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Music that won't get me fired!
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Author:  lavawitch [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Music that won't get me fired!

I am playing music in class because I don't want the kids glued to their iPods. School policy makes this a losing battle and I lack the energy to fight it.

So far, everything I play makes the kids hate me. This has included U2, REM, Smashing Pumpkins, soundtrack to Twilight, and Delerium. I played Mozart, and they flat out revolted. They like Nirvana, but most of the good songs, I don't feel co for table playing. I am not playing rap or hip hop; I can't think with those on.

I have threatened them with Beiber. Otherwise, we are just going to start having Art of Trance parties in my room, so at least I'm happy.

Ideas? Emphasis on the me not getting fired part. I'm willing to spend around $25 or so on iTunes if I don't already have it.

(asking THEM doesn't work because they think that if they don't cooperate, they get their iPods.)

Author:  torque [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

i don't get it- they have to have music on in class? (or are we talking some other time, study hall, etc?)

when i was teaching i asked the kids to bring their own music and to vet it- but we were in a school where kids would pretty consciously vet their music. any time that they didn't provide an alternative, it was Fela Kuti, Antibalas Afrobeat, Zydeco or Norteno mexican tuba techno (yes, i am a connoisseur of mexican techno tuba music).

Author:  lavawitch [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

They think they have to always have music. Most teachers let them have their iPods on all the time except when they are actually teaching. I have no problem with this, except for the fact that this means they are always trying to text or Facebook under the table. Since they can't be trusted to set a playlist and ignore their gadgets, I am taking away that privilege. To soften the blow and prevent lots of chatter, I'm playing music myself at appropriate times. The kids don't like this.

Cell phone/mp3 players are a huge issue at my school because the admin has no firm stance. There are no real consequences and many teachers are super lax, so it just becomes a constant battle not worth fighting.

Author:  dropscone [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

Yeah, I'm confused. But it sounds like a good challenge for a mix CD competition! I bet a few of us (me included) would be up for sending you a CD of non-sweary music and seeing who gets the least "this is shiitake" responses! :D

Author:  lavawitch [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

Some teachers use Pandora, but I hate the ads, plus at certain times of the year, we will get nasty emails from IT about bandwith use.

(my two favorite things are Russian opera and Madonna, so I probably disqualified from selecting music that will not cause my students to stare at me in horror. I don't want to torture the poor lambs. I just want them to put their stupid phones away, be quiet-ish, and do their work.)

Author:  fupapack [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

I don't have anything to offer but I want to say I had to defend my love of Madonna today!

Author:  lavawitch [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

fupapack wrote:
I don't have anything to offer but I want to say I had to defend my love of Madonna today!


Yeah! Go you.

Author:  linanil [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

I have no idea what kids listen to these days, what do these kids listen to?

In order to avoid preconceived notions, I'd probably go for some old school R&B if it were me or jazz. You could also try some older rock & roll. Most of the stuff before the 80s didn't really have a lot of swearing so anything from the 50s to the 80s should be somewhat safe. There may be some suggestive themes but compared to what is on the radio these days, it is mild.

For jazz, I love Nina Simone but there are also a lot of good instrumental stuff out there.
James Brown, Ike & Tina, Ray Charles are kind of what I'm thinking in the R&B realm.
And yeah, I don't understand the music in the classroom thing either but :)

Author:  lavawitch [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

The music in the classroom thing is because kids these days are glued to their iPods 24/7. They seem unable to do anything without that stimulation. They definitely do work better with music, either theirs or mine; there is a drastic different in focus and concentration.

We do a lot of individual or small group activities, so some background noise works well. It also helps them control their own volume within groups.

Jazz is a good idea.

Author:  Vantine [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

I would get a list of suggestions from them. Get them vested in what music you play. Why create a battle when you have enough already?

Author:  lavawitch [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

I already tried that. They weren't cooperative because they think that if they don't fill out the form I gave them, I'll let them have their iPods back. This isn't a huge battle or anything. My classroom management has gotten pretty good, so they are keeping the iPods away, but they are much happier and more focused with music. Admin is pretty on board with us playing music too since they see it working well in a lot of classrooms.

I did tell them that no survey forms = Beiber. I don't think they believed me though.

I am hoping that after a couple weeks, they will start suggesting things, or they can give me their iPod to plug in for a whole.

Author:  Tea [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

lavawitch wrote:
... I played Mozart, and they flat out revolted. ...


What is wrong with those kids?

Author:  sisterlegume [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

What grade are these kids?

Author:  lavawitch [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

Seniors, so 17-18.

Author:  Tofulish [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

I think you have to play Bieber and let them feel the consequences of not picking music. And then take their suggestions.

Otherwise, I say play Gangnam Style on continuous loop.

Author:  Vantine [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

Would they each be willing to make a playlist for one day? It could be rotated. The downside is that you might be forced to listen to god-knows-what but at least it would be a solution. I think the chances you have of getting your average high school senior to listen to Madonna or Mozart is nil.

Author:  sisterlegume [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

My college professor recently started off the class by playing a Jane's Addiction song and having us read the lyrics. I have no idea what high school kids are listening to these days. Maybe some Bon Iver. It's pretty calm, and mumbly so it makes good background music.

Author:  eatsbabies [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

Tofulish wrote:
I think you have to play Bieber and let them feel the consequences of not picking music. And then take their suggestions.

Otherwise, I say play Gangnam Style on continuous loop.


Yes.

Seriously though, I do think that you should follow through on your threats of Bieber so they know that there are consequences. After that, I think it'd be good to get input, because personally, some music helps me focus on schoolwork while other music distracts me, and I'm sure this varies from person to person. It'd be good for each person to be able to contribute so that at least a portion of the music will be something they like.

Author:  lavawitch [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

Vantine wrote:
Would they each be willing to make a playlist for one day? It could be rotated. The downside is that you might be forced to listen to god-knows-what but at least it would be a solution. I think the chances you have of getting your average high school senior to listen to Madonna or Mozart is nil.


That's my general plan, once they stop being stubborn idiots. Until then, I'd like to have some playlists of my own that they might tolerate. If there is enough variety, at least everybody wont hate everything. I was hoping people here would have some song ideas that might work for the older teen crowd.

(any kid can privately tell me the music is a distraction at any time and I'll turn it off)

Author:  solipsistnation [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

Tea wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
... I played Mozart, and they flat out revolted. ...


What is wrong with those kids?


...they want to listen to music that is in some way relevant to them?

I understand why this bothers you, and I don't mean this condescendingly, but what do you expect? If you listen to current pop music, Mozart is as alien as REM-- moreso, even. And if it's not what you want to listen to, it's just not what you want to listen to.

Author:  Jigglypuff [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

How about the soundtracks from the Harry Potter movies? Maybe I'm just a super nerd, but I really enjoy listening to them now and did at their age as well. Plus the songs aren't very distracting from schoolwork.

Author:  Tofulish [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

Not this:
http://www.hulu.com/watch/95781?playlist_id=1031

Author:  couroupita [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

Well, when I was a TA for a chemistry lab I decided to only play classic rock because no one could agree on anything so I just chose what I liked. I also played newer rock, like the Black Keys, White Stripes, etc. And there were lots of Beatles songs, since most people are at least familiar with the melodies.

It sounds like they didn't like the mellower alternative but maybe you could play peppier stuff like red hot chili peppers, sublime, green day, offspring etc? It's hard to filter though since so many of those reference sex or drug use.

Author:  choirqueer [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

solipsistnation wrote:
Tea wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
... I played Mozart, and they flat out revolted. ...


What is wrong with those kids?


...they want to listen to music that is in some way relevant to them?

I understand why this bothers you, and I don't mean this condescendingly, but what do you expect? If you listen to current pop music, Mozart is as alien as REM-- moreso, even. And if it's not what you want to listen to, it's just not what you want to listen to.


I love classical music, and even I can't stand Mozart.

Author:  lavawitch [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music that won't get me fired!

I like Idomeneo. I don't remember what I played in class. It was just something off a random "brain food" cd I found.

If they would tolerate some classical, I'd play Bizet, Holst, Respighi, Stravinsky, Shoshatkovich, and basically anything Russian as long as it is orchestral and not piano. Maybe some modern interpretations like Bond.

I'm not huge on classical, but I love opera.

I'd sort of like to come up with some theme playlists. We are starting weather soon, so I'd love a list of songs that have some relation, however tenuous, to weather.

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