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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

My Music Set Up #PEgeeks #espechat #PHYSED "First PE Blog Post"

Music is such a huge part of how I teach. I wanted to go through how I pick music, what music I am using, and what hardware I use. I would love feedback. If you have a playlist that you like or other resources please leave a comment bellow. 

Note: This is my first #PHYSED blog post. Might create my own page for blogging about my PE class and thoughts.

Why Do I Use Music 

  1. Engagement: Class is so much more fun with music. I have found that students are more engaged and involved in the lesson when there is music.
  2. Lessons: I have quite a bit of lessons that use music to help teach skills. "Knees Up Mother Brown" and "Pop Goes the Weasel". I also find that my lessons get an added boost when I use music. When we do the "Good Ship" warm up activity, where we pretend we are on ship, I play boat and sea sounds, and just for fun I will play the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song. Students actually feel like they are on boat.  
  3. Management: I will use music two ways for classroom management. When ever I give my freeze signal (I say "Blue" and the students will say "Hawks!" and go to one knee) I will also stop the music that is playing. In case students' don't hear the freeze signal most will at least hear the music stop. I will also use it as a start signal, "When the music starts begin your activity".  The other major classroom management strategy is that students can only use bathroom pass when the music is going. No more asking to go or putting up fingers. Students know that once the music starts they can use the passes. If the music isn't playing then they can't use the bathroom passes. This strategy has freed up so much time for me to to teach.  

Things To Consider When Picking Music

  1. Check the lyrics: This is first on my list because I have made so many mistakes but just picking a song that "sounds" cool and upbeat. I have gotten my self in some hot waters for not checking lyrics. Don't be fooled if it is on a kid friendly CD like WOW. Check EVERY Song!
  2. Find Relevant Music: Ask students what they are listening too (make sure to check step one). This is how I found out they love "Let it Go". Kids Bop is a great resource to find popular songs that kids might like that are appropriate. 
  3. Use themed Music: Lessons get an added boast when I use music to help teach a point.  I also like using Christmas themed music the weeks before Christmas. Make class more festive. 
  4. Use Instrumental Versions: Sometimes I don't wan't words to get in the way of the lesson. Sometimes I just want background music. This also helps when the music is really upbeat but I am not sure if the words are appropriate I can just use the instrumental version. 
  5. Use Streaming Music: I recently found out that my Amazon Prime account includes access to Amazon music for FREE. I have yet to find a song that I wanted that I can not use. They advertise over 2 MILLION Songs Ad-Free. You can download the playlist to your phone but I always have a backup song list on my phone. 
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Gym Set Up:

  • Bluetooth Receiver: This $20 tool is a game changer. It allows me to use my phone to stream music straight to the PA anywhere in the gym. ANYWHERE. When I wanted to pause or stop music I use to be constantly running back to the PA, Not anymore.  
    • Disclaimer: the current receiver I have only allows one device to be connected at a time, I wish I could do more. Also whenever I leave the gym I have reconnect to the receiver. 
  • Wireless Speakers: I am blessed to have a wireless PA system in our gym. This was added last school year. Speakers Are always on and I never have to play with the digital soundboard app. I
  • 2 Phones: Because of the disconnect  issue with the Bluetooth receiver I have moved to a two phone system. Last month my son found my old iPhone 5 in the couch, it was in there for at least 2 years, YIKES. However, I was like score, I know exactly how I can use this. Using two phones is nice because music isn't disrupted on phone calls or text messages. I also take tons of pictures and videos in class and you can't have music playing on your phone and record video on the same phone. 

My Current Playlists

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Wish List:


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