The weeks after half term can be a tough time in the classroom – after all, teachers and students have had a taste of the summer holidays so settling back into a classroom can be almost impossible, especially with sunshine and warm weather right outside the school windows! The good news is, these next few weeks are primetime for incorporating more music education activities into the school day, encouraging students and teachers to finish the year strong.
First off, music re-energises students! Any creative activity is a change to inject fresh energy into the classroom – this can be as simple as playing a piece of music to encourage your kids to move around and get their wiggles out. Making and playing music breaks up what can feel like long academic lessons in warm classrooms, shaking up the school day and refocusing students.
Music classes can redirect students’ behaviour. Unfortunately for many of us, this is a time of year where we can start to see a breakdown in our students’ behaviour. Music classes can reinforce classroom structure and organisation in fun ways; the routine of a music class schedule, the discipline needed to perform a piece of music, even sitting in a different configuration during music class – all of these can help encourage positive behavioural growth. There are also plenty of opportunities within a music education class that can be used as part of a classroom rewards system, so the possibilities here are endless.
Music education creates milestones. Making music is an inclusive experience, and like a lot group activities some are a big deal, like recitals or showcases. Even if it’s not an official event, this is a great time to put together an in-class end-of-year concert or any kind of fun performance that your students can look forward to.
And finally, music is portable! If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em – head outside for a classroom session that takes advantage of these summer days Teach your students that music is everywhere by identifying the sounds and rhythms of the outdoors or bring your regular lesson plans outside and let your kids be as loud as they can! Even something simple like a playgroup drum circle is a great way for your students to explore music while releasing some creative energy.
It is impossible for us as educators to know what experience will stick with a student forever, but everyday is a fresh opportunity to create that kind of memory for someone in your classroom. Remember, what’s good for your students is good for you — a strong school year finish is the best kind of summertime start for everyone!