Usha tells a story in Calm and Compassionate Children about a time that she chose to use music in the classroom to change energy, rather than talking and ordering students about.
The students had come in from recess, many arguing and up in arms about something that had happened on the playground. This is a very familiar scene to most teachers, as often simple playground disagreements start to expand to more and more students until most of the students are involved in the dispute.
Rather than go straight to talking, Usha suggested that they drink some water, and sit silently for 5 minutes while they drank and relaxed. She put on music while they were sitting and quite quickly, “the atmosphere in the classroom began to change. The students’ jerky movements and agitated expressions relaxed. Tension visibly drained out of them.” After the 5 minutes, only the two who were originally involved felt that they needed to talk about it.