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Inspiration [Question]

Classroom Soundtrack

Started on Aug 29, 2012 by EstherMoorehead
Last post on Jul 14, 2018

Can anyone give feedback on the type of music you play in class? Do you cater it to the type of project the students are working on? Do you find it aids or detracts to the learners' concentration and/or retention?

6 Keeps, 0 Likes, 20 Comments

  • RuthByrne 08/30/2012 at 09:06am
    I've not done a lot with this, but when we make an elevator full of people I play elevator music...when we "tour" everyone's work before a critique I played girl from ipanema... I played some classic Duke Ellington at one point when a student was researching him for another class, that worked really well, but maybe because it was so out of the ordinary for us to listen to music the whole class.

    I find some learners become supremely focused when tunes are playing, others (those prone to discussions) tended to respond poorly, it was a reason to talk louder. I don't do it everyday though.

  • jfrisco 08/30/2012 at 08:27pm
    I often turn on you can set your own preferences. Music plays nearly every day in my art room. I try to play a variety of genres for the kiddos. I make a classical station, a top 40 station, a country station, a classic rock station, tribal percussion station, Latino station, Celtic station, and a meditation (new age and nature sounds) station. If a student doesn't enjoy the choice one day, they know the next day in Art it will be different. Students have to keep their voices BELOW the music volume or I turn the music off. The WANT music on. It serves as an incentive for appropriate studio voice volume in my classroom.

  • RuthByrne 08/31/2012 at 02:26pm
    That's a great system, j. I love the variety!

  • Jenncook678 09/01/2012 at 09:08am
    Have any of you tried "songza" yet?
    I really love the playlist and concierge features. It's worth checking out.

  • EstherMoorehead 09/01/2012 at 11:09am
    Thanks for the ideas! I need to beef up my playlist selections:)

  • AmyHall 09/02/2012 at 10:47am
    I use pandora as well and hook my cell phone up to an $20 ihome speaker. I used to make playlists, but then would forget to at home, so it was always the same songs. Along with JFrisco, I have a few pandora stations that I rotate between and everyone is happy.

    For the little guys (kinder) I sometimes play Greg Percy - songs in the key of Art. He has a bunch of great Art themed songs that are catchy for the little ones - I tried it with the older kids and they thought it was corny and rolled their eyes at me.

  • jfrisco 09/02/2012 at 11:13am
    The older ones rolled their eyes at me too when I played Percy. :) The primary grades like it though. I just checked out songza! Thanks Jenncook678!

  • imagiNATION 09/02/2012 at 09:57pm
    We listen to:
    1. There Might Be Giants
    2. Disney Movie Soundtracks (both the actual movies and the disney channel movies)
    3. Florence and The Machine
    4. Various other "working music" which is usually oldies, folk, or other things that can be background music.
    5. Instrumental Versions of things such as The Vitamin String Quartet or Instrumental Hip-Hop
    6. Clean versions of popular songs as a reward for good behavior.

  • SoClose 09/05/2012 at 06:42pm
    i've run the gamut of music listening - all sorts and genres. in my experience and observations, (and maybe just for my own sanity) i have found that instrumental music works best overall. i allow students to talk during production - - what i found was a lot of 'noise' as the students talking along with the lyrics of the songs seemed to clash. there are just as many genres of wordless music as music with words. (and i also use pandora - great resource!)

  • SuperMrsGardner 09/06/2012 at 04:01pm
    I use Pandora radio too. I have alot of stations and often play what I feel like hearing. I have found that if you play music with no words the artwork continues. If I play music that the student know it causes alot of commotion, either, "ew, not Selena Gomez" or they just start singing along and forget that it is art class, not music class.

  • kimber1964 09/06/2012 at 05:11pm
    The young ones love Songs in the Key of Art...with all of the volumes, I can always find a song to go along with the topics we cover. I love when they sing along as they work! Thanks for the suggestions for older students and I both all love having music in the art room!

  • RookieTeacher 09/06/2012 at 06:12pm
    I just began teaching high school art and have chosen to allow my students to listen to their own music via ear buds and personal electronic devices while working on projects. And like anything else, it works well for some in keeping them focused and on task, but for others it can be a distraction. Typically, the older students handle it better than the younger, less mature ones.

  • artwyoming 09/06/2012 at 07:16pm
    I like have played Celtic, oldies, World music, opera, classical... Some you tube stuff: Vitas and Riverdance today. I select the tunes. Too much inappropriate stuff from kids, such as the song about "Big Butts" playing and having an administrator stop by ... Some music makes students feel uncomfortable because they are unfamiliar with it, so we talk about why they might feel that way and why it is o.k. to listen to different genres.

  • ArtfulArtsyAmy 09/06/2012 at 07:37pm
    I've played all sorts of music, and I think it really depends on your student population. I avoid playing pop or current music because it encourages students to make requests and/or express there like/dislike (middle schoolers I'm glaring at you) of the music. Ultimately, I'm not a DJ. I want music on to keep it mellow and pleasant.

    I used to play a lot of music with voice, but found that often my students would speak louder to compete with the voice of the track. I often play classical music, but that can get old really quick. . .Especially with older students and/or students with limited exposure to classical music. They like it, but, they also tire of it quickly.

    I started legally downloading (clean lyric) music from soundcloud where DJs and aspiring DJs mix tracks. It is awesome. I tend toward transcendent, progressive house music. It is really mellow, has a nice simple beat, and has limited and/or occasional voice.

    I teach in an urban environment and my students LOVE the music. They vary from thinking it is hip hop or dubstep (no darlings; neither). I like it because it is so mellow I can hear it all day and not be bothered.

    My favorite DJ is DJ Bobby C Sound TV. He mixes some really cool stuff. Some of my favorite mix old motown classics and bollywood. . .So you can work the cultural angle as well!

  • MrsImpey 11/30/2012 at 07:08am
    It definitely depends on the kids. With my younger kids, we usually listen to the Kidz Bop station on Pandora. The older kids prefer a country channel or hits channel (but I don't like to let them listen to that all the time because of the rap). Around the holidays, I look up a station that plays holiday music. My favorite Pandora station, however, is the Glee Cast Station! I love Glee!

    One group last year did sumi-e painting so I looked up traditional Asian music and they loved it! They wanted to listen to it all year long because it was so calming!

  • Astabeth 02/28/2013 at 01:43pm
    My kids usually ask - last class it was David Bowie. The class before they wanted to listen to Queen. Sometimes they ask for '80s music. The Beatles are probably requested the most. I tell them it has to be something they all like, so they usually pick something from their parents' generation, which works out well for me! I usually have enough on my iPad to last the whole block.

  • Astabeth 02/28/2013 at 01:43pm
    Oh, and hearing a whole class of Art II students sing Bohemian Rhapsody while tapestry weaving had me laughing so hard I was almost in tears!

  • paintpeace 04/17/2013 at 03:47pm
    For my inner city middle schoolers, threatened by gang violence and poverty, the only Pandora ,station I have never heard a complaint against is RAVI SHANKAR! (Classical Indian). ClAssical Chinese Music is a good one too.

  • lightARTed 05/24/2016 at 05:13am
    I teach elementary art,
    I play music according to the art project we are working on. For instance, if we are making african masks I will play african music, etc...

    Other times I have saved kidz bop videos on youtube, minimize the screen so they just listen to the music.

    I can't get pandora in my district but just found google play music so I will start using that.

    I was thinking of buying a class set of cheap mp3 players next year and loading it with appropriate music thinking that it might cut down on the chatter if my students all had headphones. Has anyone ever done that, any opinions on mp3 players in the art room? Thanks!!

  • Bycats 07/14/2018 at 03:42pm
    This past year I played Vitamin String Quartet while students worked. My 6,7,8 work quietly and try to recognize the modern song being played only with stringed instruments. Calming music and no lyrics.