Music is harmony, rhythm, melody, a way to express ideas, as well as an expression of emotion. Music can be used as a memory tool and an emotional state changer. The brain remembers events and information that are connected with music.
- If music is pleasant, it creates a chemical change in the brain. This change taps the reward center of the brain and activates dopamine and serotonin. Both of these neurotransmitters have a positive effect on learning.
- Unpleasant music = distress
- The cerebellum helps coordinate automatic movement and is a key player in our perception of rhythm and music.
- When we listen to music motor areas of the brain are activated.
- Music can be used to change states, promote socialization, get attention, and energize students to get tasks done for quick drills or transitions.
- Music is a carrier and creates an emotional tag, which can be paired with semantic learning to strengthen synapses, memory, and recall.
- Music can be used to put learners in the emotional state necessary for what they are being asked to do. Use soft calming music for quiet individual work, something with a bit more zip for partner work, and something with more beats per minute to get them moving faster. Very upbeat music with a steady beat gets transitions to happen quickly.
- Music can be used to signal routines for time efficiency.
- Use specific songs to cue class routines and rituals eliminating the need for verbal instructions.
- Use upbeat positive energizing music to prime students for active classes.
- Use low volume background music to calm and relax.
How can I use the magic of music to manage learner's states, create positive socialization, get attention, release dopamine, and... the list goes on...?