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Focus and Concentration

 

 

Use music to help hold attention and focus.

Play Baroque-era music or slow Mozart music while students are reading or writing to focus their attention and keep them on track for longer periods of time. Sound Suggestions: Relax with the Classics: Volume 1 or 2, The Four Seasons, Baroque Music for Learning and Relaxation, Classical Harmonies
(Mozart)
For low-energy times of day, play upbeat Mozart while students are reading or writing to help them stay energized and interested. Sound Suggestions: Mozart Effect for Children: Tune Up Your Mind, Mozart Effect for Children: Mozart to Go, Mozart Effect for Children: Mozart in Motion, Mozart Effect: Strengthen the Mind, Mozart Effect for Children: Playtime to Sleepy Time (selections 1-4)
Play focus music quietly in the background to hold students' attention while working at learning centers or on projects. Sound Suggestions: Dance of the Renaissance, Emerald Castles, Relax with the Classics Vol 1 or 2, Baroque Music for Learning and Relaxation, Mozart Effect: Mozart to Go, Mozart Effect, Tune up Your Mind, Classical Harmonies, Baroque Music for Learning and Relaxation Play reflective music while you're reading a story. This helps to add interest and keep noise levels down. Sound Suggestions: Velvet Dreams, Music for Relaxation, And So to Dream, When You Wish Upon a Star, Galaxies

Play music to refocus attention.

Play an upbeat selection of music during a break time to refresh and re-energize. Sound Suggestions: Hooked on Classics, Earth Tribe Rhythms, Funny 50's and Silly 60's, Oldies for Kool Kiddies
Take a 90-second break and do the Brain Gym Cross Crawl or simple energetic exercises to get more oxygen to the brain for better thinking! Sound Suggestions: Hooked on Classics, Earth Tribe Rhythms, Funny 50's and Silly 60's, Oldies for Kool Kiddies and especially, Music for Creative Dance, selection #1 (move slow or fast depending on the tempo of the music at the time).
Have students stand up and do the twist to get the body re-energized and the brain re-oxygenated! Sound Suggestions: Oldies for Kool Kiddies, Funny 50's and Silly 60's
Do easy stretching exercises to music with the students for 60 seconds to get kinks out of the body. Add a few comments about "stretching the mind" to learn more as you do the exercises. Sound Suggestions: An Dun: Calming the Emotions, Velvet Dreams, When You Wish Upon a Star, Music for Relaxation, And So to Dream, Music for Accelerated Learning.
Take a brain break and play interesting music while students close their eyes. You can verbally lead them through a mind-calming exercise-take them on a journey to a favorite place, lead them through a peaceful nature scene or remind them to let their bodies relax and release stress. Sound Suggestions: use music from the activity above OR find an interesting selection from Galaxies, Deep Breakfast, or Music for Creative Dance.
Take a grand march around the room to energize and get ready for work. Sound Suggestions: Hooked on Classics, Mozart in Motion

Creativity and Quiet Times

Use music to facilitate creativity and reflection or to help slow students down when energy is high.

Play music quietly as students are journalling or writing to enhance their concentration and reduce talking. Sound Suggestions: music from Classical (Calming), Ambient (Calming) or Piano categories.
Play reflective music while students are drawing or painting to quietly bring out their creative expression. Sound Suggestions: music from Classical (calming), Ambient (calming) or Piano categories.
Play dynamic music to help stimulate ideas and set an energized mood while students work on creative projects. Sound Suggestions: Deep Breakfast, Hooked on Classics, Mozart in Motion, Echoes of Incas, Primitive Truth, Earth Tribe Rhythms
Play an Ambient music selection and have students use their imaginations to develop the ideas for a creative project or product. As they listen to the music, lead them through a visualization of their project. Sound Suggestions: music from Classical (calming), Ambient (calming) or Piano categories.

Use music to activate memory with energizing learning experiences.

Play an upbeat music selection and read vocabulary words for a new unit in rhythm to the beat. Sound Suggestions: Hooked on Classics, Earth Tribe Rhythms
Play "Musical Challenge Chairs" by adding a twist to the traditional game-when the music stops and students sit, the person left standing must answer a "challenge question" about the lesson or unit you are working on. Sound Suggestions: Hooked on Classics , Mozart in Motion (selection 1), Earth Tribe Rhythms, Deep Breakfast (selection 1).
Vary the Musical Challenge Chairs game by having students stand in a circle and pass an object or koosh ball around the circle while the music plays. When the music stops, the person holding the object must answer a challenge question. Sound Suggestions: Hooked on Classics, Mozart in Motion (selection 1), Earth Tribe Rhythms, Deep Breakfast (selection 1), 1988 Summer Olympics, Oldies for Kool Kiddies, Funny 50's and Silly 60's.

Use music "just for fun" to energize students and enhance attention.

"Take Off" on a new unit with an attention-grabber! Play selection 5 of Galaxies---the sound of a take-off-and when it has gotten off the ground announce that you are "taking off on a new adventure of exploring" (the unit title).
Ask students to move from one area of the room to another and back but tell them they can't walk---they must get there some other way (skip, crawl, hop, limp, slide). Play upbeat music while they do this. Suggestions: Hooked on Classics, Earth Tribe Rhythms, Funny 50's and Silly 60's, Oldies for Kool Kiddies
Play an upbeat selection of music and exercise or dance for 30 seconds to energize student energy levels. Sound Suggestions: Hooked on Classics, Earth Tribe Rhythms, Funny 50's and Silly 60's, Oldies for Kool Kiddies
CELEBRATE! and end the day with a fun song as students leave and give them a high five as they go out the door. Sound Suggestions: Oldies for Kool Kiddies, Funny 50's, Earth Tribe Rhythms, Hooked on Classics, Mozart to Go!, 1988 Summer Olympics

Sound Directions created by Chris Brewer, 2002. All Rights Reserved.

An on-line article published in the Imagine magazine, a publication of the International Alliance for Learning organization: www.ialearn.org