I teach in a school building that is 101 years old. In addition, it is located on a city block surrounded by busy streets. It reminds me of the poem “Street Music” by Arnold Adoff. A few times a day we hear the sirens of the police cars and fire trucks wailing, lawn mowers mowing, and of course the screaming students playing soccer on the blacktop right below my third story window during the multiple recess times. While some are able to block out the noises of the day, with windows open due to high heat, I struggle. My solution is to play music.
I LOVE to play music in my classroom! I use Rhapsody, a subscription music service, and it has been a hit with my students. While I mostly play calming music when they work independently or in small groups by Enya or “Nature Songs” as my students endearingly call spa-meditation music, I love to introduce my students to different artists.
I like to generate playlists of songs that I know they might not ever hear if I didn’t play them. I will find videos on You Tube and allow the students to view an artistic interpretation of the song. A few of my favorite artists to consistently play in the classroom are Mat Kearney, John Mayer, and Jack Johnson. With this music service, you can find the songs that will work in your learning environment, create a playlist, and it will play until I make it stop. To drown out the “hard-to-listen-to-noises-while-we-concentrate” here is a sample playlist of fun to listen to songs while we work and take care of 6th grade things:
What You Know-Two Door Cinema Club
Shuffle-Bombay Bicycle Club
Ships in the Night-Mat Kearney
Closer to Love-Mat Kearney
Count on Me-Mat Kearney
Better Together-Jack Johnson
Sitting, Waiting, Wishing-Jack Johnson
Good People-Jack Johnson
Never Know-Jack Johnson
Why Georgia-John Mayer
Waiting on the World To Change-John Mayer
Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight-Amos Lee
I will play a random “Brain Break” dance song just to get the kids out of their seats and shaking their tails. A few favorites that no one ever admits…Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift…
I would love to hear some of your classroom favorites. We are always looking for the perfect tunes to enhance our list of classroom jams.