SPARKLERS / Mindfulness

Musical Adventures

Helping tamariki discover how music affects their mood.
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Print me!

Students will need a copy of our Musical Adventures worksheet.

Why we love it

Research shows that listening to music can reduce anxiety, stress and depression and increase our happiness.

This activity helps students connect music and their emotions, and discover how music can lift their mood and help them feel good.

Students who love to sing, create music or play a musical instrument may also find these activities a fantastic way to experience flow (feeling ‘in the zone’).


Explain that listening to music can change our mood. It’s an easy way to get a quick pick-me-up, relax and feel good.

To give students emotions to draw on during the exercise, brainstorm:

  • How do we feel when we listen to music we enjoy? Happy, calm, creative, thoughtful, tired, moved, sleepy, energised, motivated etc.
  • What about music we don’t enjoy? Distracted, stressed, sad, anxious, on edge, angry, overwhelmed etc.

What to do

A wee heads up that this activity uses YouTube clips. To avoid ads, you may like to open them in separate tabs before class, pausing them at the start of the track.

Hand out our Musical Adventure worksheet and say that today you’re going to go on a musical journey. Explain that you’ll play some music and as they listen you’d like them to write down how it makes them feel.

Reassure them that everyone has different taste in music and that this is about how the song makes us feel, rather than whether we think it’s cool.

Play each song for 30 seconds to 1 minute – ideally so tamariki can hear the music, but not see the YouTube picture.

Song ideas – you may like to use others:

  1. Four Seasons, Vivaldi
  2. Shake It Off, Taylor Swift
  3. Happy, Pharrell Williams
  4. Tarakihi, Kiri Te Kanawa
  5. Gangnam Style, PSY
  6. Wonky Donkey, Craig Smith
  7. Closer to the Edge, 30 Seconds To Mars
  8. Don’t Dream It’s Over, Crowded House
  9. 20, Voltaj
  10. River Flows In You, Yiruma

Debrief after each song or at the end if you think the group may be self-conscious about liking something ‘unpopular’.

We’d suggest using genres that bring calm in the classroom, and encouraging students to seek out songs that make them feel happy and relaxed.

What now?

Try our Mandala Colouring activity alongside some calming music or have some fun exploring Musical Emotions.

Sparklers at Home

If you think it may be useful for whānau to understand how music plays an important role in our energy and mood, simply copy and paste the following 'blurb' into an email or your home-learning programme as an introduction.

In the classroom we've been exploring how music plays an important part in our mood and energy. Research shows that listening to music can reduce anxiety, stress and depression and increase our happiness.

Sparklers at Home has the same activity, Musical Adventures, we've been exploring in the classroom, but ready for home use. It would be great if you could also explore this activity with your child (you may want to change the music options) and together discover which music lifts your moods and help make you both feel good.

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