March 4, 2024

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5 Teaching Ideas for Using Music to Inspire Student Writing

Microphone on mixer with blurred musical background, mixer music, mixer board. - style vintage.

Music styles and tastes keep changing year by year, but the power of music remains strong. Rock songs, pop hits, and classic pieces keep influencing our minds, creativity, and relationships with the outer world.

For centuries, music has been seen as a source of inspiration for many talented people, including world-famous engineers, artists, and writers. Today, teachers can use music to inspire students to write killer essays and heartwarming poems.

Here are five ideas of how educators can incorporate music into the classroom to develop writing skills in students.

Idea #1: Song in a foreign language

The best thing about the music is that it arouses emotions. When we listen to a foreign song and don’t understand the words, we still can feel the music and guess what this song is all about (love, hate, sorrow, freedom, happiness, etc.)

Teachers can assign students to listen to a foreign song and try to imagine and describe the story behind it. It’s an excellent exercise for improving storytelling and creative writing skills.

It’s worth mentioning that teachers should choose songs wisely. Songs in Spanish, French, or other languages that students learn as a second language will not work for this purpose. Students will try to translate the song’s words rather than focus on the melody and their feelings.

Idea #2: Essay about music

Most students hate essay writing because of one reason – they don’t like the topics teachers assign them with. The only right way to engage students in writing is to offer them the themes that match their interests.

All learners have their favorite bands/singers. All learners have the most loved songs they listen to repeatedly. Teachers can use music-related topics to make students enthusiastic about essay writing. Here are a few examples of essay themes that may spark interest:
What does your favorite artist/band teach you about life and the world?

What song does hold the most precious memories from your childhood?
What song does keep you motivated for life?
What song lyrics do you consider a “masterpiece of literature”?
What famous artist will stand the test of time?

You can check the best essay services online and find more interesting topics to offer your students. Also, you can discuss essay topic ideas in the classroom and ask learners to vote for the most appealing ones. Use the power of music for inspiration, and your students will become better writers.

Idea #3: Unique writing style

Many students struggle to find their writing voice and style. Basically, most students don’t even understand what it means. Teachers can use music to explain what “writing style” is and provide guidelines on how to develop it.

You can assign your class the following task. Ask students to choose two favorite bands, pick three songs of each band, and analyze the lyrics:

Write down the most used adjectives, nouns, and verbs
Define idioms, famous quotes, sayings, slang, or phrases that the author of the song tend to use
Identify repeatedly used rhyme
Analyze other peculiarities of the language (shortenings, abbreviations, etc.)

Once students compare the lyrics of their favorite bands, they will see the difference in writing styles. It will help them understand how they should adjust their writing to create their unique voice and style.

Idea #4: Seeing the whole picture

Writing and research skills go hand in hand. Before students jump into writing an essay, they need to research the topic and see the whole picture of the discussed subject. In other words, learners should be not only able to express their ideas but also analyze complex information and make their own conclusions.

Music production and music technology are great topics to research and write about. Use these topics as essay themes to broaden student horizons. Once learners find out how many people contribute to the production of one song, they will change their attitudes toward music, and maybe it will even influence their career choice.

Idea #5: Music and the current world

Music, just like any other form of art, reflects current events and changes that take place in culture and society. As a teacher, you can offer your students to analyze the trending songs and define the current events they relate to. This exercise is aimed at improving explanatory writing and critical thinking skills.

In conclusion

Music is one of the most effective tools for stimulating curiosity and enhancing writing in students. We highly encourage you to use these five exercises in your teaching practice to improve student engagement and achieve better learning outcomes.

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