Music in Spanish Class, Teaching Reflections

Music in the Classroom: What I’ve learned this year

1. Variety is the spice of life: music doesn’t have to be a lyrics cloze, nor does it have to illustrate this week’s grammar focus.  There are lots of reasons to listen to Spanish music in class and lots of different activities to do. Also? Just listening to a song without an activity is okay too.

2. Songs my students loved this year: Vivir mi vida/Marc Anthony, Te mueves tú/David Bisbal, Ha Ash &Reik, Lo mejor de mi vida eres tú/Ricky Martin, El amor/Tito el Bambino, La lista/Aldrey, Tengo tu love/Sie7e.  I would never have picked out “El amor,” but my department head handed me a ready-made cloze for Valentine’s Day, I used it out of pure laziness, and now half my students are all, “Why isn’t this one in the bracket???”

3.  Everyone does not love every song – and that’s okay.

4. “Do the duck” – Oh, I worked really hard to find a song for you today and put an awesome activity together to go with it, and 30 students are whining at me how much they hate it? Do the duck and let it roll off my back – there is at least one student who likes it, but isn’t going to speak up and voice their opinion against so much negativity. Also, you never know about the next class!

5. “Can we listen to….” and “I went home and listened to that song from yesterday” and “Hey, I heard this song at the Mexican restaurant!” are the best. phrases. EVER!!!!!


8 thoughts on “Music in the Classroom: What I’ve learned this year”

  1. I love this post! I am with you about “doing the duck.” And in all honesty, if they learn one phrase that sticks in their head it was worth it! Even if my kids run around saying “Besame en la boca.” Thank you Juanes!

  2. Thank you Maris! I get so excited when I catch students mouthing the lyrics, or that one musical theater kid who will sing in Spanish at the top his lungs during class change – success!!!! And thank you for sharing “Lo mejor de mi vida eres tú” – I love that one!!!

  3. Some of my other favorite phrases: “Our song for next week should be…” or “I heard this song this weekend and was hoping it would be our song of the week sometime!”

    1. Basically. My plans are not nearly as awesome as hers, I’m hoping to improve them big time next year. And we do them every day, since I don’t have the resources (yet!) for a classroom library and FVR.

  4. My students LOVE music. I played “Mi Nina Bonita” by Chino and Nacho last year and my students requested it all year long. My concern, though, is often how appropriate some of the lyrics can be for middle/high school students.

  5. Hahaha my kids didn’t go for Mi Niña Bonita – maybe I can get this year’s group to like it! This is only my second year using music regularly, and I am definitely still finding new songs and editing my playlists. A few of my favorites without questionable lyrics are Vivir mi vida, te mueves tú, Lo mejor de mi vida eres tú, Tengo tu love, Madre Tierra, La Lista, and La gozadera, When a song has some lyrics I don´t want to discuss, I might still play it as background music, or just focus in on one part.

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