5 Holiday Music Resources for Classroom Teachers
When you think about the holidays, there is no better way to engage students than through music. Holiday music tends to span the cultural and generational gaps in society to remind us all of a season of hope and light. Finding that music can be challenging, so we have listed five great resources below for you. Some you may have heard of and others you may never have thought of using, but all will help you get in that holiday spirit.
A free music application for smart phones and iPods, Pandora can be programmed to play holiday music, classical music and every genre of music in between. Hook your phone or music player up to external speakers, click on the music channel of your choice, and you will be able to share all different styles of music with your students.
YouTube may not be the first place you think of going for holiday music, but the collection of user generated holiday music videos is immense. Search for your favorite children’s holiday song and chances are that you will be able to find it. Always preview YouTube videos before showing them to your class to make sure that they are appropriate.
Your local library or school library may have a collection of old tapes, records and CDs that you can borrow free of charge. One great way to engage students in the music is to check out the same song on as many different mediums as you can find. For example, play Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on YouTube, a CD, a tape and even an old record. Students can then compare and contrast the sound quality and musical texture of the recordings. It gives them an opportunity to hear how music has evolved throughout the years.
This site lists a huge collection of great children’s holiday songs that you can use in your classroom or with the school chorus. There are lyrics and song snippets to most of the songs, but it does require you to purchase the song to hear it all. The lyrics alone are of great benefit and can be used in lessons to discuss rhyming words, holiday vocabulary and other language ideas.
Another pay-for-use site, iTunes is Apple’s giant music library. You can download songs to your mp3 player, smart phone or computer. Since some schools may have iTunes blocked on school computers, you may need to download music ahead of time to create your own holiday music collection.
Have fun teaching your students new and traditional songs this holiday season. Listening to and singing music is one of the great ways that children learn. With some fun holiday songs in your repertoire, your students are sure to remember this holiday season as one of their favorites.
For the 2010 Holiday Season