Session about Music

Music in English Teaching
A. Benefits essential to using any music
High-interest high motivation memorable
Lowered inhibition level
Reaches learners with right brain strengths
Reaches learners with auditory strengths
Help promote class bonding
Help create shared frame of cultural reference also illustration of grammar in context
High-interest topics and themes
Prestige value of knowing songs from Target Culture
Rhythmic element helps reinforce English prosody and fluency

B. Some Criteria for choosing songs for classroom use

Most importantly: you like the song and want to share it!
Words easily intelligible
Enough repetition to provide oral practice
Song is famous, or a “classic” likely to be heard by students outside class
Well-written from a native speaker perspective
If students will sing it, range of notes suitable for average mixed voices
Contains values and themes you want to introduce into the class
If part of a unit of songs, good to draw upon different musical genres
C. For listening comprehension – with CD or video
a. Fill in before listening to cultivate guided listening and
hypothesis formation
b. Fill in during listening
c. Scramble lines of lyrics on large index cards can be ordered as students listen
d. Mark stress patterns (“beats”) on lyric sheet while listening
e. Transcribe entire song while listening, dictation style (or assign
small groups one verse each), then check w/ master copy of lyrics
5. Play song while displaying accompanying pictures as aids to meaning
D. For reading comprehension
For reading comprehension/cultural studies – Gangsta’s Paradise is an excellent song.
1. Explain target vocabulary and idioms, then illustrate in context
2. Study as literature, examining prosodic and thematic features
3. Compare and contrast w/ a related reading

E. For pronunciation/speaking practice

  1. Speak/chant/whisper lyrics as a group along with tape with lyrics
    supplied, pausing tape during practice, then at full tempo
  2. Same as point 1, but singing along with audio

  3. Sing along with music track only – “karaoke” style

  4. Sing/chant song in alternating assigned solo parts

  5. Memorize and perform song(s) for class, especially for last day
  6. Discuss topic or content of song in large or small groups
  7. Have songs sung as part of daily routine
  8. Role plays the lyrics of pop songs in front of the class
    F. For writing practice

  9. Add other verse to song in small groups (can use recorded
    instrumental break to fit in extra verse)

  10. Write verses to “zipper” songs or blues songs

  11. Write parody or new set of words to known melody

  12. Make written response/reaction to the song topic; examples:
    a. Does this song remind you of anything in your life?
    b. What do you think happened next, after the story in the
    song?

c. Do you agree with the point of view of the singer? Why or
why not?

d. Write down what happens in the song, in your words.

e. Think about the relationship between the two people in the
song. Write it as a dialog.

  1. Have students prepare 5 minute written reports about their favorite
    song, then play the song for the class
  • Compare and contrast two songs

  • Give writing assignment based on listening to classical piece and
    writing a story response, then sharing it with the class as music plays

  • G. For culture-based activities

    1. Use with accompanying readings to teach values, history
  • Use as part of unit on teaching tolerance, or as intro to minority
    Cultures

  • Use as lead-in activity for a cross-class session w/ a class of
    nearby native speakers

  • b. What do you think happened next, after the story in the
    song?

    c. Do you agree with the point of view of the singer? Why or
    why not?

    d. Write down what happens in the song, in your words.

    e. Think about the relationship between the two people in the
    song. Write it as a dialog.

    1. Have students prepare 5 minute written reports about their favourite
      song, then play the song for the class
  • Compare and contrast two songs

  • Give writing assignment based on listening to classical piece and
    writing a story response, then sharing it with the class as music plays

  • G. For culture-based activities

    1. Use with accompanying readings to teach values, history

    2. Use as part of unit on teaching tolerance, or as intro to minority
      Cultures

    3. Use as lead-in activity for a cross-class session w/ a class of
      nearby native speakers

      https://youtu.behttps://youtu.be

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