We use music in our classroom. It plays in the background during much of our independent and group work, and it plays in the foreground during certain lessons and celebrations. Music keeps us on task, and there are times when it purposefully attempts to distract us (which I won't go into right now).
Perhaps I think about things too much, but it is fun, and my mind is being used for little else, these days, so why not? For years, I have built a Back to School playlist for the first few days or weeks of class. I doubt anyone else has realized this, but I like to think there is a subliminal effect to my madness.
At right is my playlist, but let me take a little time to categorize the tunes for a bit to help you understand my thinking:
Some songs are included because they are messages of comfort to students who may stressing from facing a new teacher (quite the ominous event considering the Beware of Attack Teacher sign outside the classroom door).
Please Don't Be Scared
Lead With Your Heart
Stars in the Night
We Are Going to be Friends
Haven't Met You Yet