Music as an Incentive

Music has always shared my heart; it has been a part of me since I can remember.  I’ve listened to it, I’ve sung it, and I’ve played it on my guitar or saxophone.  It’s always there to help me get my groove on or lull me to sleep.  It sings to my soul, inspires me, conjures up images of people, scenes, landscapes, and if the tune is superb, transports me to far away places.  As a kid I can remember wishing to go to Julliard and becoming a big star on broadway.  It’s the way I’m wired.  Music always helps me dream big.

Everyone I have met seems to have a connection with music, even if it is just through listening for enjoyment.   The same is true for my students.  I have found that music can also pump up my students, getting them ready to conquer each lesson, or sooth my students, as they nervously work.  They too enjoy music.

There are many ways that music can be used in the classroom.  For now I will only speak on the ways a sub can use music in the classroom.  Sometimes I run across particularly difficult groups of students.  You know those groups that make you want to pull out every single hair on your head…that group that grays all those hairs on your head.  Yes, we have all been there.  You’ve tried every classroom management trick and Joey is still shouting across the classroom,  Michelle is still sleeping, Alex is still refusing to complete his work, and you know the scene.  Sigh!!!  Here’s one more trick.  I generally do not believe in rewards or incentives, but as a sub sometimes we just have to get through the day.  Try this…make a deal with your students.  Create a playlist or mix CD with a variety of music, with positive messages–of course, or if you’re nervous…simply instrumental.  Access it and say to the students,  “if we all can work together as a team and we have a super class, while you complete the work I will turn on music with your okay”  or “if we all can work together as a team and we have a super class, I will turn on music and you will have the last 5 minutes to chit chat with your friends.”  On the right hand side of this blog you will find a new playlist, full of songs that you could use to inspire your students.  This list was designed more with the middle school audience in mind, as I am a middle school teacher.  Feel free to create your own and steal these songs for ideas.  I used  You could also use Music Remedy or Grooveshark, or any other internet radio site.  Just remember you may only do this with the entire class’s permission.  If even one student objects, you can’t do it, because ultimately your job is to protect the learning environment and there are some students who find listening to music very distracting.  I hope you enjoy!!!! If you think of any songs I could add, please do share.   Blessings!!!!

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