I wish I could tell you that playing calm music in the art room would calm your students down and make them better behaved, but I can’t. I can tell you that there is lots of evidence to show that music does relax us, and that can only be a good thing.
Never ask your students if they want music playing and then put this sort of calming music on. They’ll only be disappointed. It’s better to have it very quietly playing before they enter the room.
There is lots of evidence to show that natural sounds such as running water and particularly bird song have a calming, relaxing effect. The first three videos on this page include natural sounds. I’ve played this sort of music a lot in my art room and now my students ask for it. In my classroom, it goes hand in hand with working silently. I never use silence as a punishment but I ‘sell it’ as a welcome moment of calm in their busy, noisy day. There will be students in your class who appreciate a quiet working environment.
Bookmark this page now as you’ll want to come back to it!
The video below is just nature sounds, no music. I love it!
The Minecraft soundtrack was suggested to me by art teacher Tina Walden Haynes. She tells me that Minecraft music has been specifically designed to help people relax and focus for long periods of time. I was surprised that I like it.
Below is calming piano music from Studio Ghibli who are a film making company known for their anime. It has a contempory, gentle, ‘from a film’ vibe to it.
The video below is mainly tinkling piano music. This also has a slide show of paintings that could be on your screen if you wish.
If you want to read more about the effects of calm music in the art room, there is an interesting essay here.