Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast
In my classroom, I include listening to some sort of music in the background as part of my students’ daily routine. Now I know this is not for everybody, but I’m a huge believer that having the right music on in the background as my students read and write helps builds focus, purpose and joy within the process. It is for this reason that I am including in this blog a series of Spotify playlists that are perfect accompaniments to classroom writing environments.
If you don’t have a nice little speaker setup in your classroom (there are very reasonably priced wired and bluetooth devices out there), and a monthly Spotify subscription (best $10/month money can buy), you are doing yourself a serious disservice as a teacher and a human.
The intent is this series to provide you and your students music that can really get them “into the pocket” as they write. I have found that when I cue up a playlist, it acts a sign that it’s time to get serious. It lets my students know that they are about to converse with their writing and not necessarily with one another.
I am sure there are studies that support this notion, but those are for another post. It should also be mentioned that music is a perfect salve to apply during planning periods, lunch and/or any of the other rare times teachers have to decompress.
The playlists in this series tend to feature instrumental, although vocals do creep in from time to time. They’re not dull. They’re not composed of elevator music or easy listening. They are eclectic, diverse, and and international-minded (to use an International Baccalaureate term).
I like to think that this music doesn’t just set the mood for writing, but that it also provides fodder for questions and conversation with my students. “I like this music,” a student will say, “Where does it come from?” I’ll tell you all about it when we’re done writing” I’ll reply.
So with this in mind please enjoy these playlists which I think you will find to be relaxing, soulful, contemplative and, ultimately, conducive to a productive and fun writing environment.
I also invite you to create your own playlists for the classroom and to share them with us at essaypop. It will be fun to create a community not only of writers but of music aficionados as well.