PART TWO - Use Music to Inspire and Connect with Students

This post was originally on The Freshman Transition Network.

Recently I posted about ways to use music in the classroom and a list of specific songs that can be used. This post is a follow up to that earlier one. The first part of this post before the list of songs is copied verbatim from the original post.

Kids respond to music. Use it to teach them lessons about life and to express your hopes for them. Use it to let them know you love them.

Don't just wait for teachable moments to come along. Instead use music to create teachable moments.

Here are 2 ideas for how you can use these songs:

1. Use the song as a Do Now/Bell Ringer activity in your classroom. Make a PowerPoint with the words to the song. Then play the song and have the students read the words while they listen. After they listen to the song have them write a short reflection about how the song might apply to their lives, or about why they think you chose the song, or about what they can learn from the song. Give them a moment to share what they wrote. Then take a moment to share with them your feelings and thoughts.

2. The 2nd idea is very similar to the first. The only difference is that you first take digital pictures of your students and put them into a PowerPoint. While the students listen to the song, you play the PowerPoint of their pictures. Kids love seeing themselves in a presentation and it makes the message of the song hit home a little stronger.

With both of these ideas I would recommend trying to do it at least once a month - maybe even more often. The kids will begin to look forward to the times when you bring music into the classroom. Even more, they will appreciate the fact that you take the time to open up and share with them about more than just content.

With each of the songs listed below, I have included a short idea about how you can use it to teach your students. By clicking on the song title you can go to and download an MP3 version of it. If you have any other songs to suggest, please do so as a reply to this post.

1. Dancing in Circles - Love and Theft
Teach your students about the importance of loving each other and of treating others with respect.

2. Our Lives - The Calling
We have to make the most of our lives and not waste a day. We have responsibilities toward our fellow man.

3. Live Like We're Dying - Kris Allen
Similar message to Our Lives - make the most of the time you have. Live for a purpose.

4. Mountains - Lonestar
There are many obstacles in life, but overcoming them makes you strong.

5. If Today Was Your Last Day - Nickelback
The important things in life are what we would do if it was our last day. Why wait until then to do what's important?

6. Love's the Only House - Martina McBride
We are called to love others. How can we, in our normal daily lives, show love to others?

7. Fifteen - Taylor Swift
To often when you're young you only see the here and now. Making decisions based on that can lead to heartache.

So, does anyone have any songs to add to the list?

Views: 64

Tags: allen, and, calling, classroom, in, inspire, kris, lonestar, love, martina, More…mcbride, motivate, music, nickelback, swift, taylor, theft, to, use

Comment by RIchard John McLaughlin on March 21, 2010 at 4:02pm
The most visual song I know is by David Wilcox. It is called Show the Way. Great stuff. I see that you use Power Point. Have you tried to do a storybook through Microsoft's Movie maker?
There is a wonderful program that I volunteer for in Philadephia called, Musicians on Call. It is about the healing power of music. I meet up with a volunteer guide from WXPN 88.5 at CHOP (Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania). She takes me from room to room and I play music by the children's bedside. Words fail t0 describe the experiences.
I'm one of those tree huggers. So, I made up a kids show called Eco-Man. You can find me on wiki. I have been performing on the side as Eco-Man since 1992. I run into adults now that say, "Hey aren't you...." Music has some powerful brain glue.
Comment by Scott Habeeb on March 22, 2010 at 7:17am
Thanks for the comment. I have not used Movie Maker for a storybook but it sounds like a neat idea.
Comment by RIchard John McLaughlin on March 22, 2010 at 3:43pm
Don't forget to listen to David Wilcox's "Show the Way." Another great artist is Dar Williams.
Comment by Scott Habeeb on March 22, 2010 at 7:03pm
Will do!


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