Pandora Provides Free Streaming Music for Your Classroom

If there is one thing that your students love, it is music. It has become such a pervasive part of our society. The technology is wonderful but it has the effect of shutting out the world. This, I believe is why so many schools have made the decision to ban MP3 players from school as they prevent teacher/student and student/student interaction.

I love music and have eclectic tastes. It is rare that I do not enjoy others music .I like to play music in the classroom when students are working. It provides a calming effect during math and helps foster interaction between students. The problem is that so many songs have inappropriate words which prevents me from using other student's playlists. To use my player would require sorting through my own music which would take a bunch of time. Plus, any list of songs gets tiring if you hear it enough.

This is where streaming music comes in. Sites like Pandora provide free music that learns from your tastes. For example say you like Pearl Jam, it will use an algorithm (geek fact: it is based on the Distance Formula) to suggest other bands/songs you might like. Based upon your rating of those songs it will begin to learn your tastes. This is a great service that I highly encourage you to take part in.

So every year at the beginning, I provide a Google Form asking for their favorite song/band to relax to and favorite to get energized to. Then I input those choices into Pandora and voila I have two class playlists. All I ask from the students is that they be polite when a song they do not like comes on because it is a song that someone else likes. 

There are other streaming services but I like how Pandora has a wide variety of songs, the ability to filter out inappropriate language, and provides hours of free music.

I hope you and your students benefit from the psychological benefits as well as the increased feeling of community.