musickeyboard

Background Music in School Environments


I'm a school teacher. Can background music enhance my school ambience?

Background music is everywhere. The lift, the shopping centre, the restaurant, and even dentists play it during a drilling session. What next – my school? 

Well, it is worth considering. After all, there is a very good reason why marketing, medicine, religion, the movie world and relaxation therapies use background or ambient music in their environments. Even if we are not consciously aware of it, music has a physiological and psychological effect on everyone. Listening to music can alter heartbeat, blood pressure and body temperature. It can stimulate us to action, or assist our retreat into slumber. A growing body of academic research asserts that background music has the capacity to influence human behaviour. 

In 2008, following my masters study on this subject and with endorsement from my principal I instigated an action research background music study in my school. Read more here.

What are the merits of background music in the classroom? Teachers experiment with music in the background (judiciously chosen for certain learning tasks only) in an attempt to improve learning outcomes. This occurs if the selected music can influence (and improve) classroom behaviour and atmosphere.

Further reading material:

The Corridors of Power: Using Background Music around Schools  by Michael Griffin  Written for Classroom Music magazine (Rhinegold) 2009

Background Music and the Learning Environment: Borrowing From Other Disciplines. A Masters Dissertation by Michael Griffin