Using Music on the Web

Using Music on the Web

Chris Brewer of 'Sountracks for Learning', suggests that incorporating music into your classroom has many benefits that will enhance the learning environment. These benefits include:

* creates a relaxed and effective learning atmosphere
* establishes a positive learning state
* improves memory and concentration
* makes classroom management easier
* can raise energy levels
* develops rapport and aligns groups
* motivates learning

During my time at placement schools and the time i have spent in my own children's classrooms, i have witnessed some extensive cd collections. These compilations include an array of music that caters for many classroom activities. As Melissa has suggested, music can be used for packing up, transition time, presentations and also as a subject. Having a varied selection of music to maintain student engagement, for each of these activites, can become a costly exercise. 

The alternative to this is using royalty free music. Websites such as INCOMPETECH provide a vast selection of music that is covered under the Creative Commons agreement. As mentioned in my earlier 'Copyright Catastrophe' post, Creative Commons (2009) is a shared culture that preserves identity. 

After exploring the INCOMPETECH website, i chose a piece of music that i can incorporate into the medieval unit my year 4/5/6 class is currently completing. The instrumental piece is a simple folk melody that contains epic, mystical and somber attributes. The music gradually builds in intensity to reach a triumphant ending. I am in the process of creating a PowerPoint to accompany the music, that will tell of a newly appointed knight and the journey he is about to embark on. The intent is for students to gain the impression that the knight has entered battle and then returns home to his loved ones, after an honorable act of workmanship. The following is a basic outline of the essential elements in the lesson: 

* Frontload students about the lesson ahead
* Invite students to put on their red thinking hat in order to consider the emotions, feelings, intuitions, hunches and reactions of the character in the following PowerPoint
* Play the PowerPoint (PP) that displays images of a young squire as he is appointed into knighthood. PP will display his thoughts about the oath he has taken to honorably defend his king and the church and the battles that now lie ahead
* Discuss and use a graphic organiser, to display the emotions and feelings that the music created 
* Students create a narrative based on their own character from medieval times (students are already allocated into specific groups) and the feelings and emotions they may be faced with

Future lessons would include:
* Comparing and contrasting this piece of music to modern day music
* Researching instruments used in medieval times
* Working collaboratively to discover royalty free music that can be used in group presentations 

Prensky (2001) suggests that students in this digital age have the ability to parallel process and multi task. By incorporating music into PowerPoint, along with explicit pedagogy skills, it is providing students with the opportunity to use multiple senses. We, as learning managers, must ensure these opportunities are available to our cohort in order for them to understand their learning strengths and needs.

Until next time,

"Long Road Ahead". Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0" http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/"

Prensky, M. (2005). Engage Me or Enrage Me - What today's learners demand. Retrieved July 29, from,

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kerri,
    Wow, you have given an in depth explanation of the benefits of using music in the classroom, I had no idea there were so many. I'm yet to do a post about this tool, its next on the list and you've given me some good ideas.
    Talk again soon.