Students Start the Day Calm and Ready for Learning

ECS Students Start the Day Calm, Focused and Ready for Learning
Posted on 12/04/2018
This is the image for the news article titled ECS Students Start the Day Calm, Focused and Ready for Learning

students sitting and meditating with Mindful Music MomentsEvery single day, over 600 Wyandot students start their morning calm and focused, ready for learning. Many other Lakota early childhood students begin their school day the same way. It’s because of a program called Mindful Music Moments.

The program is a collaboration between an organization called City Silence, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Opera. Mindful Music Moments combines classical music and mindfulness to calm and focus the mind while creating a lasting relationship with music. It’s a growing program, now reaching more than 22,000 students across the region.

Every morning at the end of announcements, students and teachers listen to classical music and are led through a mindful meditation.

Students can choose their own way to follow along… some close their eyes and hold their hands in a meditative pose, some rest their head on the desk, while others have their eyes open or even continue their work quietly.

The Mindful Music Moments daily ritual averages just four minutes, making a powerful impact without sacrificing academic time. Grants are used to cover the cost of the program.

Through mindfulness practices, students learn that they are the boss of their own brain. They’ve learned that when they are experiencing a “thumbs-down” feeling, to push pause and take a break using deep breathing to help calm down the brain. Most classrooms even have a calming corner equipped with items like fidget spinners and stress balls to help calm students and allow them to refocus their minds.

“Mindful Music Moments aligns perfectly with the Lakota’s district culture based on E + R = O (Event + Response = Outcome) and mindfulness,” said Wyandot counselor Jen Gillum.

Gillum said that the program also connects well with monthly health lessons she shares with students, which often cover mental health wellness.

“Students are learning at an early age that they can’t make the best decisions when their brains are in a certain place, and we are giving them tools to help them reset their minds,” said Gillum. “The whole goal of brain breaks is to rest and get back to problem-solving mode.”

Teachers are seeing more and more of a need to reset minds and Mindful Music Moments can be accessed again throughout the day if needed. The program is just one of many tools that teachers use to help their students focus.

“I really like the community aspect of Mindful Music Moments,” said Wyandot principal Liz Gruber. “It is something that the whole school does together. I love that both students and staff start their morning in the same place with their minds calm and ready for the day.”