The use of music in Bible classes for children and teens changes from time to time. When I was little, most Bible classes for children began with singing several active children’s Bible songs – not a bad idea for waking sleepy children or getting the wiggles out after sitting in worship. I’m honestly not sure when or why singing fell out of favor, but there are other ways to use music in classes for children and teens that can help in several ways. This is not an argument in favor of following the lead of teen programs that spend much of their Bible class time singing instead of learning, but there are ways to make the best use of your class time and music to enhance what happens during it.
Here are five great ways to use music in Bible classes for children or teens:
- To encourage students to enter the room. Playing worship music or authentic music from Bible times can draw students into your rooms out of curiosity or a desire to engage with the music.
- To set a mood. Do you want to raise the energy level and encourage joy? Upbeat worship songs will help. Do you need to calm them down a bit after coming from a high energy environment? Calming, soothing songs should help change the mood and energy levels.
- To add atmosphere to a Bible story. Technically, this may not be music, but playing the sounds the people in the Bible story may have heard during the story you are telling can add atmosphere and draw students into your story.
- Encourage scripture memorization. Many important scriptures have been made into songs – some specifically written to appeal to children. Singing those songs regularly can help your students memorize and remember key scriptures.
- Manage working speeds and moods during activities. Once again, high energy songs will get students energized and improve moods, while slower songs will calm and soothe them… probably also slowing down their working pace a bit in the progress.
- Encourage clean up. Tired of your classroom being left in chaos? Take a tip from preschool teachers. You don’t have to sing the clean up song for older children (although some appreciate the throw back), but find a song to play or sing that let’s students know it’s time to finish what they are working on and start helping you clean your classroom space.
Music is a great classroom management tool. Choose the songs carefully and you may find it enhances your Bible classes in multiple ways.