Back in 2016 I wrote a post, More Than Just Music to Their Ears, on using songs for teaching to help with memory. Today I am reiterating that here with some additional sites. In case you choose not to click on the past post, I will summarize: music helps with memory. Not only can songs trigger memories and evoke emotions, it can create a positive learning environment and help solidify scientific concepts. I go in and out of classrooms when I teach so earlier this fall I started incorporating mindfulness into the beginning of class time to refocus students and get everyone together. I created a YouTube playlist called mindfulness jars and I do notice a difference when I start classes with a mindfulness transition. Additionally, in the younger grades, I sing the directions to the students that I want them to follow. By now, they know the tune so I can just hum it and they will know what to do. Since I use a song, I can add on when additional directions are needed.
With all that being said, here are some sites for teaching with songs:
- Numberock– This is a YouTube channel and website with math songs for all concepts for elementary age students. They even have songs about holidays and other special events on the calendar The YouTube channel has playlists in English, Spanish, French, Hindi, Chinese, and Portuguese (and maybe more but I stopped scrolling) so you can learn your math concepts in many languages.
- Using Music to Teach Science includes songs created by high school and college students to teach science concepts like the Krebs Cycle, Physics, and Polymerase. This was inspired by this Life Science Education publication, Using Science Songs to Enhance Learning which offers a study and includes a rubric to use with (college) students who create their own songs as evidence of understanding.
- Songs for Teaching has songs for teaching Science topics like Astronomy, Botany, and Earth Science to name a few. It also has songs for teaching Math topics for elementary school as well as advanced math topics like Geometry, Trig, and some Physics. The lyrics to songs are included with a short sample of the song, enough to give you the tune to sing along.
- I happened upon this Jack Hartmann channel of songs that includes songs about letters of the alphabet, phonics songs, counting songs, brain breaks, and additional songs for younger students and early elementary. The digraph one is quite catchy and will have your students singing about sh and th among others. And who could resist, Silent E by the Bazillions? Check out their channel of songs too.
- For history teachers and students, this PBS set of lessons, Hamilton’s America with Lin Manuel, is about the process of writing the song, My Shot for the Broadway show, Hamilton. The videos and support materials will introduce students to the process of turning history into music. If you are considering having students create and adapt history into music, this set of lessons will be inspiring.
- Last is one I have shared before. History for Music Lovers YouTube channel is 53 songs about events and people all set to popular tunes.
So if you want your students to listen to or sing these songs, write your own, or have your students write their own, songs can enhance the learning environment and experience.