Music Works

One recipe for teachers is to think of music differently. Not just as a way of studying language – listening to words but also as a way of classroom management or creating classroom atmosphere.

Here are a few ways music can be used differently.

  1. Games.  Try Mahna Mahna.  Play the song and have students pass around a piece of crunched up paper. When you pause it, whoever the student is who has the paper, must answer a question, do something etc … (which you’ve prepared as questions / flashcards. Lots of fun and see many of these Pass The Paper games HERE.
  2. Relaxer.  Taking a test? Students reading?  Music is a proven way to relax and calms down students. I find Satie’s piano music really works.
  3. A countdown.  Play a song when you want student to prepare, complete something or get ready, clean up.  As the song plays, the students must finish before it ends and be ready for the next thing.  Try Mission Impossible! 


David is an author, professor of TESOL and teacher trainer with over 25 years of teaching experience. You can find him on ELT Buzz or LinkedIN ELT Professionals. Home page -