Teaching Through Music

Music as a Teaching Tool

Many teachers are hesitant to include music in their classrooms because they believe they must have formal musical training to use music as a teaching tool. However, this is not true. There are, however, a variety of techniques to include music in the classroom that do not necessitate any special expertise.


Transitions are a little more difficult to set up in the early grades since the pupils are still learning what the concept of a minute is and what it feels like. A song can help students transition more smoothly because it serves as a behavior cue: students become accustomed to the length of the song or part of a song and internalize the amount of time they have before moving on to the next task, which helps them begin to take responsibility for their learning and learning.

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Many of us are aware that music can get people up and move. Students, especially those in the younger grades, benefit greatly from movement-based songs as a way to take a break from their studies. The use of GoNoodle, for example, is one of several resources already accessible to assist in the creation of instructional brain breaks that do not disrupt classroom management.

Those who have physical disabilities can benefit from listening to music since it can help them concentrate and/or impact how they move about. Smooth music will result in fluid motions, whilst fast dance music may result in jerky movements.

Students gain new social and emotional abilities daily when they encounter new situations and situations. Consider using songs to teach children new abilities. Consider the music of “Hokey Pokey,” which is well-known to most youngsters, and altering the words to talk about how to cool down after being in a stressful situation, like in this version derived from Margie La Bella’s Music Therapy & Education: A Guide to Creating a Music-Based Curriculum.

A deep breath in, a deep breath out, a deep breath in, and then another deep breath out.
You can concentrate on your breathing.
You can learn to be more relaxed.
That is, after all, what it is all about.

To be successful as educators, we must appropriately challenge each kid while still satisfying statutory standards and fostering higher-order thinking. Music is one tool that may be used to engage each learner and open the door to new connections and greater understanding. Songs are essentially poems, with a great deal of meaning crammed into a small number of words. Students’ own experiences are considered from the perspective of the author’s meaning as questions arise, and this helps to establish a climate in which students will want to communicate what they are thinking and why they are thinking it. This results in a personal need to conduct the study to determine what the songwriter is alluding to in the song’s lyrics.

Consider the following suggestions for incorporating music into your classroom:

Using music as a lens to teach about cultural traditions and historical events can be quite beneficial in the study of history. Examples of how to teach about the Dust Bowl include using songs by Woody Guthrie and/or Benny Goodman and having students analyze how people lived in their respective communities throughout history.

Due to the abstract nature of mathematics topics, children can find it difficult to grasp them at first. This is why it is critical to provide visuals and manipulatives to students when first teaching a concept. Musical notes can aid in the teaching of fractions while changing instruments while continuing to perform the same song can aid in the teaching of patterns, and employing pitch can aid in the teaching of frequency and ratios.

Students in science can benefit from songs that teach about the skeletal system or that use mnemonics to help them recall the food chain, among other things. Music can be used as a learning tool to teach youngsters about sound waves and provide them hands-on experience with frequency concerning pitch.

Learning to recognize patterns in the structure of language and distinguishing between pitches in words that sound similar but have distinct meanings can help students improve their literacy skills. To convey tale components such as character, setting, conflict, and resolution, musical metaphors can be used to illustrate them through the lens of the melodies and instruments used in the compositions, as well as the tempos and dynamics of the music.


It is not necessary to purchase a large number of pricey materials to incorporate music into your classroom. Here are a few low- or no-cost options for incorporating music into your classroom:

Create a CD or playlist of songs that can be used for motor skills practice, academics, or relaxing time to enhance your learning.
Use repurposed materials to create musical instruments. A guitar may be constructed from a cereal box, and drums can be constructed from cans and plastic bottles. KinderArt teaches children how to construct instruments that are both simple and imaginative, and that can also be used to examine different cultures. And Music in Motion has a fantastic selection of instruments that you can either construct yourself out of recyclable materials or purchase from the site.
Making music with your hands is easy. Clapping, snapping, tapping, whistling, humming, and stomping are all good options. Look no farther than the musical Stomp for inspiration on how to begin music merely by moving your body—for example, the section of the act in which clapping serves as the primary instrument.