Part of implementing a positive learning environment is creating a warm atmosphere in the room. Aside from your conversation as an instructor, what is a good way to set the tone for a session?
One way to appease your learners is to play music. Everyone enjoys music, and it may pleasantly surprise them that you're willing to use it. It also makes you more relatable. Here's how to do it:
- Find appropriate music to play. You may want songs that are relatively soothing, but it really depends on the tone you're trying to set for the session. Make sure that the music is legal and doesn't include commercials. For the sake of your wallet, free music is also ideal. If you don't know where to find the right music, Jamendo can be a great source.
- Test your music before you try to use it in practice. Check whether it plays, and also make sure the volume is set at an appropriate level.
- Start playing music before the session, as learners are entering the room. Let them know up front how welcoming of an environment they'll be in. This should make them feel more comfortable and drawn to participate.
- Sprinkle music throughout the session. This can be a great way to demarcate when it's time to go on—or come back from—a break.
- Allow your learners to offer feedback on the music's volume, quality, and effectiveness. What works for you may not be the best for your participants, and they are the ones that matter in this setting.
Be prepared for the worst. Trusting technology is dangerous. If you're not confident that your music will play or have the desired effect, have extra music. If you plan to play music from your computer, also have options on your phone as a backup.