The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

The Impact of Music

I taught a brief health lesson this morning on how music and other external stimuli can impact how we are feeling. It was really interesting to observe how easily recogniseable the effects really are!

I started with asking the students to take a moment to take a mental note of their physical state: what their bodies were doing, what their heart rates were like, and how they were feeling in general. Then I asked them to listen to a song and think about what their bodies did in response. While the song was playing, I had all the lights on to make the room as bright as possible. The song was Sandstorm by Darude. For those who aren’t familiar, it is a non-lyric piece of techno music with very fast beats. While it played, several students danced in their chairs, moving to the beat, and getting excited. When it was done, they took note of their heart rates and commented that their hearts were beating much faster.

Then I turned off a set of lights and played another instrumental piece, this one from the British television series Doctor Who.

The results were quite dramatic! The students quickly calmed down, rested their heads, relaxed their muscles, breathed deeply, and seemed to enjoy the brief respite from so much stimulation all the time. When it was done, I asked the same questions. They shared that they felt much calmer and their hearts were not racing.

I explained that different kinds of music affect us in different ways. Fast music is good when we want to get pumped up; slow music is good for when we want to relax. And being able to recognise which we want to do is part of good health!


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