From lemons to lemonade
How Making Connections Helps Students Learn blog post from Jooya Teaching Resources.

It’s no secret that I love using the Super Six in my Music lessons. I can’t even imagine teaching a lesson without using them. These strategies have become an automatic part of my teaching practice, and the simple reason why, is that these strategies work! It doesn’t matter what ability level, or grade level the strategies work. These strategies apply to each and every student in every aspect of teaching music.

But why use the Making Connections strategy at all? How can it help students learn? The answer is simply this – when students “make connections” to a text, whatever form that text takes, then they are more likely to remember and understand the text. That’s it! We all know the research that says that if a student understands the relevance in the information presented, then they are more likely to engage with it, and if they are engaged with the content then they are learning. Win!

In this post, I want to share with you a lesson that I have used with my Year 7 class using the Super Six strategy of Making Connections. So, if you want your students to learn, and you are having trouble in the “how” department, then continue reading this post.

You could of course skip ahead if you like, and instead of reading, you can watch the video – Super Six in Action, where I demonstrate using Making Connections in the lesson described below. In the FREE professional development, I am using the 12 Fall Themed Listening Activities resource from my TPT store, click here to check out the resource – it’s less than a cup of coffee!

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For this lesson on using Making Connections I chose to use the song Stormy Weather by Etta James. Lately in class we have been looking at the Pioneers of Rock, and my students have had a couple of lessons on how Rock Music developed from Jazz Music. In the 12 Fall Themed Listening Activities, there are links to each song so you don’t have to go searching, it is already done for you! My lesson sequence is similar for each of my classes, but, I do change things up slightly depending on the class. This year I am teaching 2 gifted classes and one lower ability class. This means that with the gifted classes they work a lot more independently, where as my lower ability class needs a lot of support and guidance.

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Lesson Sequence

  1. Music to Music -What clues does the song title give you? Have you heard a song with these words in the title before?
  2. Music to Self – How do you think the music will relate to you? Do you know another song with similar words in the title?
  3. Music to World – What information does the title and performer give you? Where have you heard a song like this before?
  1. Music to Music – who’s heard a song similar to this before?
  2. Music to Self– what memories does this song create for you?
  3. Music to World – Are there any parts of the music that are like another song you know?
  1. My music to music connection is…
  2. My music to self connection is…
  3. My music to world connection is…
  4. This part reminds me of…
  5. The part I am thinking about is…
  6. This helps me understand the music by…

Put the music on again while students finish writing their responses and pack up before the next activity/end of lesson

Sample Answers

Here are some sample answers from a couple of my Year 7 students. These responses came from three students in one of my gifted classes


You will find that when you use this activity that students can tend to get a little off track, and some will really struggle with making any connections at all, but persevere and it will start to pay off for both you and your students. Keep the points below in mind when teaching using this strategy.

If you would like to try this lesson, pop on over to my TPT store and grab the resource 12 Fall Listening Activities. If you would like to stock up on some other Super Six resources, I have so many for you to choose from! Click here to unlock a treasure trove of Super Six inspiration.

Now, if you would like a FANTASTIC FREEBIE, you can get your own Super Six Mini Bundle right now. There are 26 pages of Super Six activities for you to use in your class straight away! You can’t get this Mini Bundle anywhere else, so go on, grab it now!mini bundle freebie link

Until next time

Happy Teaching

Julia from Jooya

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