Inside: How to chat about music in Spanish class. Describing music in Spanish to chat about música miércoles or your mania musical March music bracket in Spanish class.
Music in Spanish class
If you have been reading Mis Clases Locas for a while you know that music in Spanish class has always been a passion of mine. It started with the weekly classroom routines of Música miércoles and Baile viernes back when this website started in 2014. I soon added yearly Spanish class music brackets with mania musical – March Music Madness & Hispanic Heritage Month Music Bracket.
Describing Music in Spanish class
One of the follow-up questions I often get about using music in Spanish class is “What to do with a song in Spanish class?” The answer to that question really varies, but a common thread is how to discuss music in Spanish. Not only will this help them learn the language better, but it will also give them insight into the culture and history of the countries where Spanish is spoken. Here are some specific ways to support students in how to talk about music in Spanish.
Encourage Students To Share Their Musical Preferences
First, don’t be afraid to let your students share their own musical preferences when talking about music in Spanish. In my Super 7 Verb Unit to Start Spanish 1, one of the 1st questions is about what kind of music do you like. This shows you do not have to have a lot of language in Spanish to start chatting about music.
Asking students about their favorite artist or genre is a great way to learn about each other in the target language. It can also give you insight into what kinds of topics students find interesting which can make relating to students in your lessons easier down the road. Something as small as including a favorite band in a class story, or making sure that a certain genre of music is represented goes a long way.
Chat about Music in General
A great way to learn about those musical preferences from above is to chat about music in general in Spanish. Before even digging into chatting about a song in Spanish, it can be helpful to learn about the student’s taste in music. My chat about music Find Someone Who has a version to chat about music in general. Or my chat about music question cards has cards to discuss music. The music chats would work well with a music unit, or just as a getting-to-know-you-back-to-school activity with a new group of students.
Talk About Music in Spanish – Discuss any Song
Once you have started your weekly Música miércoles it is helpful to teach students how to chat about a specific song. This might include slowly adding in vocabulary related to a song such as an artist, nationality, genre, beat, rhythm, etc. All of my music slides have a couple of questions included, so you can use them as a quick bell ringer. However, I know sometimes teachers want to spend more time with one song.
If you want ready-to-go activities to discuss any one song my chat about music Find Someone Who has two differentiated speaking versions. You have the option of 16 Basic Questions over 1 song (Spanish 1/2) or another page with 16 More Advanced Questions over 1 song (Spanish 3/4). Then there is a writing extension for each version as well. Learn more about Find Someone Who Interpersonal Speaking.
Also, my music question cards have these discuss one song questions in Spanish but in a different format. There are small cards to use with pairs, as well as large ones to post for walk and talk discussion around the room. See lots of ways to use question cards in this blog post.
Creating Playlists of Spanish Music
Another way to use music in Spanish class is by having students create their own playlists that feature Spanish-language songs. (I actually used a similar idea in one of my 1st week of school stations in these 1st Week of Spanish Class Plans). A great way to extend this beyond just creating a playlist is to have students write a brief summary of each song they choose and explain why they chose it for their playlist. For upper level students, I would have them do this in Spanish to practice writing skills.
Then, have students chat in Spanish in pairs or small groups to share their Spanish song playlists. School-appropriate songs could then be added to a master class playlist in Spanish, which could be used for future Música miércoles. This helps create a positive class community with student buy in as well.
Mix it Up – Discuss History & Culture Of Different Genres
For upper-level Spanish students who have been chatting about music for a while, you can go beyond just different genres of music in Spanish. You could also discuss the history and culture behind each style as well. This can help your students gain a greater understanding of not just how people speak in certain countries, but also the deep cultures as well. For example, the following Latin music genres have influences from African beats: bachata, cha-cha-cha, conga, mambo, tango, reggaeton, rumba, and more. (More Afro-Latinx music resources here). By doing so, you’ll be able to give your students a deeper appreciation for both the language and cultures associated with it.
Mix it up – Talk about Music in Spanish with a Music Bracket!
Now is the time of year that many Spanish teachers participate in mania musical – March Music Brackets. Basically, you listen to two sings in Spanish each day & have your classes vote who moves on in a tournament-style bracket. Read Mania Musical March Music Bracket FAQ to learn more!
There are many different Spanish class brackets out there, but what makes mine unique is you can use it whenever your schedule sees fit. Some other Spanish class music brackets such as Locura de marzo have set voting days. (which do not work if you have Spring Break in the middle of March like most school in Iowa). My brackets have diverse musicians from all over the Spanish-speaking world, which lends itself to a lot of great conversations in Spanish. You can get them below. *Update you now have the choice to get them from TPT or the Mis Clases Locas Website Shop.
- NEW 2023 Spanish Music Bracket
- TPT 2023 Mis Clases Locas Music Bracket – created for high school
- NEW Young Music Bracket 2023 MCL Store
- TPT 2023 YOUNG Middle School Music Bracket – created for upper elementary, middle school or conservative high school
As a basic way to discuss songs and chose a winner, I have a Music Bracket Voting Form Free Printable. If you want to chat a bit more my music question cards have eight included questions specifically to compare two different songs. You could have these laminated and set out on desks for students to support students chatting with their neighbors about which song they like better and why. Make sure to read Mania Musical March Music Bracket FAQ for more support.
Need more ideas about what to do with a song in Spanish class?
- Get lots more ideas here >> What to do with a song in Spanish class & the video below
More resources for Spanish Class this time of year
- Black History Month in Spanish class
- Valentine’s Day blog post – tons of ideas
- mania musical – March Music Brackets
Plus, if you want bonus Spanish class Music Slides – sign up below
Recap with resources to save you time!
Chat about music in Spanish Find Someone Who
Music question cards in Spanish
Chatting about music in Spanish class is an enjoyable way for teachers and their students alike to learn more about both language and culture simultaneously. If you talk about music in Spanish, discuss the history behind different genres of music, and encourage students to share their own musical tastes, you’ll be able to provide an enriching learning experience that will go beyond the classroom.