Using Music in Lessons:
Music for Relaxation
Music can help create a relaxed environment
which invites the mind to open up to learning. According to Terry
Wyler Webb, "Music is the key to achieving relaxation, unlocking
the sub-conscious and thereby enabling positive affirmations to
succeed." Because music evokes emotional responses, sometimes
sub-consciously, it's an effective way to engage the right side
of the brain, which has better access to long-term memory.
Rather than using music continuously throughout
the lesson, it's better to use it with a specific purpose in mind.
Webb recommends the following:
1) Use music at the beginning of
a tutoring session or class to set the tone and to create a transition
or bridge from the outside world to a classroom setting.
2) Use music during the lesson,
especially when the learner is involved in a specific learning
task. For example, use music when the learner is reading silently
or working on an assignment.
You can also use music to help both the tutor
and student relax. This can be an important way to create breaks
and rests during the tutoring sessions. Relaxation can actually
increase awareness and stimulate the mind. The following suggestions
are from Webb's book, Accelerated Learning with Music: Tutor
Guide. In each case, music should be played softly in the
Noticing Sensations--notice a feeling of comfort
and relaxation spreading throughout your body. Focus on feelings
of warmth, softness, calmness. Let the music create different
Relax progressively--start by relaxing your
feet and work your way up through your entire body. Let the music
move through your body.
Release tension--tighten up muscles in a section
of your body. Hold the tension for 30 seconds. Next entirely relax
that section of your body. Stay relaxed for an equal amount of
time. Use the music to tighten or release muscles.
Webb suggests the following kinds of music
for different learning activities. For a complete list, please
refer to Accelerated Learning with Music: Tutor Guide,
by Terry Wyler Webb.
Music for Practical Tasks
Music for Relaxation
Brahms, Symphony No. 3
Bruch, Scottish Fantasy
Berlin, Irving, Any selection
Vivaldi, Oboe Concerto
Dvorak, Cello Concerto
Wagner, Evening Star
Music for Exploring Ideas
Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue, Piano Concerto in F
Mozart, Horn Concertos, Clarinet Concerto
Strauss, Don Juan
Creating Learning "Concerts"