Music for Call-backs.
A musical deadline can create anticipation. Use a set-up song; otherwise known as a cue-signal or “call-back” song to get attention for a beginning or start time. This song should have the following criteria:
1) it’s short—under 3 minutes
2) it’s has either positive lyrics or no lyrics,
3) it ends with a clear predictable “pa-dum” and does not trail off, fading slowly into the quiet.
Songs like “Pretty Woman” or “Chantilly Lace” can work. Make an agreement that everyone must be in their seats, ready to learn before the song ends. Then enforce it by walking around the first few times you play it and “rounding up” everyone so they know you mean it.
Walking Fast to the Music.
Use this as a tool for “mixing” up the group. Sometimes a class forms too-familiar “social niches.” This means accountability drops because your audience becomes TOO familiar with each other. They stick up for and cover for each other, dropping accountability for thinking and learning. What’s needed is a vehicle for mixing up the group.
Music can do that because people can “lose themselves” in the music. It works this way. Say, “It’s time for a change of pace. Take in a deep breath… and let it out. Great. Now, please stand up. In 10 seconds, the music will begin. When it does, walk away from your chair. You can go anywhere in the room quickly until the music stops, then wait for directions.” The directions are usually, “Find a neighbor. Hand up if you need a partner. Now, here’s who goes first…”
You might do a think-pair-share activity next.
We hope you find these strategies valuable. Please join is at our summer workshop on Tools For Maximum Engagement here. It’s filling fast and is one of our more powerful teacher workshops.