Music To The Rescue

In a past life I was a musician and a music teacher.  While I lacked the talent and drive to become a professional musician, music has always been something I’ve enjoyed.

In our classroom, when students need to complete a transition from one activity to the other – for example, universal breakfast clean up to Morning Meeting – we play music. We began the year with Pachelbel and are working on Bach at the moment.

My students love to talk – usually to me and all at once –  they talk a LOT. And while I understand and encourage this as part of their processing and language acquisition, it can get pretty loud. When we’re in Writing Workshop, there are definitely times I want them talking out loud, but there are times when I’d like them “talking” with their pencils and pens.

One day this week, as I was preparing to release my students to their writing tasks, I started explaining to them that I would like to begin experimenting with background music during Writing Workshop.  As I write – even now – we have classical music playing in the background so why not?  This was, as many things about teaching are, unplanned.

It was not an instant success — it took a couple of starts before I could convince my students that they didn’t need to try to talk over the music. But over the course of the last three days, the background conversations – the ones that were not about writing – have been replaced so that Writing Workshop is most definitely a more focused work period.

Yesterday, one of my friends approached me in amazement saying “we wrote quietly the whole time!” And so they did.  Music to the rescue.

One thought on “Music To The Rescue

  1. “This was, as many things about teaching are, unplanned.” So true!! By the way, your post reminds us all of the value of bringing music into the classroom and keeping it there. Our district cuts have not been kind to any of our arts… We can’t change much by complaining, but we can bring change into our own classrooms. Turn it on and turn it up…

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