Happy New Year!!

Well…2012 is now officially behind us and 2013 is here for good. The first thing that I think of when it is New Year’s Day is making (and keeping) New Year’s resolutions.

They couldn’t be easier to make…everyone can make them…but not everyone can keep them. I figured I would give you a few resolutions revolving around playing music in the classroom.

1) Have music playing for your students as they enter the classroom each morning.
I remember one teacher in particular that I had while growing up that played Phil Collins as we entered the classroom. That was close to 20 plus years ago and I still can recall those mornings. I can’t say that I am the biggest Phil Collins fan, but the fact is I was always excited to hear what song would be playing each morning. If you need help with what songs to play in the morning, head over to the Morning Melodies section of the website.

2) Play a 60 second clip of a song each time you are ready to change subjects.
I have seen this referred to as Subject Anchors or Subject Transition songs, but what better way to get your students ready for the next subject then hearing a song about the subject you are about to start. They hear the opening notes to the “Bill Nye the Science Guy Theme Song” or the first verse of “She Blinded Me With Science” and immediately they know to pull out their Science folders and Science books. If you need help with what songs to play to get them ready for the next subject, hover your mouse over the Songs category in the navigation menu above and then hover over the By Subject sub-category, where you will currently find five different subjects available.

3) End each day with tunes
No matter what you are trying to accomplish at the end of the school day, if you use music correctly, you can get your students to do exactly what you want them to. As I mentioned in a post from a few days ago, Great End of The Day Song, my sister was struggling with how to get her students to cooperate when there was five minutes left before the bell rang. She started incorporating music into the routine and now suddenly what used to be five minutes of chaos is now five minutes of structure. The kids know what they should be doing when they hear the music and now look forward to it when she presses play on the computer. If you need help with what songs to play at the end of the day, head over to the Dismissal Ditties section of the website.

4) Reward them with music
I have a dog and I know that if he does something good, I will reward him with a treat. Pretty simple concept. But who wants to give students treats, aka candy, all day long. Instead, why not play some of their favorite songs for five-ten minutes when they do something good? Instead of wasting money on gumballs and pixie sticks, spend a few bucks on a disco ball or a strobe light and watch your kids awkwardly dance to the Cupid Shuffle or Call Me Maybe. I know I would have loved my teacher if he/she played fun music for us to dance to…so start the new year off with a new fun tradition. If you need suggestions of what songs to play for the impromptu dance parties, head over to the Request Line and let me know a little bit about your class and I will give you some suggestions to play.

5) Download Spotify
I realize this is not really a resolution but more of a command, but I can’t tell you enough how awesome Spotify is. Go to Spotify.com and download the program and watch the possibilities unfold before your eyes. Their motto is “Music for every moment” and I couldn’t agree with it more. Make every moment at school or at home or with your friends or with your family musical. I have Spotify constantly playing on my computer whether at home or work. At one point in time, records were all the rage, then 8-tracks, then cassette tapes, then CDs, then MP3s and now (in my opinion)…Spotify is the next thing. If your administrators tell you that you can’t download that program on a school issued computer, then download it on your smart phone or iPhone and use that in the classroom instead. Don’t let the IT department dictate the possibilities of learning with music in the classroom.

So there…that was five quick New Year’s resolutions for using music in the classroom. I did the easy part and now it’s up to you to do the hard part and keep them!!

Oh by the way…here is a great song to play for your students when they arrive either tomorrow (1/2) or next Monday (1/7). Welcome Back.


Teaching Maddeness


2 thoughts on “Happy New Year!!

  1. Love resolution 1! I open my door at 8:30, but some kids go to free breakfast. The first bell rings at 8:40 and the tardy bell at 8:50. I can just see myself saying, “Billy! You HAVE to get here by the time U2 is on!” or “Way to go Susie! You are always here before Justin Beiber comes on!”. =)

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