Embrace the Harmony: How to Integrate Classical Music into Your Lesson Plans

~ Written by Marissa Moldoch ~

As you prepare for the upcoming school year, consider how you might infuse your days with melodic inspiration. As Plato said, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything." Classical music, in particular, offers myriad benefits, from cognitive development to emotional intelligence and cultural appreciation. With these tips, you can easily incorporate this fascinating subject into your weekly routine. 

Setting the Stage: Creating a Harmonious Environment

While this step isn’t necessary, it would be fun to transform your space into a haven where classical music takes center stage:

  • Cozy Listening Nooks: Carve out a dedicated corner where your students can relax and immerse themselves in the beauty of classical music. Fill this space with comfy cushions, blankets, and posters of beloved composers. During class time, encourage your students to let the melodies transport their minds to new realms of imagination.
  • Illuminating Ambiance: Adjust the lighting in your space to create a serene atmosphere that enhances focus and tranquility. Soft, gentle lighting adds an ethereal touch, setting the stage for captivating musical encounters.
  • Surrounding Soundscape: Integrate classical music into the backdrop of your school days. Let the melodies flow softly as your students engage in their daily activities, immersing them in an environment that seamlessly blends education and artistry.

Exploring the Composers: Inviting Music Legends to Your Classroom

What better way to discover the wonders of classical music than by diving into the captivating stories of its legendary composers? Here’s how you can do it:

  • Composer Spotlights: Choose a composer to delve into each month, bringing their lives and music to life as fascinating tales. Share their biographies, investigate their notable works, and uncover intriguing anecdotes. Together, listen to their compositions and engage your students in thoughtful discussions; this will help their young minds become acquainted with the essence of each musical genius.
  • Hands-On Activities: Ignite your students’ creativity through engaging, hands-on activities inspired by the composers they are studying. Build simple musical instruments from everyday objects, stage concerts, or compose short pieces that are inspired by the distinctive styles of these revered maestros.
  • Virtual Concert Hall: In the digital age, the concert hall is just a click away. Unveil the wonders of classical music by watching online performances and documentaries about renowned composers. The visual and auditory splendor will surely leave an indelible imprint on your students’ hearts and minds.

Musical Storytelling: Tales That Resonate with Melody 

Classical music is a treasure trove of enchanting narratives and captivating storytelling. When you bring these stories to life, you help your students fully experience the power of music. Consider planning lessons around these famous pieces:

  • Peter and the Wolf: Discover the various characters and their instrument counterparts in Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf." Encourage your students to listen attentively and identify the different instruments as the story unfolds. 
  • The Nutcracker: During the holiday season, transport your students to the whimsical realms of Tchaikovsky's ballet, "The Nutcracker." Delight in the story together, allowing the melodies to weave dreams in their minds. If you want to completely immerse your students in the palpable magic of this cherished holiday tradition, organize a performance or take a field trip to a local production.

Music Appreciation: Nurturing a Lifelong Love for Classical Melodies 

Active engagement is the key to developing a genuine appreciation for classical music. Start with these delightful ideas:

  • Guided Listening Sessions: Select a specific musical piece and have a guided listening session. Encourage your students to express their emotional responses, identify instruments, and discuss the composition's structure and mood. Together, you can unlock the intricacies of each piece.
  • Melodic Journaling: Equip your students with personal musical journals, where they can record their thoughts and reflections about the music they encounter. This meditative activity nurtures critical thinking, emotional expression, and the cultivation of a profound personal connection with classical compositions.
  • The Symphony of Creativity: Encourage your students to express their boundless creativity through various art forms intertwined with classical music. Paint vibrant pictures, dance to the rhythm of the melodies, or craft poetic verses while listening to their favorite compositions. Witness how their creative expressions breathe new life into the music, forging a deeper connection.

As you incorporate classical music into your routine, allow it to uplift your spirits, fuel your imaginations, and fill your hearts with inspiration. 

"The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul." — Johann Sebastian Bach

Looking for more resources on classical music? Check out, The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Classical Christian Education, Essential Music, and Echoes of Eternity: A Classical Guide to Music

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