Thursday, April 09, 2009


Good teachers know the power of music in the classroom. Yes, the benefits of a strong musical curriculum are numerous, but the influence of music on the achievement of students is not relegated to the music classroom.

Studies have shown that when classroom teachers use music in the classroom, students are able to focus deeply and for longer periods of time. (Click here to read more about the Alpha State Learning, and all kinds of interesting information on the connection between music and achievement.)

Mozart, Bach, Handel, et al. are perfect examples of music that is well studied on the student brain. It’s good stuff, no doubt about it. As far as focus in concerned, 50- to 80-beats per minute are ideal as is music sans lyrics. However, when we are taking a brain break we seek out music with a higher tempo to help release energy.

I can download enough classical music to fill a 60-gig iPod; it’s not a problem. I am also interested in increasing student appreciation and exposure to music by incorporating some high quality and easily recognizable jazz and blues.

This is where I need the help of my blogging community. Think of my request as a need for the Top 10 of jazz, blues, pop and hip-hop. I am also interested in Celtic instrumental and other genres. The mind is open. Understand that I am looking to help students learn, focus and concentrate. If they are exposed to the same genre all the time … well, that becomes boring.

I need recommendations of jazz and blues songs or artists. Keep in mind, I cannot have songs about sex, drugs, alcohol or suicide. Please don’t recommend those. My music repertoire is too limited to be able to find the right selections.

Okay audiophiles send those comments my way. I would prefer them in the comments section as your recommendation may spark an idea of someone else. You can consider this part of your community service by helping an elementary teacher.

If anyone has any CDs they are willing to part with for the good of education, please send them my way. I have accepted a position at an elementary school and I am already preparing my classroom. Your support is sincerely appreciated.

I'd prefer comments, but you can also email me at:

1 comment:

Sugar Britches said...

I will gladly loan you some Gaelic Storm. They are an Irish/American trad band and I think they would be perfect for a celtic flair in the classroom.