Teaching English

Learn English with songs

Have you ever sung in the classroom? What song did you sing? How was it like? Whether you’re a student or a teacher, I would love to read your thoughts on this topic.

I strongly believe that people can learn English with songs, and I would also like to convince all my students that, in order to effectively learn English with music, they actually have to join their lead singer, aka their respectable teacher, i.e. me, by doing their own vocals. However, when I open my mouth to sing, I lose all credibility.

Getting students to sing

It took me many years of musical training in my car to realize just how bad my singing voice is, but I couldn’t care less. As it turns out, I usually get my students to sing along and most of them sing as poorly as I do! I’m not really sure what convinces them to sing along. Threatening them with the possibility of making them join me in front of the class for a duet or even a solo if I catch them lip-synching may have something to do with it, some might say. However, I do suspect that they feel sorry for me and for the damage that my off-key singing might do to the songs they once loved. Maybe that’s the real reason they join me on my quest for the right notes.

Apparently, there are some fascinating things going on in our brain when we sing, regardless of how terrible our voice is, so take this post as a dare. I dare you to test your singing ability with some of the songs I have tried to sabotage with my defiantly bad voice.

Your turn

Have you ever sung in the classroom? What song did you sing? How was it like?

Whether you are a student or a teacher, I would love to read your thoughts on this topic in the comment section.

One other thing, if learning or teaching English is one of your goals, you should take a look at our playlist with our favorite school-appropriate songs. Before using a song in class, you should always read the lyrics to make sure it is appropriate for your students’ age, level or cultural background.

Joana's classroom playlist

@ up2dateSKILLS

If you’re a teacher looking for a song to use in class, check the song section on up2dateskills’ store. You’ll find some printable resources there for some of the songs on my playlist.


by John Lennon

Topics for the classroom:

  • The Beatles
  • World peace

Available resources:


by The Sutherland Brothers

Topics for the classroom:

  • Present Continuous
  • Opposites and synonyms

Available resources:

The alphabet song for rockers

by Jonathan Taylor Brittunculi

Topics for the classroom:

  • The alphabet
  • Spelling

Available resources:

Imagine by John Lennon

Topics for the classroom:

  • Synonyms and antonyms

Moonshadow by Cat Stevens

Topics for the classroom:

  • The human body

Better When I’m Dancing by Meghan Trainor

Topics for the classroom:

  • Move your body and be happy

Happy by Pharrell Williams

Topics for the classroom:

  • Happiness

Three Little Birds by Bob Marley & The Wailers

Topics for the classroom:

  • The human body

Brand New Day by Lindsey Ray

Topics for the classroom:

  • Daily routine

Colors by Black Pumas

Topics for the classroom:

  • Diversity of nature’s colors

Take Me To Church by Hozier

Topics for the classroom:

  • Discrimination against homosexuality

Cha-Cha Slide by Mr C The Slide Man

Topics for the classroom:

  • Directions

Your turn!

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