I think I've mentioned this before. Once a teacher said that you should do one thing every day that you as the teacher enjoy. If the students hate it, no big deal. We need to show our passion to the students and see what they do with it!
I've often tried to incorporate music into my classroom but I wanted it to be purposeful to the students and to have to do with a certain grammatical structure we're going over. That would be swell. But my memory of songs in Spanish is not that great and therefore I wouldn't add as many songs only because they didn't have the grammar or vocabulary that I wanted to practice.
What?! Craziness... right? But this year, I decided to introduce some children's songs that I found on youtube and then it evolved into showing different kinds of musical styles as well from the Spanish speaking world. I like to incorporate pop culture into classes. A lot of Latin Artists are crossing over anyway these days like Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, Daddy Yankee, etc. So it's not a bad thing for me to want to incorporate music into classes.
I've been getting lucky lately because it might appear to the students that we aren't learning anything on music days. What I've been doing each music day is to show them a piece of music and then to have them listen to it two times. A lot of times, a video accompanies it on Youtube. They have to fill in the blanks of words that they should be able to recognize but also maybe that they can pick out thanks to a wordbank at the bottom of the sheet.
The next pass involves us talking about the meaning of the song line by line and I might have them circle or underline certain idiomatic expressions that would be fun to use in class as well as good words. At the end, their reward is to listen to the song again and we can sing along as well. I usually encourage them to at least sing the chorus with me. They don't always. But they're listening to the language and they have the words in front of them to follow along.
Curiously, it might seem boring, but most students really enjoy it. They're being exposed to new music that they can go home and download onto their computer (and some have!) and they are also learning some new words in Spanish. I don't think that it matters if there is a song with somewhat complicated grammar. If I don't make a big deal out of it, they won't either. But they're being exposed to the language and they might learn a word in the song because it's in the song, which they happen to like.
Ultimately, I've realized that my goal is to establish connections between the students and Spanish speaking culture. I can do all that I can to teach them Spanish. But if they are not passionate about learning about Spanish outside of class, then all they will get is inside the classroom. So this one day a week is so important to teach them about the culture and they have been responding positively to it. I've gotten lucky in that the last few weeks they've really liked the songs despite picky musical tastes at the school I teach... [cough: "country music"]
See today's song of the day: click here.