View Full Version : Music for the Classroom

08-15-2011, 10:29 AM
While creating some playlists for my DS' Math time, I stumbled onto this site (http://www.musicintheclassroom.com/quotations.html).

I'm curious about other SH's thoughts and experiences concerning music in the classroom.

Do you use background music when homeschooling? What do you listen to? What effect does it have on your homeschoolers?

08-15-2011, 10:47 AM
We don't. I rarely play music around my son because he talks all the time anyway and it just causes him to sing nonsense over it. He wouldn't be able to deal with the distraction of having music on while doing work; I keep things as quiet as possible.

It's sort of a bummer to me that at 8 1/2 he isn't familiar with very many musicians, but neither does he have much interest. He does enjoy TMBG videos on youtube, but not while working.

08-15-2011, 11:02 AM
If we have music on, we tend to have Bowie, Pink Floyd, Beatles, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, The Who, The Doors, etc. on in the background. I've tried Nora Jones, Robert Cray, Johnny Lang, other blues artists, but the kids claim it puts them to sleep.

In any case, it's never on loud, unless it's a favorite song and someone turns it up a for a bit.

My kids can work in either quiet or with music. I think learning work with distractions is not a bad thing. I was one of 8 kids and never had my own "quiet study space" growing up, but still got good grades. When I went to college, I was able to focus on my work with all kinds of other distractions, which proved useful in a busy dorm with 800+ other students, stereros blaring, TV's on, conversations, etc.

08-15-2011, 11:06 AM
Music quietly in the background maybe, but I have trouble with distractions especially tv. We don't watch it much but it was always on when I was a kid and it drove me nuts. My mom still turns it on whenever we're visiting and I find it hard to have a conversation over it.

08-15-2011, 11:13 AM
Music quietly in the background maybe, but I have trouble with distractions especially tv. We don't watch it much but it was always on when I was a kid and it drove me nuts. My mom still turns it on whenever we're visiting and I find it hard to have a conversation over it.

Same here. We rarely have the TV on unless we're watching a documentary for "school." (Or Top Gear after dinner. The kids are big fans.)

08-15-2011, 11:51 AM
I thought the article I linked was interesting because it noted studies that suggest that classical music with a beat of 60 actually assists the brain with concentration. Has anyone noticed this effect on their kids?

A class I took on tutoring kids with LD's covered this subject. That was years ago before I was homeschooling...

08-15-2011, 12:04 PM
We always listen to music. Either iTunes, XM or Pandora where we have created our own play lists for different moods. Occasionally DD will put on headphones to listen to something different or to block out the music if she's doing something on T4L and needs to concentrate. I do often have to ask her to not sing so loud because I can't concentrate! She has a wonderful singing voice but will replay the same song ten times if you let her!

I'm pretty sure if we didn't listen to something we'd fall asleep or lose track of time.

08-15-2011, 12:08 PM
We usually have music on during the day. We will either play classical, opera, or film scores. I think it relaxes the kids, but I am not sure it improves their school work.

08-15-2011, 12:20 PM
We have it on when we're "doing" - art projects or science experiments - and are active anyway. Too distracting for book work or anything that requires a lot of concentration, and definitely no TV. We listen to tons of stuff - classical, ska, jazz, oldies, hard rock, punk... They Might Be Giants (both the kid stuff and their older stuff) and AC/DC are big at the moment. We crank it and have dance breaks, which improves everyone's mood and energy levels.

08-15-2011, 04:43 PM
We are classical music junkies - scouring yard sales and craigslist for old CDs. This summer we found 20 CDs at a yard sale for $5! And 40 CDs on craigslist for $20. The girls are not fond of opera, but love Mozart. I have definitely found improved concentration and greater focus. Plus, they truly enjoy it. Now, that's not to say they don't grab a tutu every so often and start doing grand jetes across the room! This week, they thought we could work with the States and Capitals CD but found out very quickly it wasn't a good idea at all. We'll stick to the classics!

speech mom
08-15-2011, 08:30 PM
We bought the Mozart CDs that were all the rage a few years ago. The boy absolutely refuses to work when they are on. He says his brain won't work with that in the background. He likes to listen to modern pop and the girls don't mind, so that is what we usually end up with. I try to sneak in the Violent Femmes, REM, Indigo Girls, etc. when they aren't paying attention. A few months ago they came to me and asked me to listen to this "new, cool band" , the Clash. sheesh.

08-16-2011, 12:04 AM
A few months ago they came to me and asked me to listen to this "new, cool band" , the Clash. sheesh.

That's funny. Our middle boy keeps "schooling" us on punk rock music. He seems to forget who he ganked the cd's from in the first place.

Our boys love ska and punk almost exclusively but I cannot play it during school time. My ADHD'er will be out of his chair and off the walls three bars into anything that isn't classical.

We play a lot of New-Agey classical, atmosphere crap during study time. It does seem to help... but I draw the line at Enya and Yanni.

08-16-2011, 12:30 AM
We have Pandora, but usually just listen to it on breaks. I might try a classical music selection on there though this school year and see how it goes.

Stella M
08-16-2011, 02:27 AM
Almost never in the background when we're working - although dd12 will have music on if she's working in her room by herself. If I want us to listen to music as 'school', I'll play it at meal times or when we're doing handcrafts/drawing. Everyone is free to listen to whatever in the afternoons; I'm more of a contemporary Brit-folk girl, dd12 is completely into the set-your-teeth-on-edge sweet Taylor Swift. Dh adores Tom Waits but I absolutely cannot have him playing a Tom Waits CD before nightfall. Dd13 and ds aren't much for music at all.

I do find Mozart in the mornings makes for a more harmonious start to the day, mainly because it has a soothing effect on me. Something to do with the structure of the music - I'm no musician, so I can't pinpoint exactly what it is. But yes, there is an effect.

08-16-2011, 09:46 AM
We usually have classical or film scores on in background, with directv we have many stations to choose from.

08-30-2011, 09:54 AM
We have music playing a good 90% of the time here. We have playlists set for different times, but usually, I just put the whole lot on shuffle and let it play. So, our day is set to a soundtrack that could include the Slovak Philharmonic, Nirvana, Taylor Swift and anything in between. As long as it isn't a distraction, dd7 seems to prefer to have it on. Plus, it drowns out the sounds of Dora coming from our playroom where dd2 has set up housekeeping. But as to the article, I do firmly believe the time keep in classical music can set your brain to frequencies that make math more accessible.