Rachel Murphy

Home Economics

Chryston High School

  • Transitions

What happens when music is introduced as a method of transition?


The following issue for this practitioner enquiry was readiness to learn at the beginning of a lesson. As both primary and secondary practitioners, we felt this issue was important because children cannot begin to learn until they are ready to. Being ready to learn can also be difficult at the beginning of lessons, in particular during lessons which follow on from lunch time. Young people are often excited and disengaged when they arrive to class so we felt the need to identify a strategy to tackle this issue. We decided to examine the use of music at the beginning of the lesson to aid the individual’s transition into learning.

There is a substantial awareness in the potential academic benefits of music listening. Research on the effects of background music has a long history (Hallam, Price & Katsarou, 2010) and recent studies show background music can significantly increase reasoning (Crenec, Wilson & Prior, 2006) and on- task performance of pupils (Davidson and Powell, 2015). Background music in primary classrooms has also been shown to improve attainment during reading class tests (Bloor, 2009). Pupils have reported the perceived effects of background music to be calming and relaxing (Hallam, Price & Katsarou, 2010) and recent literature suggests background music may calm and focus children with additional support needs, thereby enhancing learning (Crenec, Wilson & Prior, 2006). Given the evidence found in recent literature which displays the benefits of listening to music we conducted our study.


The aims of this enquiry were:

  • To find out what happens when music is introduced at the start of a lesson.
  • To find out if music affects an individual’s focus and their transition into learning.
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