Publication Date


Document Type



Master of Education (MEd)

MA Concentration

Educational Technology


Music, learning, classroom, arts, education, brain, creativity, educational innovation, social justice, social studies


Roger Pence, Pamela A. Redmond, Jim O'Connor


Once said by Dick Clark, "Music is the soundtrack of our lives," yet the use of music in content classrooms is not common. The California exam for middle school social studies tests three years of study. Scores show lower scores for key components as time passes. Studies show that incorporating music into lessons increases long-term memories and makes learning more fun. Using music in the classroom combines the ideals of constructivist, cognitive and social learning theories. Educational journals exploring the use of music have a common thread: music increases long-term learning and students like it. There are many ways to integrate music into lessons. Original songs, lyrics and mnemonic devices create a foundation for essential standards. Playing cultural music adds an element of learning that fosters schema in the brain. Deconstructing music lyrics requires higher thinking levels. Analyzing lyrics from historical songs gives background knowledge and increases comprehension of the historical circumstances of the time. Music is a valid teaching method but professional development opportunities rarely extol its virtues. More educational professionals might be compelled to use music if they understood its worth as an educational tool. The website, Music and Memory in the Classroom is designed to help teachers find information about the merits of music as a significant learning process for daily lesson plans. The website includes the author's background using music in the classroom, a page for original lyrics to popular songs for 7th grade history, a website resources page for music and a page that shares links to educational literature to provide evidence of the value of music in the classroom.