General Ideas for using songs

  • Make a Lückentext
  • Have students summarize the story
  • Have students act it out
  • You act it out
  • Have students draw pictures of the story or their impressions
  • zerschnittene Text-Streifen in die richtige Reihenfolge bringen

Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 11:30:37 -0500
From: ecollins
When I was in Catholic school at about age 12, we studied "views of romantic love in popular culture." Our assignment was to bring in a song on .45 that depicted some aspect of romantic love so that it could be played in class and the students could then discuss the song in terms of cultural and societal points of view.


Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 23:43:14 -0600
From: Jan Hart
Subject: You asked for suggestions...


I assume you are teaching German as opposed to music. With that assumption, I would suggest you might want to present your students with a list of composers, modern as well as classical, and have them find out about the composer and then a favorite song by the composer and its lyrics. Depending on how tolerant you are, you might let them bring a tape, CD, or record in to share with everyone.

You could play various songs and have the students write down the lyrics they hear. This will be funny, because many students will hear the lyrics differently! And,perhaps there will be some words they don't know.

If you have song sheets, the properly transcribed songs can be sung as a group project and concert for the school. Perhaps GLOBAL AWARENESS WEEK. (Like Lili Marlene, Mack the Knife, etc. some the kids might know the melody and if you co-ordinate with the other foreign language teachers, you might include some Spanish or French, and maybe even give some time to English!)

You could pass out the German lyrics and have your kids translate as best they can to English, and you night put in a "ringer" like Lili Marlene which already has English lyrics from World War I & II.

I have been searching for songs and their French lyrics, because it forced me to listen more closely and try to understand what was being said. I tried to transcribe what I was listening to and it was very funny when I could compare what I was hearing and what the composer had written! And the translations made it interesting too, because the songs' melodies stay the same, but the lyrics can really get strange. To wit: "Dream a Little Dream of Me" from the movie FRENCH KISS, is titled "Les Yeux Ouverts" and if you use altavista search you will find both sets of lyrics -- very weird translation!

Best of luck, hope some of the ideas work, or spark some new ideas.


Thank you Jan! Sparks flying for you out there? Write in!

How to use songs for the classroom by Dolores Rodriguez German teacher in Spain

Hi! I highly recommend to anyone using songs in class in order to teach or practice languages this super book: "MUSIC AND SONGS" BY TIM MURPHY,O.U.P RESOURCE BOOKS FOR TEACHERS.

Only with the music/sound:

  • make students draw the rhythm
  • let them describe the music using adjectives or verbs
  • identify musical instruments
  • talk about the music/voices of the song

Listening comprehension:

  • cloze test with song
  • jigsaw with song and let them put it in the right order
  • find out rhymes
  • correct wrong text of song
  • note-taking of only understood words
  • count how many times a word/refrain is said

Reading comprehension:

  • make vocabulary lists
  • reorganize jumbled sentences/paragraphs
  • read song step by step and speculate about the story/end of song


  • write similar text/song
  • invent dialogue from song and role play
  • write story /poem to song
  • write letter to songwriter/artist
  • write critique of song
  • build up semantic fields with vocabulary of song
  • write new text with some sentences of song
  • write end or second part of song


  • summarize song/story orally
  • find new titles for song
  • perform minidialogues/sketches/roleplays based on song
  • debate/discussion about theme of song
  • make interviews in class about likes/dislikes song/music/artist etc.

Grammar and vocabulary:

  • change all tempora
  • change all pronouns
  • change all adjectives into opposites
  • look for unknown word in dictionary/translate
  • create punctuation


  • give each student a line/sentence of song and make them dance in a chorus line introducing themselves in the rigth place based on the moment their line comes up in the song
  • eliminate some words of the song and make students put instead an appropriate picture

Ich unterrichte gerade eine Unterrichtseinheit über das Thema "Alltag". Dazu wollte ich auch noch ein paar Songtexte beifügen. Man kann sehr gut an den Texten die verschiedenen Auffassungen zum Alltag herausarbeiten, so zum Beispiel eine negative Auffassung, weil alles langweilig ist, oder auch positiv, da die Routine auch gut tut, und einen stützt. Leider habe ich noch nicht die idealen Songs gefunden, vielleicht schreibe ich dann noch mal mit konkreteren Ideen. Hier noch ein paar andere Vorschläge: Wie wäre es mit der Untersuchung von Zarah Leander Songs ? Man kann daran zum Beispiel das Dritte Reich sehr gut aufarbeiten ! Oder der Liedermacher Heinz Rudolph Kunze, seine Texte sind oft sogar mehrschichtig zu interpretieren. In Deutschland momentan auf Platz 1 der Charts sind "Die Ärzte" mit ihrem Hit "Männer sind Schweine", meiner Meinung nach eine durchaus diskutable These.

Bei Interesse schreib zurück:
sfeser then a Klammeraffe and then

Remember, each text is for study and research purposes only!
Other lyric sites and online cd stores
German Music Database Homepage Search the GMD General ideas for using songs in class Artists and Songs list

If you can't find something, try my Other Music Sites, or enter a phrase from the song you want, something without umlauts or ß. Put quotes around it too to search for the exact phrase.
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