Erin Poutney

Primary Teacher

St. Bernard's Primary

  • Transitions

What happens when I introduce music as a technique to facilitate transitions?


Transition times can often be an unsettling time within a classroom, where the time for learning can be lost and so it is highlighted within curriculum policy documents the importance effective transitions have in creating a readiness to learn and for progression to take place (Building the Curriculum 5, Scottish Government, 2011). Banerjee and Horn (2013) discuss small transitions being problematic for some children, as a group we found that we faced the same barriers in relation to children being settled quickly and being ready for the next lesson to start. For that reason we decided to look at how, as the teacher, we can reduce transition times within our classes. As a way of doing this we decided to use music as a technique to facilitate transitions.

Using music in the background of instruction or during independent work time has proven to have many benefits in the classroom in relation to productivity, behaviour, and motivation (White, 2007) and so for this reason we felt music was an appropriate technique to use. As mentioned above, music increases motivation with Lewis (2002) stating “Classical music played in the classroom has been used to create a better classroom environment to motivate learning and improve concentration” (pg. 19). This ideology is in keeping with our aim of determining the impact the type of music has on children’s readiness to learn.


The aim of this enquiry was;

  • To determine the impact music has on transition times and
  • To determine if the type of music has an impact on the children’s readiness to learn.
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