Using songs in the classroom

Do you use songs in your lessons? How? Watch how Seema uses them and then share your ideas below!

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Submitted by babakartal on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 12:48


They are very happy using songs and they can learn easily new vocabulary. Videos are used too..

thanks for sharing...

Submitted by SeemaR (not verified) on Wed, 03/21/2012 - 06:46


To contextualise the language ('Where is ....?' and 'Here I am!') in the song 'Where is Thumbkin' (and to learn the names of all my students in the beginning of the year!), I extended it as you saw in the video. I ask for each child and sing it through with them giving them a fun way to practice their greetings. I don't end with 'Go away!' (as is on the original song) but with common greetings such as 'Have a nice day!' and 'Nice to see you!' They love it and use these greetings when they meet me outside the classroom.

Really useful with absolute beginners, I think!


Submitted by KaraAharon on Thu, 03/29/2012 - 14:07


I want to share 2 songs I've used recently which also involve social issues and a brief description of activities I used as follow-ups. Both songs can be easily found on the internet.

"Don't Laugh at Me" - I chose this for a class where some children were particularly cruel to others who were less popular. We discussed why children laught at each other, how children feel when they're laughed at, how the children laughing feel and what else they can do to feel good about themselves without making others feel bad. Now we're staging the song with each child playing one of the "misfits" and plan to perform it for the school.

"Who Says" (sung by Selena Gomez) - We talked about why some people try to make others insecure and how they feel about themselves, how the person singing feels and how the person she's singing to feels. They had different ideas about to whom she's speaking in different parts of the song. Then I took out different costumes and told the students to prepare themselves for "auditions", using whatever they need to look and feel their best, thinking about whether they need anything at all. Some, like in the song, were comfortable as they are, some chose to use small accessories and some became someone else completely.

In both cases they learned and gained confidence in their English,  but also learned something about themselves.

Submitted by Graciela Rodriguez on Tue, 04/03/2012 - 15:48


Seema, congratulations, the way you show how to do it is awesome, it has also worked for me as I teach nursery to kids 1 and 2 years old, there is no other way to get their attention and having them sing all the songs and communicate is really a gift. regards

Hi Palace

Sorry to hear you're having problems with the video. What happens when you try to watch it? Is it possible to try to using a different browser or computer?


Submitted by Joel on Tue, 04/10/2012 - 06:40


I would like to inform about 2 EU funded projects that are making focused pedagogic resources for using music in language learning. 

FolkDC - using European folk songs in 10 languages with a full set of language, culture and musical activities for early language learners. 

PopuLLar - targeted at secondary school language learners. It is designed to keep them motivated by bringing the most important aspect of teenagers lives in to language learning - music (this is a new project so only a Facebook page so far



Submitted by Antonieta on Fri, 04/13/2012 - 14:50


The video was great!! is this teacher from England? she speaks perfect!! thanks for share that video..


Hi Loris

This blog offers lesson plans based around short film clips:

This activity uses YouTube videos:

This article talks about using short video clips in the classroom:


Submitted by verovaltoia on Sat, 04/21/2012 - 00:24


I really like it! I just have a question, How long usually take them to learn the song? Do you usually teach the song first? Or first the grammar related to it?

Thank you in advance, and have a nive week


Submitted by Sally Trowbridge (not verified) on Mon, 04/23/2012 - 08:07

In reply to by verovaltoia


Hi Vero
Learning a song is a gradual process that can be done over a number of lessons. Very young learners pick up grammar and vocabulary as they sing. Here’s just one way to teach a song:
1)    Play /sing the song.  Do the actions and encourage the students to join in with the actions as they listen. You can invent simple actions for any song.
2)    Play/sing short sections of the song and get students to repeat each part.
3)    Play/sing the song and pause (or stop singing) for children to sing the last part, eg,
T: Old Macdonald had a ……….
SS: Farm
You can demonstrate that you want students to sing by cupping your ear with your hand.
4)    Everyone sings and does actions together.

It'd be great to hear more ideas on teaching songs. : )


Submitted by dali laloui on Wed, 04/25/2012 - 07:29


to make your teaching enjoyable , as a teacher, you have to be rather smart..... add some charming to chackle off the daily rootine and make your learners entertain and enjoy their learning as well. songs are very useful in this case .

Submitted by dars25 on Thu, 07/26/2012 - 00:50


it is a very nice idea...since one of my group class likes music maybe i could also use songs as part of my routines in teaching...thankyou..

Submitted by Any Tina on Tue, 09/04/2012 - 12:19


Awesome!! The classroom is commoner to read or write but different thinking songs in the classroom. Excellent is thinking carry on this. Thanks.


Submitted by Nguyen Dinh Tung on Sat, 09/15/2012 - 09:48


The browsers I use are Fifrefox and Chrome, but I can't watch the video clip.

In Chrome, it says: Movie is not loaded.

In Firefox, it says: Video format or MME type is not supported.

Submitted by paronn on Thu, 10/18/2012 - 22:43


I recently found a very good web site for teaching with songs. There are more than 100 songs with simple vocabulary and actions. My students love the songs and they are free to download. The link is below.

Submitted by lallouch on Sat, 01/26/2013 - 14:57


I think that using songs with young learners is a fabulous tool to let them learn in a motivating atmosphere .Yet , I wonder wether it is also successful with 13-year old or 14-year old learners.congratulations on your work with these girls and thank you for your precious tips .lallouch

Submitted by sivasakthy on Mon, 02/18/2013 - 12:53


I like to teach songs. so it's very helpful for me to teach.

Submitted by Rafiw on Wed, 02/20/2013 - 09:22


No doubt songs are grate. Does this site offer some specific songs and presents them to the teacher so that the teacher can learn and use them in the classroom; If not would' it be a good idea to introduce this kind of material. To be more specific I am looking for songs like you are using in the classroom, you are doing it so well I want to study how to do it like you.

Submitted by Gulnarsuleymanova on Thu, 12/05/2013 - 20:20


The songs are very interesting for my students . I use songs in my primari classes. When I teach a song they are happy .

Submitted by 03oam88 on Mon, 09/01/2014 - 22:00


This video made me dig in the Internet to find some kids rhymes. And I found a nice thing called "playground rhymes" on the site "woodlands junior school". Find and enjoy! It's a treasure-house of rhymes!

Submitted by katefrost on Sat, 05/30/2015 - 08:55


This looks great, so engaging. After all learning through song is a major way of teaching MFL, why not EAL? I'd like to do this with my children, but I teach 10 year olds in England- most speak English very well if it is not their mother tongue- however, I have 3 new children in the class who are at the very beginning stages of learning English. I am worried that they will be self-conscious doing this sort of thing in front of their peers. I think I'd have to find a song for everyone to learn together. Any ideas?

Submitted by Seph345 on Sun, 04/17/2022 - 14:31


I use songs in the classroom with a specific subject, so the students understand the song and learns the subjects.

Submitted by Chidinma on Thu, 04/21/2022 - 10:31


Thanks a lot for this enlightenment. Please I would like to know how effective it is to use songs to teach older students between 13-17years of age.

Submitted by ChrisT on Thu, 04/21/2022 - 11:44


Hi Chidinma - yes songs can be an engaging and effective learning resource in the teen classroom.

Kevin Thomson suggests some ways of using songs in class in this article.  I really like the idea of getting learners actively involved in choosing the songs and helping create some of the activities (it takes a lot of the pressure off of teachers too!).  Could that work for you?



Glad that you found it useful Liz!


TeachingEnglish team

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