Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Friday, July 11, 2008

Music in the Classroom

Some people whistle while they work, and many people have music playing while they work. As we move through the day and walk into different stores, we are introduced to some music to accompany us as we shop. Companies, like DMI Music & Media Networks, do studies and program certain kind of music for different kinds of stores to accommodate the musical tastes of the customers. Music research in retail is big business. Music is everywhere from sporting events to gyms to public transportation.

Music is just about everywhere, except schools except in the music rooms. In fact we ask the scholars to put their music devices away and turn them off. This is another instance where schools do something contrary to what is prevalent in the real world. Of course we do this so the scholars can hear the teacher. In my classroom, I often play music to accompany the work being done in the class, since I am not dominating the class. I may speak to the class for a few moments before I let them loose to work. I play lots of different music.

I usually play the classics: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, and others. I love Bach's music because it is such a great complement to typing. Piano and violin concertos are superb as well. The popular symphonies are recognized by the scholars and that excites them.

Whether it is "Music tames the savage beast or breast," is immaterial. The key is it works in taming savagery. I know after the initial moaning and noise from the scholars about my classical music choices, they get used to it. In fact, after a few days, if it isn't playing, someone always asks for it by approaching me privately by saying, "It is too quiet in here." Or just asking for some music. I tell them who is playing and after weeks, they begin making requests or even telling me they found a certain musician at home or bought a CD. I feel in a computer lab where all the scholars are working, some are collaborating, and I'm walking around that constant source of music provides a healthy working tone to the classroom.

I play the music low enough so that if I have to speak to the class or someone needs to ask a question the music doesn't interfere. I also turn the overhead lights off and have a few floor lamps in the room to provide an even more tranquil atmosphere. I have a wall of windows facing north for natural light and then lamps on the south wall for fill. The computers provide enough light. Music and lighting help me provide a more suitable atmosphere and tone for learning. The scholars like it and respond accordingly.


Denée Tyler said...

Great idea. I am going to try this this year with my students.

Mr. Rochester said...

I'm a math teacher and was wondering if you would allow for your students to have headphones and listen to their own music during class?

Ted Nellen said...

Good question, Mr Rochester. Yes I do. In fact, I have about a dozen headphones for students during lunch and times when it doesn't interfere with class for those students who don't have their own headphones.