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Showing posts from October, 2013

Radioactive, Cups (When I'm gone)

More Middle School ideas using popular music. Imagine Dragons "Radioactive" Okay, this song is metaphorical, not scientifically accurate. If you were that radioactive, you'd join the ranks of Mme Curie and die! Still, the lyrics are pretty thought provoking, the beat is freakin' awesome, and it's got some back-up singing potential.

Anna Kendrick "Cups" (When I'm gone)
THIS IS A KODALY THING!  It's a folkgame for passing cups. Here's the cup game.

Try singing the song to the slower version here. They speed up, so can you. This way you can teach the children how to sing on the breath and keep it on the breath at a faster speed! You can also practice the cup game with the song instead of John Phillip Sousa!

Safe and Sound, Same Love, Gone Gone Gone (For You), Royals

More ideas for Middle School music using popular songs.

Capital Cities "Safe and Sound" 
This is such a favorite of mine. The video is surreal, the singers look like ordinary guys (who could play with the Red Sox with those beards!) and it's so teachable.

This is a fantastic piece for teaching high E as well as the D'-E' fingering. It's addictive!

(') denotes higher octave of the note.

E' A B C' D' E' G G B C' D'
E' A B C' D' E' G G G' F' E'

D' E' E' E' (play rest, 4 sixteenths as an ostinato) This ostinato happens much of the time the hook is not being used.


Awesome for beginners. Have students anchor their first finger to first fret, second string. The chords are F, C, Am, G. Use simple versions of these chords and have the students play the progression just lifting their first finger and placing their third on the E string for the G chord. So easy and so fun!

Wrecking Ball, Mirrors, Take Back the Night, Roar, Wake me up

Many of you comment that Middle Schoolers want to sing popular songs, but most songs are really, shall we say, "twerky." So what's a music teacher to do? You have to listen a lot! Fortunately, there's a new trend in popular music for songs that are tender, fun, nostalgic, and sweet. Yeah!

I'm going to devote at least a month of posts to songs that will get your kids singing, playing recorder, drumming, and having a hell of a good time in music class. You will see that the latest crop of popular music is truly wonderful. Gone are the days (for now) of lyrics just for shock value. These songs mean something. Finally, we have lyrics that an English teacher can love. I'm so excited to share these songs with you. Let's get started!

As mentioned in a previous post, Miley Cyrus seems to be going through a slut phase, but her music is pretty wonderful. Still, if you use a song like "Wrecking Ball," you're going to have to deal with the fall-out ove…