music online classroom

If you’re like me, then music played a huge role in your brick & mortar classroom. Now that many of us are in an online space for who knows how long, it may be daunting trying to figure out how to recreate the *chispa* of in-person music and culture (which personally, I believe is a major selling point of the language). Here are some ways that I found to bring in authentic music to the classroom during our “virtual experiment” last Spring.


1. Play music at the start of class

  1. You can play music with a slide that lets students know that they are connected but that they still have a few minutes until class starts. I can’t fully claim this idea–my graduate school professor this summer used to have a slide up letting us know that we were connected and I really appreciated that. Get creative. It can quell some of the angst that students might feel when they show up and there is nothing but a black screen to greet them. Plus the music gets them in the mood for the lesson. Here are some of my students’ favorite songs.
As students log in & wait, have music playing for them! Get them in the mood for learning.

2. Create musical brain breaks during class

You can create brain breaks during class with programs such as Pear Deck or simply by taking a break. You can give your students a stretch break to some calming music in Spanish (think relaxing flamenco guitar: Paco de Lucía). When I polled my students, they said that they felt more refreshed and ready to learn after brain breaks. So bring in some authentic culture!

Simple, seated yoga and breathing exercises can make a huge difference in learning and retention. I had a professor who use to give us 10 minute breaks during our 90 minute class. God bless him–it made a huge difference rather than going straight through the class.

3. Play my modified version of “pájaro enojado,”

You can play my modified version of “pájaro enojado,” essentially a hot potato game when played in person. Since you can’t play the original game, you can play a version which utilizes Flippity Random Name Picker (select that tile–you can demo it first and then look at the instructions). The point is to randomly select students to participate. This game boosts classroom participation and engagement, and can be coordinated with music when you spin the wheel for the name to be chosen. It’s easy to install and it is a good party trick for when class is going a little slow!

4. TpT Music Explorations

TpT Music Explorations: There are many different Teachers Pay Teachers assets that explore music and break it down by genre, country, etc. I even have my own Mix Musical, which explores various artists and genres–perfect for the digital world!

*****Don’t forget, TpT is running a site-wide sale on the 18th of August–don’t miss it! Grab your goodies for the start of the school year!

Do you have any tips that you’ve tried? Comment below! I’d love to hear them!

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