¡La música!

I LOVE using music in my classroom every day! It is motivating, cultural, popular, fun, and if you ask my students years later what they loved most about my class they will most likely tell you it was dressing up and acting things out and MUSIC! I’d love to share with you some of the ways I use music and hopefully you will leave a comment and let me know your favorite ways of incorporating music in your classes too!

My students receive a large music packet each semester. We spend about 1 1/2 weeks on each song. We begin class every day by listening to the song, and students are expected to have the lyrics out and follow along, cancionesand singing is ENCOURAGED but never forced. I have several words/phrases underlined that students are expected to know for the quiz we have at the end of the 1 1/2 weeks. After we listen for several days we do a practice cloze quiz (included in the packet).

Additional activities that I may or may not do for each song:

Extra cloze activity with a secret message.

Lyric line-up (put lyrics strips in order while listening – best in a small group)

Musical slap and grab with vocab picture cards

Storytelling with the song or with a music video

Connect a song to something else we are studying

Use a song to highlight a grammatical pattern

Use a song to compare cultures

Read about the artist performing the song

A reading which turns the song into a story

Use lyrics to create a “found poem”

Use blubbr.com to make a trivia activity based on a youtube music video

Lyricstraining.com example with Yerbatero by Juanes

Dance contests or flash mobs (Waka Waka is a fun song to try!)

Use a song as transition or “worktime” music or during passing time between classes.

How do YOU use music to spark learning in your classes?


  1. Hi Kristy, I’m very interested to see what you do with Spanish 1. If you have any time, I’d appreciate a list of songs that you use.
    thanks! Megan Hughes

  2. Kristi – I am LOVING these songs and your ideas! Today I put my students into groups of 3 and had them act out a short skit (just one line minumum per person) integrating their “favorite” line of the song into the skit and it was hilarious!!! One kid threw a stuffed ducky across the room for his “ave que emigra” (I was using the Gaby Moreno song) I am curious what your “quizzes” look like? Do you have them translate the underlined words/phrases into English – do you give them a word bank? Do you just give them a cloze activity? I’m not sure about the best way to assess their understanding of the song. Help!!

  3. I didn’t find this post until now, and I am blown away. Your talent is so inspirational! I’d love to hear what songs you use for Spanish 1, too. Thanks again for your blog.

  4. Thank you for the wonderful resources. I have been using format adopted from Lisa Reyes. Week long cloze activity with essential phrases given as translation. I noticed on some songs you had the translations listed. For others you had the students translating the lyrics. Do you ever find that students aren’t learning the essential lyrics if there is not a daily activity? I really like the Lisa Reyes format but I find that I let it take up TOO much class time.

    Best thing ever is to have students write the story from a different perspective. For example Espacio Sideral, Jesse y Joy. They were to tell the story (conversation) between the person singing the song and their intended audience. It was HILARIOUS!!!! Led to skits, then to 2 football players, one playing the girl with a wig and falsetto voice, reading a conversation and everyone will remember that for a long time!

  5. Hello!
    My students have been begging for shakira, so we’re going to do waka waka next week. Would you be willing to share your strips that you made? If not no big deal! Thanks! You are amazing! 🙂

  6. Me encanta el paquete, está fenomenal. Yo enseño español 1, ¿tendrías algo similar para este nivel? O quizás sugerencias de canciones.

    Mil gracias por compartir.

          1. I absolutely LOVE this idea! I’m also teaching level 1 and 2 middle school students – is there any way I could see what you use for your level 1 students? I’ve been searching for months for some good music to use at that level. Love your blog!

  7. Every Wednesday is “Musica miercoles” in which we start class with a new song and activity. Also Fridays are “Baile viernes” where we start class with a zumba song, or other dance in Spanish. It is a great way to get the Friday wiggles and energy out at the start of class. The kids love anything that has to do with music! Thanks for sharing your packet!

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