This post is for the MOOC I'm currently studying on Coursera (see this post for…
As a teacher of English a second language in Spain, I have used and will continue to use music as a way to cross the teacher-student divide and show them that language learning can be fun. I have found that adults respond particularly well to classic rock, but that everyone of all ages love Queen. Small children love to learn the lyrics to popular songs from Disney films, and to see how the music somehow feels different when the words are sung in a different language.
I particularly agree with the comments from Richard Gill about how children love singing and that this represents an opportunity to introduce them to music without breaking the budget. A language academy cannot afford the luxury of a fully equipped music room, but even a small classroom can really rock when you play a well known song to an eager class.
One further point I’d like to make, this time as a parent rather than a teacher. My daughter has had extra music classes from a very early age, but this year we decided to also send her to traditional dance (muñeira – a folk dance specific to the Galicia region of Spain), and we were surprised to see how much this connection with folk music improved her skills in her ‘regular’ music classes as well. She now plays classical music in one class, folk in another, and rock and pop when she joins me in my classes at the language academy. So I believe that there is a place for every style of music in a well thought out music curriculum, but that also, there should be more crossover between subjects as well.