Mindfulness, positive psychology and relaxation have been hot topics in the circle of international schools. Personally, I have been experimenting with the role of relaxation music in my ESL class. I found out that elementary students respond positively when I play music in my class and I have been looking for music that supports a calm and focused atmosphere in the class during completion of independent student projects.
For a while I used a mix of classical music from Grooveshark.com. Grooveshark is an online music streaming resource that offers a variety of songs, artists, genres to choose from. You select certain artists or a particular genre and you get a continuous flow of music without worrying about hitting the replay button or constantly searching for another song.
Later, I came upon the website Calm.com. The site contains relaxation music/sounds of nature together with stunning images of the Earth. I started playing this music during the class and discovered that this is the kind of music I was looking for. It has a calming effect but it does not distract from having a teacher-student conversation and sometimes you completely forget that it is playing.
How do you incorporate music in your class instruction?