Picture this: You're walking past a classroom as musical notes float through the air, and you catch a glimpse of class members happily singing; captivated not only by the music, but the utter joy for the learning process. Music is a powerful medium for conveying and basking in varying shades of expression.
“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I get most joy in life out of music.” - Albert Einstien
"Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same." - John Denver
As an instructional tool, educational songs have numerous academic, behavioral, and social benefits:
- Enhance brain development in young children
- Support development of attention span
- Engage learners in content and the classroom setting
- Rich in language and speech devices
- Support content acquisition and retention
- Serve as a scaffold for accessing new content
- Boost mood
Ways to Incorporate Music in the Classroom
Bringing music into the day can take many forms:
- Anticipatory set: As a lead in or hook, an education song sets the stage for the lesson and becomes a learning experience all its own. My second graders loved learning catchy tunes that introduced new concepts. For example, before beginning a study of animal habitats, we learned and sang a song about them. The catchy jingle focused thinking and expectations for the learning objectives at hand.
- For review, put to commonly known music (twinkle twinkle etc), musical reviews allow for low stress reteaching and pratice of everything from vocabulary to math facts.
- To capture and spark the imagination, songs convey emotion and perspective. Using music from a specific time period, or about a topic to be covered, can serve as an excellent prompt for journaling, creative writing, or short essay repsonse time.
- Practicing routines or classroom procedures with students of all ages is a bit more fun with music. Although younger students tend to have higher buy-in to this method of mastering procedures, older students can enjoy a few bars centered on a task or used as a transition signal.
When it comes to choosing songs to integrate into curriculum, the options are endless. Many pieces are now available for free access online. You can choose from any of the popular songs below!
- The Multiplication Song
- The Water Cycle Song
- "I'm Just a Bill" and other School House Rock songs
- The Months of the Year
- Five Little Monkeys
- The Wheels on the Bus
- The Days of the Week
- If You're Happy and You Know It
- 100 Bottles of Pop
- One, Two, Buckle my Shoe
- The Ants go Marching
- Ten Little Fingers
- The Hokey Pokey
- Clean-up Time