Here is how to decide what music to play in your classroom to help with brain-based learning. While you could use an endless number of criteria, these are a good start. I recommend using an iPod with a Bose Sound Dock player. You get the best of all worlds.
1) State. What emotional state are you trying to elicit? Pay attention to what happens to your own body and mind as you listen to a song. Pay attention to the beats per minute (BPM). Songs in the 35- 50 BPM range will be more calming, while those in the middle 55-70 BPM will be more moderate for seatwork. For activities, the pace might be 70-100 and for energizers, maybe 100-160 BPM will REALLY rev it up.
The state is also the feelings you want to have within your students. When students complete an assignment, project or even a simple task, I want upbeat celebration music. When we are doing a class stretching or reflective writing, I want slower, uncluttered, calming music. When we are about to start out on a big task, I want inspirational, upbeat, even marching music. In short, use music as a second teacher in the classroom to support the mood.
2) Age of Listener. What generation am I working with? Stay within your generation! The way to decide is ask this simple question: If they’re adults, what music did they listen to in high school and college? If they’re age 14 or less, what are the current soundtracks to movies that are hot?
3) Type of Music. Do I use music with words or instrumentals only? In general, use words only if it’s for transitions, games that require them or special occasions. Most of the time, instrumentals are better. If you use only one kind of music you’re missing out on some great alternatives.
Here are a few recommended music selections to try in your classroom:
Whistle While You Work, available as a collection of 18-mp3 files via download, is specially produced to activate the relaxed focused system. Serotonin may be released and it is a common neurotransmitter that helps us feel pleasant and cheerful.
Play this music in the background when you’d like to reduce stress, but encourage productivity. All of these specially produced memorable selections are 100% soothing and easy-to-listen to audio gems. You’ll get positive, enjoyable listening tracks that boost learning and productivity. Your students will ask for these catchy tunes again and again. Click here to purchase – instant download.
The sequel to the set of files above. It is also a collection of 18 mp3 files via download. These are different (but in the same music family) tunes, and all are specially produced to activate the relaxed and focused system. Play this music in the background when you’d like to reduce stress, but encourage productivity. All of these specially-produced memorable selections are 100% relaxing and easy-to-listen to audio gems. You’ll get positive, enjoyable listening tracks that boost learning and productivity. Your students will ask for these catchy tunes again and again. Click here to purchase – instant download.
Do you have a classroom in need of an energy boost? This audio CD includes favorite classroom tunes that can revitalize a classroom. Its 19 up-tempo songs are paced between 120-165 BPM to raise adrenaline levels and energize classroom spirit!
Running Time: 46.5 Minutes. Click here to purchase.
Are you looking for ways to transition from one activity to another? This audio CD offers a broad range of songs individually designed to calm, relax, and re-direct students’ energy. Running Time: 53 Minutes.
Click here to purchase.
Top Tunes for Teaching.
977 Song Titles & Practical Tools for Choosing the Right Music Every Time. Music is a powerful classroom tool that enhances cognition, improves memory, energizes sluggish learners, and makes lessons fun for students of all ages.
This resource offers practical tips, suggestions, and lists of songs all personally tested by Eric Jensen during his own trainings and based on scientific research that supports music’s beneficial effects. Click here to purchase.
Wake Up the Young Brain! (CD)
This energizing music CD is scientifically paced at 120-165 BPM to activate the adrenergic (adrenaline) system. Its fun, upbeat tracks for younger students are perfect for transition times, games, marches, and lesson openings.
Wake Up! the Brain will help you harness the natural energy of this age group and channel it into meaningful learning-rich activities. Your students will ask for these catchy, memorable tunes again and again. Click here to purchase.