How to Teach Pop Music Appreciation in Middle School
Teaching music to middle schoolers can be a tough gig. They are at an age where they think they know everything and are often difficult to engage in the classroom. If this sounds familiar to you, then why not try teaching music appreciation using the music they like to listen to?
Using pop music in the general and middle school music classroom is a great way for students to not only learn how to appreciate music, but also use music terminology and music appreciation vocabulary in a meaningful and relevant way. Including the pop singers that they like to listen to in your music appreciation lessons as an activity or as an assignment, can be a great way to involve students in their learning.
To teach music appreciation to your middle schoolers, try using a variety of different resources in your lessons to make learning enjoyable for both you and your students. There are stacks of resources out there to include in your music appreciation curriculum, but if you want a tried and true set of worksheets and activities try some of the ideas in this blog post.
Elements of Music Appreciation Terms
Before your students can start to appreciate the music selected for analysis, they need to learn and understand music appreciation terminology. A fun and interesting way to do this is to use lesson activities like write the room or music term matching games. Below are links to a couple of resources that will make teaching music appreciation vocabulary a little easier.
Both you and your students will find it easier to learn and focus on one Element of Music at a time. Try teaching the individual element, then reinforce it with a variety of activities and listening lessons to give your students to use and apply their newfound knowledge.
Pop Music Appreciation Worksheets
Once your students have been taught the music vocabulary that they will need, it is time to use with music that they like to listen to. These Pop Music Appreciation Worksheets are a perfect way to do this.
In the Bundle are 24 different Pop Singers to choose from and use with your middle school and general music students. The best thing about this set, is the flexibility they give you in lesson delivery. Each part of the bundle includes a Music Appreciation Worksheet PDF as well as a Google Slides version for teaching your music students online and for distance learning. You can choose to use each one set in its entirety or you can choose to only use a small section of the resource at a time.
For each of the 24 Pop Singers in the Bundle are:
- 3 Biography Research Pages.
- 2 Music Genre or Style Research Pages
- Links to 5 different songs that the Pop Singer is famous for
- Elements of Music song analysis question pages for Dynamics, Harmony, Melody, Timbre & Performing Media, Rhythm, Structure or Form, Texture and Tonality.
- A printable PDF version for face to face learning
- A Google Slides version for distance learning online
The best thing about this resource are the many ways you can use and include it on your music appreciation lessons, you can do as little or as much as you want, and you can easily differentiate for your students. Some of the different ways to use these worksheets is listed below
- Use as a part of a face to face in class lesson on a Pop Singer or Element of Music
- Use as a music center in a face to lesson
- Use as a music appreciation assignment or project
- Use as part of your music appreciation class assessment
- Use with your distance learning music classes in Google Classroom
- Use as part of a Music Choice Board
- Collate some of the different Pop Singers together as a Music Appreciation and Listening Journal and end of course assessment
These Pop Singer Music Appreciation worksheets are also a great way to develop music literacy and vocabulary skills. You could ask your students to use the Pop Singer Worksheets as a starting point for analysis, then the students use their answers to write a Music Appreciation Essay. Try using these paragraph writing resources to help your students complete this type of writing activity – Music P.E.E.L. Paragraph Writing OR Music T.X.X.X. C. Paragraph Writing.
Until next time
Julia from Jooya