DJs and the power of music: lesson ideas for teens

Do your students love to listen to music? Would you like to spread musical notes in your classroom and engage your teens? Here are some ideas that will suit your pre-intermediate and intermediate teens to learn and speak more about the power of music and the role of a DJ.

Notes: Students get 3 points for each correct answer to play a game at the end of the lesson.

Task 1 (Warm-up)

Show the picture to your students and ask them to brainstorm ideas connected with it.

music

Task 2 (Lead-in)

Discuss the questions with your students:

  1. How often do you listen to music?
  2. When and where do you like listening to music?
  3. Do you think music can change our mood?
  4. How have your musical tastes changed since when you were a kid?
  5. What decade has produced the best music?
  6. What musical genres do you really like?
  7. Do you agree with Shakespeare that music is the food of love?
  8. Do you prefer a live concert to a DJ?
  9. What role can a DJ have in the performed music?

Task 3

Play the video (from 7:17) and ask your students who the most popular DJ is and how much money he earns.

 

Key:

Calvin Harris earned 48 million dollars in 2018.

Task 4

Ask your students to watch the video (from 7:17) again and mark the sentences true, false, not mentioned.

  1. Tiesto started his career as a DJ in the early 1990s in the Netherlands.
  2. His first musical tour was with Moby, David Bowie and Busta Rhymes in the late 1990s.
  3. Tiesto has about 150 live shows with 33 million dollars every year.
  4. Chainsmokers have been in the list of the most popular DJs for a very long time and now they are in the 2nd place of the top 10 DJs.
  5. “Closer”, “Friend”, “Don’t let me down” were released in 2012 and have become very popular since then.
  6. The Swedish DJ Calvin Harris is famous for his collaborations with Florence Welch, Ellie Goulding, and Rihanna.
  7. Calvin Harris is the highest-paid DJ in the world due to his own record label, five studio albums, and a 20-month residency at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Keys:

— False. In the mid-1990s.

— Not mentioned.

— True.

— False. They are relative newcomers.

— Not mentioned.

— False. Calvin Harris is a Scottish DJ.

— True.

Task 5

Now it is time to listen to the songs mixed by a DJ (till 2:00). Can they guess the original songs?

Keys:

  1. Crazy in Love by Beyonce.
  2. Never Leave You by Lumidee
  3. Work it by Missy Elliot
  4. No One by Alicia Keys
  5. Where the Party At by Jagged Edge
  6. Twerk by City Girls

Task 6

a) Play the music (don’t show the video) and ask your teens to guess the genre.

Rock, folk, hip hop, country, blues, jazz, classical, reggae, pop.

b) Ask your students to listen to some short pieces of music (till 2:20) and answer the questions.

  1. How do they make you feel?
  2. What makes these songs powerful?
  3. Would you like to carry on listening? Why yes/not?
  4. What genres would you mix if you were a DJ? Explain your choice.

c) Optional: if your students have some musical education and have the knowledge on how to mix songs, ask them to prepare their ‘own’ song for the next lesson. They can also use some tutorials.

Key:

a) blues, classical, country, folk, hip hop, jazz, pop, reggae, rock.

Task 7

Want some more musical challenges with your teens? Here is a show, where the contestants listen to some songs and have to guess whether it is original or cover. Ask your students to work in groups (up to 6 people in each group). Explain the rules to your students and play the video and stop where the song ends. Accept all the answers the students give and then play the continuation to check the answer. The group that has the correct answer collects points. The winner is the group that has the most points after all the songs have been played.

Task 8

Ask your students to use their points and guess the song. They take turns to open the cards. Each card represents one word from the song. When the students open enough cards to guess the song, they name it. The one who is the first to guess, becomes the winner.

For example:

I buy the word number 10 (with 10 points) in blue.

music

Teachers’ notes

music


Keys:

So you can keep me inside the pocket of your ripped jeans.

“Photograph” by Ed Sheeran

Task 9

Students work in pairs and make a list of their favourite songs. They give specific reasons why they have chosen these songs, what is special about them, what emotions and memories they have when they listen to these songs.

Task 10

Get your students to discuss the questions with partners paying their attention to the new words.

  1. How often should a singer release new albums? Explain your choice.
  2. If you were a DJ, which celebrity would you like to have a collaboration with? Why?
  3. How important is it for a DJ to have annual musical tours? How does it influence his/her career?
  4. What are the highly influential factors for a good career of a DJ?
  5. Do you know any relative newcomers in the field of music?
  6. What are the benefits for a DJ to have his/her own record label?
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