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Re: [teacherartexchange] music in the Art room (LONG post)


From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Aug 24 2006 - 02:45:47 PDT

Hi Chris and all,

This question comes up on all lists.... I guess I should compile all
that I saved and put it on Incredible Art Department.

Here are some of the links to past exchanges and some posts that I saved.
You can find some goo International music at the music stores too -
and usually at a good price. I have given away most of my art room
music now so can't give you specific titles. Do look in Crizmac
catalog for cultural music - and see Putomayo web site (links below).

Scroll down - lots of suggestions:
I will think about compiling these and adding a page to IAD.

Also see March 2003 (scroll down):

September 2000:

October 2000

March 2000:
See Room Music and Music in art room

September 97:

September 2004

Here is a project idea that came up... Ocarina's

You can find just about any art ed topic in Getty archives by adding
TeacherArtExchange with your word search.

And here are some posts I had saved:

Dawn Stein - Kandinsky - Stravinsky
If you make a list of "what's playing" in our
artrooms, please add the Gipsy Kings!
I wasn't part of the earlier discussion but I would assume you are talking
about the orchestral work called "The Planets" by English composer Gustav
Holst. It consists of several movements, each named for, and musically
representing, one of the planets of the solar system.
Jeff in Georgia

The ones I can remember are: The Beatles, the "Alpha
Waves" music (not sure of the specific artists), Moby, Eagles, Instrumental,
School House Rock Rocks, Various Jazz artists
Michal Austin - In past years I had allowed students to occasionally bring
in their own
CD's - but quickly discovered that they would want to skip songs, replay
songs, change CD's, and so on. Drove me crazy because they were so
distracted. This year I enforce a new rule - no words. They may bring in any
music they want, so long as it contains no words (and not just the bad
ones). Of course none of them have any. So we listen to mine, and the
freshmen are the ones that fight it, but upper levels come to have their
favorites. Occasionally a student will ask where I purchased a certain CD
because they want to purchase it for themselves. It is calming for them.

And a more recent post - I got tired of dealing with the music issues - one
student would want country, one would want hard rock, one would want rap,
and no one was concentrating on their projects. I resorted to a "no words"
rule - they may bring in their CD's as long as there are no words on it.
Since none of my students own any we listen to my personal collection. I
have several from Crizmac, some Native American flute music, classical, etc.
It's amazing that once the protests die down the students find they actually
enjoy this type of music - several students have even started purchasing
some of their own and started bringing them in. I think that it's because
they have no knowledge of this type of music, and they have come to
appreciate it. It has sure solved the music issues in my room. :-)
Jan Hilmer - Marcia, I don't know if it's true, but I find that the kids
focus more on the art when there's no words to hear. I did try one gregorian
chant, tho, and that got some snickers but then they got down to business.
John Williams is always good, and includes StarWars, Harry Potter, etc. My
students like to recognize the music, but I wonder if they do better when
they don't know the music from outside my classroom. Aaron Copeland is a
great American composer whose works are wonderful. I also use the soundtrack
from 'Avalon' by Randy Newman. One sort of new age but classical CD I like
to play is the 2nd cd by Libera, a classically trained English boys choir.
My students always ask about the boys. I guess they're kinda amazed that
such beautiful music could come from boys their own age.
The thing I notice most is that the pace of the classroom moves to meet the
pace of the music.
  Just recently picked up a Steve Halpern and an Andres Vollenweider on
suggestion of this fine group of art teachers!

Su Doman - I teach K-5 and love playing music in my room. My students love
Kidjo's"Oremi" CD, Enya, a variety of classical, jazz, blues, folk, and
We are currently listening to Japanese bamboo flute music (Asian art unit).
Sometimes my students bring in CD's. I tell them to not bring in anything
with lyrics that would get me fired. Our local public radio station WDET has
some great CD's that have a variety of music from the radio station. They're
a nice mix. ~su

Marcia - I thought music played for art had to be instrumental only--no
words--a right brain/left brain thing. when we did our Olympic Pictogram
paintings last year, I played John William's olympic album. I'd like some
more music ideas also, but instrumental only.
Lawrence Parker - In our home schooling, I expose our children (2 - 13 and
16) to
everything I can, including Beatles, Santana, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven,
Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Manhattan Transfer, Mannheim Steamroller,
Stanley Jordan - anything in the rack is fair game, which includes their
music - Britney Spears, Back Street Boys, etc.

Lawrence Parker
Gustav Holst, "The Planets"

There's also Mozart's "Jupiter"
and "Also Sprach Zarathustra"

Also check out:

These look really sweet! But, of course, cost money.
Christa Wise - My HS students are currently enjoying Norah Jones -- me too.
Old favorites are Eagles' "Hell Freezes Over", the sound track from American
Buena Vista Social Club, and the Best of Fleetwood Mac.


Leah - I play Moby, Motown, Enya, classical, Beatles, ELO, Elton John, Billy
anything that's not too loud or objectionable. My student teacher played
Michelle Branch and the kids seemed to like that. I teach elementary.


Judy Decker - My lessons always included music from the time period or
culture. For
example: I had several different CD's of rain forest music/sounds for my Art
of Haiti (jungle drawings) - plus had some Haitian music. For Renaissance -
I went to the local library and borrowed all of the CD's/tapes they had and
made recordings to use. Did the same for all of my Native American and
African units. I had cultural music to go with every lesson (some my own
collection and some belonging to the school). I went to all of the record
stores and bought what they had and then have purchased several from Crizmac
and Putumayo. I have loaned these CD's out to other list members and will
eventually write up a list of what I have to loan them out again. I have
always looked for links online to use with my Internet lessons - most of my
cultural resources include sites where the students can listen to music.

Here is the web site for Crizmac:

Here is the web site for Putumayo:

When I did individual artists - I played music from their time period - or
music they may have listened to. For instance, I had jazz for Romare Bearden
and Stuart Davis

I tried to bring as much music appreciation into my lessons as possible (Our
curriculum was supposed to be Comprehensive - introduced dance and drama
when I could)

Marcia - I play Enya, Steven Halperin and other "new age" CD's. I teach them
about the
Alpha waves and how this type of music enhances their creativity. Some kids
hate it, but most ask for it. I find that they like the fact that it isn't
music they can sing along with. I teach high school. On Fridays, I play


Theresa - My 5th grade students love Shel Silverstein's poetry...
on CD...Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. It keeps the kids
at task and very quiet. Except now they are starting to memorize and
sometime recite along...LOL


Linda Woods - I LOVE the Byrds....Turn, Turn, Turn, Mr. Tambourine Man, Etc.
The Byrds sing Dylan is an AWESOME tape....all kids should know who both
the Byrds and Dylan are. Classic information all living humans should
know....AND KNOW THE WORDS TO! Sure is bring back memories in this day
and age with war talk and all....Turn, Turn, Turn is amazing.

My 5th and 6th graders LOVE the Beatles. They softly sing along...know
all the words. I love it.

Once again, speaking of calming the kids when they know what they are
doing and just need quality HARD WORKING TIME, David Holt's
Anthology...Ready to Tell Tales. My kids ask me to read the same
hilarious and quirky stories over and over, as if our library had only
one book! They ALL love these tales, which are a compilation of tall
tales from around the world.

Mike Sacco - Glad I'm not the only one. I also play 70's and 80s rock. I
tell them it was
my Junior High music. Boston's first album which both my 7th and 8th graders
love, elton John, etc. I do let them bring in their own music, but no rap
I must screen the music first.


LeAnn - I play whatever I am in the mood for. The kids really work well with
Vivaldi, Celtic Harp, with little ones I have been playing 25 Songs to Sing
Around the Campfire. haha...these are those songs we all learned as kids (to
date ourselves! before Rafi came along! ) and Disney stuff. The little ones
love it! I have found (but not picked up) Swing Music For Kids. It is one
of the Drew's Party Series. I have also played the Brian Setzer Orchestra,
and the Cherry Poppin' Daddies, also the sound track from Stand By Me. Would
love to play the Dixie Chicks...but I have to draw the line somewhere!!!

Woody Duncan - We recently drew and painted from my Kachina dolls so
I played Carlos Naki's flute music. I play jazz often as well.
But sometimes they have to indure my music like the
Del McCurry Band or the Dirt Band or even Judy Collins.

Gary Osborne - I teach high school, and the kids never compalin when I put
in my
Classic Rock CD's (70's and 80's too)... I have plenty of them and they
always want to borrow them...Blues are popular also,
I can always put in Metallica too!

Tim Mestas - Richard Eliot's CDs. I also work with middle

Melissa Speelman - Each day in my classroom while the students are working I
like to play different types of music. I should mention that I teach Jr.
High. Their
favorites are "School House Rock Rocks" and various Jazz albums (Miles
Davis, John Coletrain).


Kavita from India - i too play music during my class,from instrumental to
classical and beatles ,indian and western both.
my students enjoy it especially when they are finishing work,when i put the
music they don't make any noise which is really great.

Marcia on "Alpha Waves"
Here is some info about the Alpha waves and other brain wave stimulation for
the classroom. There is a lot of info out there on Brain based Learning and
music is part of the literature. I just pulled these from some online
Music can be a study aid. Scientists have shown that Baroque music at the
special tempo of 60 beats per minute creates the ideal environment for
This music boosts the production of alpha waves on both left and right
hemispheres of the brain. The left side being associated with logical,
rational function, and the right with creativity and spacial skills.
An incredible learning-zone is reached when alpha waves are increased on
both sides of your brain at the same time. The result produces a
doubly-amazing increase in your learning power! This music acts like a
hair-trigger in setting this off.
Elevating your brain's production of alpha waves invokes a charming,
daydream-like mental state that soothes your mind and focuses your
intellect. One remedial teacher commented on this miraculous music: "It
seems to slow them down so they can really think."
Studies have also shown that higher production of alpha waves increase your
creativity, making projects, assignments and other tasks much easier to
complete. It can transform work into play because your lower stress levels
give you extra freedom to think more clearly and effectively!
Music can slow down & equalize brain waves: Our brain waves vibrate at
different speeds during different activities. The slower the brain waves,
the more relaxed and peaceful we feel. Beta waves vibrate from 14-20 hertz.
Beta waves occur when we have strong negative emotions, or when we focus on
daily activities. Alpha waves cycle from 8 to 13 hertz during which we can
have heightened awareness and calm. Theta waves cycle from 4-7 hertz and
occur during periods of creativity, meditation, and sleep. Delta waves range
from .5-3 hertz. Our brain produces this speed wave when we are in a deep
sleep or meditation. It has been found that music of about 60 beats per
minute (certain Baroque and New Age music) can change brain waves from the
beta to the alpha range, enhancing alertness and well being. Droning
drumming has been found to shift a person into the theta range. It has been
found that playing music at home, in the office, or in school can help to
focus a person. If you are daydreaming or unfocused, a little Mozart or
Baroque background music for ten to fifteen minutes can help to make you
more aware and increase your mental organization.
Kara Caraway -
I've found it helps to read to them passages from books about the conflict
between thinking in words and visual pictures. Drawing on the Right Side of
the Brain, etc. There are reasons instrumental works are more conducive to
doing good work, "getting in the zone" as we call it, or "flow" as it is
called in research. I have no luck allowing students to bring music without
major conflicts, as the less mature of them don't understand why I would
need to listen to it myself first, as they promise it doesn't have any bad
words in it, which is not the only consideration. But once they have tried
to work to music that is difficult to work to, they tend to appreciate the
smooth, flowing instrumentals all the more.

But then, on Fridays, a little laid-back music from the 70's seems perfect,
and my students like it too. Simon and Garfunkel is this year's crowd
pleaser. Last year it was anything Celtic, which I can't even mention this
Aaron Hopkins - i LOVE music in my elementary i play it often
when we are
working...i find that the types of music that are played can often
dictate the way the students behave. i usually play folk music that is
just some singing and guitar.
David Wilcox is an amazing artist who has a bunch of albums out and his
music is meaninful at the same time!
Michael Lille, SGGL, John Denver, and others are interesting to kids.
It may not be the hip-hop or hard rock they like because of the energy,
but they like this stuff because it's easy to concentrate on the work
and the music is deep

Hope this helps... You can probably guess why I haven't put this on
IAD yet... Everyone has different favorites.... If I listed every
one's choice - I would never get the page done. Music is important in
the art classroom.... but I believe that YOU need to make the
selection. Give the kids some choices from your collection, if you


Judy Decker

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