The Pflaum Gospel Weeklies music collection feature songs by well-known Catholic composer John Burland. The selections follow the Liturgical Year and support the doctrinal themes found in each lesson.
Seven Reasons to Use Music in Your Classroom
Source: Today’s Catholic Teacher, November/December 2015.
1. Promotes active listening
There is a wealth of research in relation to auditory discrimination that identifies the positive impact of music on listening, especially in relation to children. Simple activities incorporating music can be integrated into your daily classroom routine or teaching to promote listening, such as the use of a special song to call children back together after group work, to gather for morning prayer, or when moving or rotating activities.
2. Supports recall
We have all had the experience of hearing a piece of music and instantly recalling a particular time, person, or set of events. Connecting learning to music or a particular song has the same result. As a young teacher in the 1980s, one of my biggest challenges was teaching math, in particular multiplication tables and number facts in my grade three class. At that time, there was a collection of songs by Australian children’s artist Don Spencer that put tables and number facts to a variety of different musical styles. I started using this resource regularly in my classroom and instantly noticed the impact it had on learning. The children became very enthusiastic about math lessons and loved singing along with the songs as they learned. Within about eight weeks, every child in that class knew his or her multiplication tables and number facts.
3. Increases participation
The use of music increases participation, as children want to be involved in activities that make learning fun. They tend to be drawn to activities they can all join in that are not restricted by ability, language,
4. Caters to a variety of learning modes
Music, due to its unique appeal and power with children, also engages a variety of learning modes. Music’s invitational approach encourages all learners to join in! We know the brain is malleable and open to new ways of learning. Music taps into neural pathways that enable students to connect with ideas, concepts, and information through a joyous and positive experience.
5. Fosters relaxation
Our lives are busy! So, too, are the lives of our children at home and at school. The use of music offers a break from the busyness of the world. When quiet music is combined with appropriate meditations for children, we offer children a time to be still and calm and participate in relaxation. It also establishes a calming and peaceful atmosphere within the classroom.
6. Supports classroom management
Incorporating music into classroom and school routines assists with classroom management. You can use different songs to indicate to children that it is time to stop and listen, move to the front quietly, line up at the door, and gather for prayer. Using music in this way is an easy and effective way to assist with seamless transitions and manage your classroom.
7. Connects to movement
The use of simple moves or gestures helps children to learn a song very quickly. When a song is specifically relevant to learning content, the addition of moves or gestures creates a greater impact on learning. This was evident in my own classroom on many occasions when I put specific content to a simple tune and added moves and gestures. The addition of movement helped the children learn the song quickly and make a connection to the content, and allowed them to recall the content without the singing of the song.