Mindful Music as a Daily Assignment: How One School Has Integrated Mindfulness During a Complex Year
Posted September 21, 2020 in News Articles
Author: Rowe Schnure
On a typical school day, pre-pandemic, students and teachers would gather together to pause, breathe and focus with a Mindful Music Moment heard over the morning announcements. Now, with socially-distanced learning, whether in-person, virtual or blended, this ritual has had to shift to the needs of each individual school.
Some schools have continued with morning announcements, some have encouraged teachers to lead the program within their classrooms, and some have had to figure out a new plan all together. Monroe Junior High School, with the most “listens” of any other school in our network, shared how they have creatively implemented the program in their blended learning format.
Elizabeth Barger, Monroe school counselor grades 7 and 8, explained “Since they [students] aren’t going to get Mindful Music 5 days a week at school...we sent emails to parents with their log-in information and then we post daily, into google classroom as an assignment, not with a point value, but due at the end of the day.” By continuing the program on the two virtual days, students are able to feel a continuity amidst the split in-person and virtual schedule.
This is the first year that Monroe schools have implemented Mindful Music Moments into their school day. Barger has been pleasantly surprised with the positive response from teachers and students alike. She shares, “I thought there would be silliness and avoidance but they are really accepting of it and do it. Some teachers have said that the kids are excited and are enjoying it so far.” She also sees how starting the routine now with only about half of the students in-person will set the groundwork for remaining calm once the school is fully back together.
Some teachers have adapted and enhanced the experience to fit their classroom needs. Barger shared that some teachers have turned off the lights during the time to create a relaxed atmosphere. Or how another played videos of nature, like a water stream or blossoming flower, along with the daily selection. Each of these adaptations she then shares in a weekly staff update to empower other teachers to adapt their routine as they see fit.
Additionally, Barger encourages students to think about mindfulness beyond their daily Mindful Music Moment. One way is through a mindfulness challenge in google classroom, “To think about and comment on a time that they could commit to using mindfulness outside of school, like before a soccer game, bed, or school work. Just getting them to think about other places and times where they can use mindfulness in their everyday life.”