Sep 2, 2015 by


Please Note: The following article is a follow-up to previous pieces on EDUCATION NEWS: “Music Listening Changes Children’s Lives” and “How Parents Can Use Music To Change Their Kids’ Lives.” Links to both articles appear at end of this post.

Looking for a new way to open the beginning of school that can set the tone for the whole year?

Why not try this 20-minute exercise of meditating, music, and motivation, you might like it, and so will your class. It’s not a trip into deep meditation, but a simple activity for clearing your kids’ heads and then pumping it up in the classroom. And nowadays we all need something that helps inspire our students. And, it’s all inside each child, not so deep, and it’s waiting to be triggered, to create an open mind, and it will spark a calming energy that can make your day—and theirs.

To start, check out different meditationsM #1—listed at http://franticworld.com/free-meditations-from-mindfulness. Try the “Mindfulness Meditation of the Body and Breath” or “Three Minute Breathing Space” with your class because each slows down breathing. Following the guide’s directions allows the students—and teachers—to create a better place, feeling good, relaxed, yet out there and recharged.

Next there’s M #2: a jolt of music follows the meditation. Included below are possible choices of retro and recent up-toned songs. Or, let your students’ select their favorite music, but keep it lively, rhythmical, up-tempo and similar to these YouTube songs:


First, meditate, second, listen to music, and if there’s a little time, discuss with kids what they experienced internally. Ask them to recall as much as they can to capture events highlighted in their mind and imagination. Allow them to reflect on where they’ve been and how they’re feeling by questioning themselves: “What am I feeling and thinking? How can I use this awareness and inner-sight throughout the school day?” Talking it out—communicating—helps drive home the experience in their head, heart, and spirit, and they will “come to,” to this moment, ready to motivateM #3—themselves and each other.

Here is a sample of the above activities tried on my own, including a description of what happened inside me during the meditation and music listening:


The first part of the 3 M’s, my body and breath meditation experience, is described below:

Body-scan starts from feet. Interesting. Just got back from a bike ride. Feeling the strain in my

legs. Scan really hit calves and thighs when I spotlighted them. My head, neck, and shoulders are sore from riding. Scan lit up the body, made me more aware of and feel the physical sensations, the after-effects/affects of a summer day’s bike ride.

Next, ah, the breath meditation, where I “watched” my breath, feeling more relaxed inhaling and exhaling from abdomen. This was simple, although the exercise moved too quickly, with not enough time to completely s-l-o-w down my breath. Maybe still huffing and puffing from riding.

When the guide mentioned distracting thoughts might interfere with breathing I visualized, almost immediately, my bike ride. I returned to images of me riding along the water, feeling the summer heat, trying to maintain focus on just riding, call this a “biking meditation.” I kept concentrating on riding-the-bike, nothing else, finding a clear path for myself while avoiding others on the walkway, pedaling along, and now inside Ft. Totten park, coming to the up-hills, feeling that extra stress pedaling, pushing myself hard, until the downhill, where I glided down the road, hands-on-brakes-in-case, whizzing fast until the next incline, now pushing harder again on the pedals struggling up-hill, pushing, pushing, till level ground, the shade of a tree, feeling cool, and hey, I’m breathing again, inhaling, exhaling, calm, sitting upright in my chair, back in present time, here again…

Option: It’s okay if students write about their inner experiences with the meditation(s) and music similar to my self-expression here, especially if there’s extra time in the class schedule. Writing about these internal events imprints and impacts the students’ everyday lives.


Please note: One way to connect meditation to motivation is to play five minutes of Top 40 music and then briefly discuss both activities. A short meditation followed by music listening and talking will expand kids’ experience and take them to “M #3”: motivation.

The second part of the 3 M’s, my music and motivation experience, is described below:

After meditating, I listened to Survivor’s song, “Eye Of The Tiger,” and right away liked the song because it used my calm to pump me up. I was under control, feeling better and better as it played on. I started getting into the lyrics, like, “will to survive,” “fight to keep dreams alive,” “rising up to the challenge,” hanging tough,” “staying hungry,” “rising straight up to the top,” “now I’m not gonna stop,” and finally, “eye of the tiger,” eye of the tiger…”

The song keeps moving me forward. I see what’s in front of me. Not looking back or ahead. Leaves me in the present moment. Not becoming “dangling man,” not really in the now and know, flying high in space to some past and imaginary future that’s a puff of smoke. A few minutes of up-tempo music brings me to where I would like to be: quiet, focused motivation.

The meditation opens me up and eases me into the music where I can finally say, “I’m here now. I feel my self and hear the life inside me like the fan whirring above and the cool breeze on my neck with few extra thoughts that I will let in and let go anyway.”

I feel my legs again, without fighting the strain, feeling lighter. My song works. I feel a rush of emotion to find words to describe what has happened, and yeah, I’m in heaven, this is paradise, I made it through the meditation, music, and “self-talk” (writing about my experience), feeling

pumped up and inspired by the 3 M’s, and the beat goes on…”

More information and background to how music listening affects people’s lives:

  • Google a recent article titled, “Former teacher uses music to educate students” by Jess Berry (Queens Ledger, June 30, 2014)
  • Please go to my website, www.JeffreyPflaum.com, for samples of students’ contemplation music writings, themes culled from their work, and author articles on “Contemplation Writing.”
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