Song Use: Week in Review

                 Friday Dialogue from  

                                        Your Two Favorite Educators 

As Emily and Aubrey look back over the week they use their razor sharp wit to assess their innermost feelings about song use in the classroom. 


1.)    I know you are a big music buff and probably hated my guilty confession of having Bieber fever.  I think it is only fair that you describe one guilty pleasure you have with music.

Aubrey: You’re right I’m a music snob.  I like  the cowbell in Peter Bjorn and John’s “Gimme Some” as much as the next guy but guilty pleasure number one is Ke$ha.  I want to be her.   Who can resist: “Wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy?”   I never wake up in the morning feeling like anybody cool.  Sometimes when I’m at the grocery store I sing Tik Tok and shake it in the cereal aisle.  And by shake it I mean my finger as I point to other shoppers.

Emily:  What grocery store are you shopping at?!  The grocery stores in Chicago only play elevator music.  However, I often linger around the local CVS looking at different shower gels just to listen to the music more!  CVS definitely has the best “DJ.” But really…Kesha?  Oh wait, excuse me.  Ke$ha.


2.)    A lot of critics argue that song lyrics shouldn’t be studied in the classroom because they aren’t challenging texts.  This week I advocated for using them more as a hook to a lesson, but what are your thoughts:  to what extent is music a commodity in the class?

Aubrey: I think music is a great commodity in the classroom but it can’t be a gimmick.  Too often we fall into lessons that simply use music as an avenue to nowhere.  An opportunity for “cool.”  I’ve been as guilty of this as anyone else.  I used to try to do something every day with music or pop culture.  Sometimes you just can’t shoehorn music into the class without it being a stretch.

Emily:  I love the phrase “avenue to nowhere.”  Great point and nice language.  I wish I could use music for the “cool” factor, but normally whenever I play music it usually ends with students calling me lame, which, given my declaration this week for “artists” like Britney, Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber, I can understand their chagrin.


4.)    One problem with using music in the classroom is that it opens up the discussion of how out-of-date my interests are, thus making the students think I’m old, which I hate.  What fears do you have about using music in the classroom?

Aubrey: Since I’m all indie/hipster cool, I don’t worry about any of that.  What I do worry about: students will be so blown away by my edgy, folky music taste that they will be unable to function.  Trust me.  I listen to bands that don’t even exist yet.

Emily:  I’m always so jealous of people with indie taste.  I don’t even know where that comes from.  How do you know the musicians if they aren’t played on the radio?  I’ve always been very envious and perplexed about the indie movement.


5.)    You are trapped in room with a song on repeat.  Which would you prefer (and you have to choose one):  Justin Bieber’s “Baby” or Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” (which is referenced on Thursday)?

Aubrey: This actually happened to me.  Honestly.  My teaching assistant a couple of years ago pranked my classroom for April Fools Day.  She brought in a CD player that she locked in a box making it impossible to turn it off.  It played on repeat some terrible pop/techno music that I’ve currently blocked out of my head.  It took me two hours before I could get it to turn off.  Back to your question though, Justin Bieber.  That “Whip My Hair” video creeps me out.

Emily:  I have a friend who shall remain nameless (Jayme Halko) who has seriously strained her neck from whipping her hair back forth, whipping her hair back and forth.  Let this be a lesson to all of us:  do not emulate a dance move popularized by a pre-teen.



  1. Mom says:

    The end of the week dialogue is my favorite!

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