9 Creative Ways to Use Backing Tracks in the Classroom
As many of us know, education in the United States is underfunded and undervalued, and our students
fall further and further behind other countries around the world each year in math and science skills.
How can we get our kids excited about these subjects and help them learn better? Adding
backing tracks to your classroom during particularly difficult lessons may be the solution you’ve been
looking for! Here are nine creative ways you can use backings tracks in your classroom...
As children learn difficult science concepts, like Newton’s laws of motion, sometimes they need
extra assistance. Using an accompanying music track with lyrics about acceleration can help
improve their understanding of how something accelerates at a rate relative to its mass and
velocity. Students can sing along with the words and use dance or hand motions to help
demonstrate the concepts physically!
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There are a number of great childrens songs that involve numbers. Try teaching each concept
(addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc.) with it’s own song! Also consider using catchy
tunes like The Hokey Pokey or If You’re Happy and You Know It for getting kids up and moving around.
Combining music and singing with art, such as painting and crafting, can enhance the creative process.
When children sing along to upbeat, fun songs while painting or creating—they’re much more likely
to stay focused on their work. The rapt attention kids pay when they’re completely engrossed in
something is almost impossible for teachers or parents to break once it starts; that's why using
entertaining backing tracks during projects like these is so effective. Trying singing along to
De Colores or This Little Light of Mine while painting or coloring.
For students studying geography, backing tracks can aid memorization and recall. Songs can be used
as a fun way to reinforce what they’ve learned about countries, state capitals, time zones and
landforms. For example, singing along with a song about Africa or South America helps kids think
of those regions as familiar places rather than just a bunch of place names on a map. Backing
tracks can also serve as great background music for videos related to geography lessons because they don't
have lyrics interfering with the lesson.
As well as making learning more enjoyable, music is a great way to support their language skills and
improve literacy! Using accompaniment tracks to sing along to classic hymns can help students to
understand key components of poetry and prose by helping them to tune in to the rhythm and
meaning of the words they are singing. When it comes to grammar and sentence structure,
listening and mimicking how phrases sound helps children (and adults!) learn about the
English language without even realizing it!
It goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway. Using backing tracks in music class helps make
learning to sing new songs fun. Kids will feel more confident being accompanied by full
bands and orchestras, or fun, up-beat tracks.
History classes present great opportunity to combine curriculum and accompaniment music. For example,
ask students about battles from history. Then have them sing The Battle Hymn of the Republic as a
group, emphasizing certain words during key moments. You can also play songs that are set at
specific points in history. Check out Bob Marley’s Redemption Song for an excellent companion
piece to class work on slavery, civil rights or any similar topics to make your lessons
memorable and engaging.
Backing tracks can create unique learning opportunities for kids with special needs who struggle with
traditional teaching styles. At its most basic, adding backing music allows teachers to effectively
turn down distracting classroom noise while also increasing student focus and reducing
distractions that may cause students—especially those on the autism spectrum—to become easily
frustrated or flustered during lessons that don't come naturally. Try using calming instrumental
tracks to help students relax and focus.
The use of backing tracks during physical education is nothing new; music has long been used as a
tool for teaching coordination and agility. Try singing along to a song like
Michael Row The Boat Ashore
while performing the motions; singing and matching the words to the movements helps students to
develop motor skills, coordination, and endurance.