Holiday Music Bringing Joy in the Classroom

Music does bring us joy.  We listen to it, sing it, perform it, stand in awe of it.  Whether we are musicians or not, there is a place in our hearts for music.  The holidays are no different.  I love using music in many ways during the holidays: as we decorate our tree I like to play my favorite Glenn Miller Christmas CD, In the Christmas Mood, as we tidy up the house the kids love some of those traditional Christmas sing-along songs.  In the classroom, I keep my Charlie Brown Christmas CD handy as it has beautiful, relaxing jazz piano music featuring the Vince Guaraldi trio and at home, late at night as I bake cookies or wrap presents, I turn to my favorite hard rock music to keep me going!

What is it about music?  It’s the creation of atmosphere, the expression of joy and the celebration of our culture.  What would this season be without it? Even if you can’t stand the music as a whole, there is usually that one song that just hits the spot. For me, it’s O Holy Night and the instrumental version of Sleigh Ride: two completely different feelings that come alive during the season. (To hear these and other great holiday songs, scroll to the end of this post.)

These are the things we should be sharing with our students and families.

As the last days before Christmas scurry by, I must remember that all these crazy things we do both in and out of school, are because we are expressing our joy and I need to pause and enjoy them.1

Enjoy your last day with your students (if you still have one) and the last hours before Christmas. Here is my little gift to you. Enjoy this short playlist of great holiday music to play in your classroom at certain times in your day. (Or at home just for you and your family!):

  • As students are entering your room and getting settled
  • As students are working on a holiday craft or art project
  • At snack time
  • As students are cleaning up the room
  • As you sit quietly alone for that one precious moment before your day begins or when it has ended

Holiday Favorites by Elizabeth Peterson on Grooveshark
Merry Christmas!  Happy Holidays! and Happy New Year!


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Article by Elizabeth Peterson

Elizabeth Peterson has devoted her life to education and to reaching out to other teachers who want to remain inspired. Mrs. Peterson teaches fourth grade in Amesbury, Massachusetts and is the host of She holds an M.Ed. in Education, “Arts and Learning” and a C.A.G.S. degree with a focus in “Arts Leadership and Learning.” Elizabeth is author of Inspired by Listening, a teacher resource book that includes a method of music integration she has developed and implemented into her own teaching. She teaches workshops and courses on the integration of the arts into the curriculum and organizes the annual summer Teacher Art Retreat. Mrs. Peterson believes there is a love of active, integrated learning in all children and from their enthusiasm, teachers can shape great opportunities to learn.
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