hundreds Chart Shuffle), and we sang in the content subjects (e.g., Parts of a Plant Song.) You do not have to be the best singer to sing with your students. Trust me, they won’t care! The best part is that songs can be incorporated into your classroom in many ways. You can write your own songs, find songs online, or even have your kids help write the songs. The most important thing is to start using music in your classroom!
Start Using Music In Your Classroom For FREE Today!
I’m so excited for you to start using some of these elementary music classroom ideas in your classroom that I have put together one of our favorite math songs as a gift for you!! It’s called the Hundreds Chart Shuffle and has been used by over 40,000 teachers!! I created this song to help my students better understand the concept of 1 less, 1 more, 10 less, and 10 more. It’s not only fun but also helps students understand more and less!
I’ve also included a printable hundreds chart and a fun task card activity for you to use with your students. They can practice this important skill in a fun way after you’ve learned the song!
CLICK HERE to get the Hundreds Chart Shuffle More Or Less Song!
Don’t forget, if you are looking for reasons as to why you should use some of these elementary music classroom ideas and the benefits of music in the classroom, check out my other blog post: