Before I start the music, those who are already in the classroom are usually silent. At best, there may be some hushed conversation. When the music begins, the room starts to buzz with conversation. Hurray! That means my students have an opportunity to get know each other.
In my class of forty students, I rely heavily on discussion. Discussion helps students process their readings, my presentations, and words of guest speakers. It also helps me gauge their learning before we get to exam days. When students converse with each other informally before class, they are more comfortable speaking in small and large groups during class. Familiarity prompts students to respect and listen to each other during class.