Different forms of music have been found to be effective in increasing the ability to focus, concentrate, calm, soothe, and relax; it can enhance learning, creativity, and critical-thinking skills.
Use Music for setting the stage and mood; it can serve a variety of functions in your classroom or program
1. Play music to manage the energy level of the program. You never know the energy level the kids will have when they arrive. One day, you have a room full of kids bouncing off the walls (often on cold or rainy days when they can't go outside to play). The next day the same children seem like they are moving in slow motion.
2. Play music to signal transitions to the children.
There are tunes galore for younger kids; however when working with school-age, look for music that will be more age-appropriate. An example may be Yakity-Yak, Don’t Talk Back when it’s time to clean-up the play areas---or---Who Let the Dogs Out as a signal for outside line up. If using music for transitions, get the SAC kids input into what they’d like to use.
- For either age group--always give a 10 and then 5 minute warning that the activity will end.
- At the given time--play the music that is used consistently--- and the kids will know what to do!
3. Music can also be a bonding experience.
Play music as background right from the beginning of the day. Just as you take care to make your environment visually appealing and stimulating, you should also note the effect that music has on the atmosphere in the program and classroom.
Entering a room can be intimidating for people of any age.
- Music can help to make your program space warm and inviting.
- Arrival time should be soothing; use music to set a tone right from the start.
- To liven things up-be sure to play music to go with your themes.
- Having a beach party? Play Beach Boys and Caribbean music. Having a Luau—play Hawaiian music, etc,
Tip: Loosely plan music to accompany the several transitions you have. Instead of using several CD’s… burn a CD of the songs you use or use an iPod so you don't need to change CDs during the program. Make a playlist of about 70 minutes worth of music (50 minutes worth of group-time music plus 4-5 songs to use as back-ups if you need to change the pace).