“Mindful Music Moments has had such a positive impact on the Barrington community,” school counselor Erin Bowden said. “It is enjoyed and appreciated by both students and staff.”
Mindful Music Moments is a program developed by author and mind-body educator Stacy Sims. The program partners with Ohio performing-arts organizations such as the Columbus Symphony and Opera Columbus to provide a daily dose of mindfulness and introduce classical music to listeners.
Barrington began piloting the program in February by starting each day with a prompt followed by a snippet of classical music. While staff members immediately saw huge benefits for their students and themselves, they also believed that shifting the moment of mindfulness to after the lunch hour each day would be even more beneficial.
“The teachers felt the students could use this ‘refocusing tool’ to help them settle back into learning,” said music teacher Angi Brooks.
And the students value that, too, school counselor Erin Bowden said.
“Students have expressed that after getting wound up over the lunch hour and recess they look forward to Mindful Music because it calms them and helps them transition into afternoon work time,” Bowden said.
Music teacher Debbie Gibson has seen the impact on the first- and second-grade students meets with after the lunch hour, during the Mindful Music Moments time each day.
“They are learning how to independently calm their bodies and voices so they can listen to the music,” Gibson said. “That's a huge social skill, and they have learned it very quickly.”
Barrington is one of many schools that have signed on for Mindful Music Moments. More than 60 K-12 schools, camps and social service organizations are offering the daily mindfulness program, according to the program’s website.
In addition to the benefits of encouraging self-regulation strategies for students, Mindful Music Moments is also sparking conversation in music classes at Barrington.
“One thing I really like about it is the wide variety of music that Mindful Music has offered us,” Gibson said.
“I've enjoyed finding interesting facts or little extensions for the children to hear or see so that they can find a personal connection to the music or the composer, too.”