Top 3 Ways I Use Music To Increase Engagement In My Classroom

Join Mrs. Spangler in the Middle for Engagement Ideas for the Classroom - this week:  Music!

Thank you for joining me for my new blog series on engagement!  First up, music!

I believe that music is an integral part of learning.  It not only soothes the soul but lights the lamp of curiosity as students ponder its messages.  It's no wonder then that I use music in my classroom for several purposes: 

For Inspiration

I'm always looking for new ways to inspire my students as we work through the routines of our days.  For instance, we always begin our days with journal writing.  I know the power of music to inspire, so I have decided to play a song during our journal time each day.  I call it "song of the week".  In the beginning, I choose the songs.  Later on, students get to choose as they move up the ranks on our Super Improver Wall.

Here are some of my favorites:

Best Day of my Life by American Authors

You Get What You Give by New Radicals (use the Glee version)

Don’t Stop Believin’by Journey

Stand by Me by Ben E. King

Firework by Katy Perry

Lovely Day by Bill Withers

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

Go the Distance (Hercules) by Michael Bolton

Who says (you’re not perfect) by Selena Gomez

Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars

Good Life by One Republic (Radio Version)

My Wish by Rascal Flatts

Put a Little Love in Your Heart by Jackie DeShannon

You can find most (if not all) of these songs by searching on YouTube.  Or if you have Amazon Prime, you can get them all there like I did!  :)

My students look forward to the song of the week and the idea of having the chance to choose that song.

As a Timer

 Plus, using music is not "just" inspirational, it's also a good timer!  I tell all the students that they must be done with their planners and writing in their journals at noise level 0 (no talking) by the time the song ends.

This gives them some "wiggle room" to get settled and have something positive with which to frame the class.

Sometimes, the song of the week is used to time other things - like students must be done cutting and gluing interactive notebook foldables by the time the song ends.

Other times, the song of the week's lyrics "mysteriously" appear in lessons that same week too.  While this isn't a timer, it's great timing!  ;)

And if you're brave, put out a song suggestion box.  Who knows what you might find!

As part of a lesson

Last, but not least, I try to find songs that I can play on my guitar or that my husband can play for me on his ukelele.  There's nothing like putting a concept to song - especially if the teacher is the singer!  I think students like seeing their teachers "be real".

In fact, I recently put our body paragraph organization to song using the "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes" tune:

An - swer - r

An - swer - r

Explain - n

A - n- d
Th - is

An - swer - r

What musical tips can you share?  Join in the conversation in the comments below!

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment

  1. I love this! I use music to teach parts of speech. I have a preposition and helping verb song. I also use it for memorizing facts or the order of things. We study Greek and Latin roots. I use the rhythm of the school cheer to do a root word chant each time we add a new root. There's something about the rhythm and beat that adds another opportunity to access information.


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