Best Practice

Using music effectively as part of your lessons

Music is a powerful tool that teachers can embrace in the classroom to help encourage, calm, motivate, inspire and more. Fiona Aubrey-Smith offers some pointers

With the Department for Education consultation underway to create a new National Plan for Music Education (DfE, 2020), music has once again risen higher up the agenda.

The importance of playing a musical instrument is underpinned by comprehensive research which consistently shows the positive impact on things like attainment across the curriculum, self-discipline and behaviour, and cognitive development (for example, see Hallam & Rogers , 2016).

But, the role of music in our schools goes further – even beyond collaboration, team-work, social skills, creativity and imaginative development.

One of the most powerful tools you can use in your classroom, staffroom or indeed anywhere around your school is the sound of music. The music that we listen to – either deliberately or subliminally – provides a soundtrack to our lives. It has the ability to substantially affect behaviours within us all. Just think of iconic film soundtracks and evocative melodies that remind you of specific events or people. There is plenty of evidence available about how and why this works.

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