It has been researched and shown that there are even times that music provides a more powerful impact on health than medication. Scientists are working on studies to find out the whys and hows of patients with dementia improve their memory as well as what impact music has on pain relief and stress. New studies are underway to prove if music may have an impact to augment immune response systems. In my words, music seems to be magical. Much more powerful than many realize and we should never underestimate the healing power of music.
This is all very exciting, however, I am bringing this to your attention so that educators and workshop presenters can use music to help their students and audiences become more creative and even help to make the brain more receptive to deeper critical thinking. All you have to do is become aware of the music that is out there, download it and go with what you are trying to accomplish. Many songs are actually on the Internet matched up to what it is you want the music to accomplish. (example: Music for Teaching Math, Literacy, History, etc. or even Motivational, Transitional, and Introductory Music).
Music creates a common experience whether in the classroom or a workshop, with Early Childhood children or with adult learners. It can make us smile, laugh, or cry. It manages the energy level of the room and can be used as a signal to transition from one activity to another.
Some practical things to pay attention to as you plan your music are to be sure to expose your classes and audiences to all types of genres. It should not be a constant filler, as they need to hear their productive chatter, as well as the music which was playing for a specific reason. Notice and be aware of how the different types of music show many different types of behavior, depending on what you need them to be doing.
The group can be listening quietly, singing along, humming the tune, playing the music with instruments if available and don't forget the kinesthetic learners who need movement when it is appropriate. If you are playing the whole song, it is a very good idea to have the words up and showing somewhere in the room.
Just to give you a few ideas that are entertaining, depending on what you are teaching and what you desire from your audience think about beginning with The Rolling Stones song, "Start Me Up." That will get a group motivated! Also, to help the group know that they are doing just awesome, the song from The Lego Movie called "Everything is Awesome" would be a great energizer. Don't forget to introduce calming music that stirs creative minds, such as Vivaldi, Bach or Mozart. Music that many may not be familiar with such as acapella groups like Pentatonix and even a Scottish group known for playing popular rock songs with a few familiar instruments, but the mostly unfamiliar added touch would be the bagpipes. This group is called The Red Hot Chilli Pipers. It would be a great idea to show this group and music on YouTube if your room or stage is set up for that.
The point is to just have a good time. Learning is fun and should never be boring. Music is most definitely liberating!