The movie industry spends millions of dollars on creating the perfect soundtracks. They use suspenseful music in just the right places to tickle the hair on your back. They have sweeping songs that move us to tears in the last few moments of the climax. Sound artists in the movie industry are masters of music. They have learned that influence over what we hear directly affects how our minds interpret the experience of the movie. Taking control over one of our senses puts them in the driver’s seat of our emotions. So why shouldn’t we have soundtrack for our classrooms?
It is my belief that the power of a good soundtrack increases the power of a good lesson. Soundtracks will amplify the lesson and the students’ experiences. I have always played music in the class during work periods. Nothing special, just jazz, classical or whatever politically correct school music would be. In my World history class this year, I started to experiment with the idea of soundtracks to activities. The search was on for the same kinds of sweeping epic scores that the movie industry uses. As with many things in life I found my answer with Apple. An exhaustive search of iTunes store resulted in the following bands. They each have several CDs – listen and them a try during your next timed activity within class. It will heighten the students’ experience.
This group was probably my favorite. Audiomachine has a nice mix of intense, epic, and motivational. I would definitely suggest picking up this CD for your next class simulation or challenge that you run in your class.
This group has several volumes to choose from. I ended buying every one offered on iTunes.
Two Steps from Hell
This is another good group that has 3 CDs on iTunes. They have a good mix as well. Check them out – buy whole CDs or just snipe the songs you think you would use.
Any of these bands could spice up your classroom. Since incorporating “soundtracks” into lesson, I have seen my students really put forth their very best. They seem more connected to the simulation or activity than in previous years. If you ask me, it is a simple thing to try in your classroom. You may be surprised at what a powerful addition music is to your lesson.