Saturday, August 15, 2009

Music in the classroom

In the 21st century, research has been undertaken to validate and expand our analytical knowledge of music. This research supports what we know, music greatly affects and enhances our learning and living! Research continues to be conducted to provide helpful guidelines for our intentional use of music, especially in the classroom. "Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents." (Beethoven, L, n.d)

I have seen music used in the classroom in several ways. Firstly soft, gentle soothing music playing as the students enter the class room to help create a sense of comfort and order within the classroom. Music used in photostory/powerpoint assignments is another, to create an atmosphere and represent the chosen task. Music is also used in the memorization of formulaes with the students designing and writing their own is a great learning tool.

Music creates attitude, attention and atmosphere (The 3As) in the classroom (Boyd Brewer, 1995). Certain music creates a positive learning atmosphere and help students to feel welcome to participate in the learning experience. In this way it also has great affect upon students' attitudes and motivation to learn. The rhythms and tempo of musical sound can assist us in setting and maintaining our attention and focus by perking us up when we are weary and helping us find peace and calm when we are over-energized in some way.

Using background music during classes, vocabulary decoding, or group readings is a foundation in Accelerated Learning (effective multisensory and whole brain learning) techniques . There are 2 methods for using music, designed to create very different but equally effective learning environments, Active Concerts and Passive Concerts. The Active Concert activates the learning process mentally, physically and/or emotionally while the Passive Concert is geared to place the student in a relaxed alpha brain wave state and stabilize the student's mental, physical and emotional rhythms to increase information absorption. Both teaching methods result in high memory retention. Music can help support Learning Managers in implementing a lesson experience (Oliver, 1999) as music can reinforce the learning by creating another layer for the learner tho engage with.


Boyd Brewer, C. (1995) Music and learning: intergrating music in the classroom. Retieved 11 August, 2009 from,

Oliver, R. (1999). Exploring strategies for online teaching and learning: distance education, 20, 240-254. Retrieved 11 August, 2009 from,

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