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Using musical instruments in the classroom

Classroom layout

The physical setup of the classroom is a crucial factor in making a lesson successful. Often for music lessons, having an open space is desirable, rather than having children sitting behind tables, so moving chairs and tables before and after lessons may well become a way of life! For some (even many) whole-class activities sitting in a circle is useful. With younger children, this will probably mean sitting on the floor with the teacher and other adults as part of the circle; older children might sit on chairs, depending upon the activity. For other activities, a series of small ‘horseshoes’ work well so that children can work in groups or all together without feeling that the rest of the class is looking at them. If the room is large (e.g. the school hall) and you need to keep the energy in the space, think about positioning the class on one end and facing the wall rather than the open space.

For a look around a music classroom, take a look at how these teachers set theirs up and the reasons for the decisions they made:

Down’s Junior School, Brighton