Using Music in Class

The Center for Teaching & Learning together with the Townsend School of Music offer the following suggestions for using music as a teaching tool in your classroom, along with links to Pandora stations created for Mercer professors to use in the classroom. Dr. Susan Codone and Dr. Katie White recently completed a paper explaining how music can be used as a teaching tool and explaining specific methods for incorporating music into classes to improve student learning. Below are five methods for using music. Following these methods are links to the Pandora stations created for Mercer faculty.

5 Ways to Use Music in Class to Impact Student Learning:

1. Ease transition times as student enter and exit the classroom or between activities.

2. Provide background accompaniment during group activities. We've found it's best to use music without lyrics for this purpose.

3. Strengthen topical connections within your content. For example, "Why Can't We Be Friends" by WAR works well with teaching social justice or "She Blinded Me with Science" by Thomas Dolby fits very well into any science course.

4. Manage the classroom mood by playing music of varying intensity. Using the "Seal Lullaby" by Eric Whitacre is a great calming song. In contrast, "Gonna Fly Now" by Bill Conti, the theme from the movie "Rocky", is a time-tested example of a song for starting an activity.

5. Flip a topic—have students identify a song representing a class topic and play it for the class in YouTube, thus generating a class playlist and strengthening content connections at the same time. Then play those songs throughout the semester.

Energetic Playlist Calm Playlist

Your account login to Pandora may be required. You may also need to click "Play Station" on either the Energetic or Calm stations. These links work on a desktop or mobile device.

How to Create a YouTube Playlist

Use this link for more help: hl=en

1. Open YouTube and locate a song video for your Playlist.

2. Create a YouTube channel for yourself

3. Play the song and find the "Add To"button

4. Open the Playlists tab and click "New Playlist"

5. Name your playlist and determine if you want it private or public

6. Add other song videos in the same way and then edit the playlist in any way

How to Create Video Transcripts in YouTube

Note: YouTube will generate a transcript of videos. Look under the Subscribe button for "More", and choose Transcribe. This is helpful if you want the lyrics in written form.

How to Repeat Videos in YouTube

Replace youtube with listenonrepeat before the .com to watch it on repeat.




Please contact Susan Codone at if you have questions or suggestions about using music in the classroom.