What Are the Benefits of Using Music in the Classroom?

Chris Kefer (B.M., M.S.) is a music educator living and working in Maryland. He has been teaching music education in public schools for 8 years, and teaching private lessons for 15 years.

Using music in the classroom can have many benefits, including enhancing student engagement and supporting classroom management. Read on for 5 simple ways to incorporate music in your classroom.

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Using Music In the Classroom

Do you play music in the classroom? Even if you’re not a music teacher, there are many benefits to using music in your lessons.

Music can be a powerful tool for classroom management by helping to set the tone in the learning environment and manage students’ moods and energy levels throughout the school day. Use it alongside brain break activities to help get them moving and reset for the next activity or to accompany mindfulness activities that support student well-being. Music can also be useful for getting students’ attention and signaling transition times and is particularly effective for elementary students.

In addition to supporting classroom management and student well-being, incorporating music into lesson plans can promote student engagement and provide creative ways to make learning fun and enrich the content.

5 Ways to Use Music in the Classroom

1. Create Rhythmic Chants

Using rhythmic chants early in the school year can enhance student engagement and help students make connections. Some teachers may feel comfortable rapping, but for those who aren’t as savvy with the genre, you might feel more comfortable trying a rhythmic chant. Introducing new vocabulary words, and then creating a rhythmic chant about the word and definition can help your students retain new information better. You can even ask students to create their own to make the approach more student-centered.

2. Use Body Percussion

If you feel comfortable, ask students to add body percussion to words, definitions, or other information. Adding physical movement can make activities more fun, but it also stimulates your brain. The most common ways of doing this are stomping, clapping, snapping, or patting your legs. Combining them in different ways can make great backing tracks to rhythmic chants, while also allowing students to move during class in a controlled manner.

3. Incorporate Fall Music

Find fall-themed music to play in your classroom; this works for any other season too! Academic studies have found that playing instrumental background music or classical music while students are quietly working can help them stay focused on a task. Using seasonal-themed music can add a fun twist to using music and introduce students to different types of music. During the fall season, you could incorporate music with Halloween playlists in October, or in songs about Thankfulness in November. You can also incorporate learning about seasonal holidays or different cultures in social studies, such as Native American music during Native American Heritage Month.

4. Use Music To Support Smooth Transitions

Use music throughout lessons to indicate transition times. For example, have certain songs playing as students come into class, use different music during activities, and have closing or exit music to indicate the lesson coming to an end. Music is also great as a lesson hook to set the tone for learning and introduce new topics or themes.

5. Use Music As An Incentive

Another way of incorporating music can be a positive behavior incentive where students can request certain (school-appropriate) songs as a reward. It’s also valuable for getting to know students better as you can learn more about their music tastes and students get to share this with each other, encouraging a feeling of community in the classroom.

Incorporate music in your classroom to discover the benefits of music, including enhancing student engagement, promoting well-being, and providing exciting and creative learning experiences.

About the author

Chris Kefer


About Chris

Chris Kefer (B.M., M.S.) is a music educator, composer, music producer, and multi-instrumentalist. He has been teaching music education in public schools for 8 years and… Read more

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