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What to do with a song in Spanish class

What to do with a song in Spanish class

If you have been reading here for any length of time you know I love to use authentic music in my Spanish classes. I love using music so much that I have weekly routines built in to make sure to incorporate what many students have told me is there favorite part of Spanish class, music. But, what if you want to mix it up? Here are some ideas of what to do with a song in Spanish class. 

What to do with a song in Spanish class

Use a song as a small part of your day

Música miércoles (class starter)

In my classes, we typically start class on Wednesday with music. I do this by having a projected slide with artist, title and task, with an embedded music video playing as all classes enter. We watch the video, discuss it a little and usually move on with our day. This may include rating the song, telling if they like it, or being a critic. 

If you would like ideas for songs, here is my new slide show with 20 new videos, my huge music bundle, 1 song from each Spanish speaking country, or music bracketSome days we spend the entire class period doing talks with the song, but usually it is just a para empezar class starter. On Friday we dance, or baile viernes, or dance Friday. These are usually easy Zumba or Just Dance in Spanish that play during passing time and once again at the start of class.

Cantaninja (brain break)

This year my friend Emily Huff reminded me of something I had been meaning to try for a while from Martina Bex, Cantaninja. You can get the full info here, but basically a student gets to yell "cantaninja" at some point during class. (We decide in advance who will be the cantaninja for that week or day & they also get to wear my headband I got while in Japan). At that time everyone stops what they are doing and watches or dances to a music video in Spanish. This is just for pure enjoyment and a brain break. Students just pick from my huge list of songs or dance play list

Time Filler (end of class)

Do you ever have five to ten minutes left at the end of class that you want to fill with something worthwhile? You can always show an appropriate music video to expose students to new music, or let them request a class favorite as a reward. Getting students hooked on authentic music is always worthwhile. My favorite is when they come back to class telling me they added music from class to their Spotify play list. 

Use music as your lesson 

Movie talk a music video

Use the Movie talk technique with a music video as a short film. This can be done by muting the audio, and describing what is happening using comprehensible Spanish while pausing many times. You will want to warn students in advance that you will be pausing, so they are prepared for the interruptions. It is also helpful to first do a reading using what you will be saying, as well as describing using screen shots from the video. In Spanish, you can then discuss student predictions to what they will see and hear during the song. Finally, watch the music video with sound, and see if the class predictions were true. 

Dig Deep with a Song 

There are so many ways that you can use a song as the basis on an entire class period, or even longer. For example Kara Jacobs has en entire awesome unit using the song "Soy Yo" as well as many other upper level units that have a large basis on authentic music. Here are a few ways you can go deep with a song:

Ideas BEFORE watching a music video
  • Watch the video without any sound and predict what it is about 
  • Read and analyze the lyrics 
  • Have students draw what the song is about based on the lyrics
  • Story ask using key target vocabulary 
  • Do a Quizlet live to introduce key vocabulary 
  • Listen to just the audio before watching and predict what the video will be like

Ideas WHILE watching a music video
  • Smash doodle (draw graffiti style) what is going on
  • Highlight words that they hear using a pre-made word cloud of the lyrics
  • Just sit back and ENJOY
  • Have different students tally how many times they hear a specific target word or phrase
  • Have chunks of lyrics that can be manipulated to be put in order

Ideas AFTER watching a music video
  • Have "judges" who critique the video and song 
  • Have students write a review
  • Rank videos you have seen in order of how much they like them 
  • Have students do more investigation on the artist, genre, or song
  • Individually students can play the song on lyricstraining.com 
  • Have students suggest future songs from their research

How do you use songs in Spanish class?


  1. Some great suggestions here. My class love music, so I will definitely try them out

  2. Great help to share with our students and improve our spanish classes because music and games are very useful to understand better the languague

  3. I really like you post good blog,Thanks for your sharing.


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