Talking about Music

This is another speaking topic for students. Click here to read the introduction to the series.

Students, remember, you can only speak English while you do this activity. Don’t speak your native language for at least one hour. You can do it!

Teachers, you can adapt these for lessons, or give them as homework.

Topic: Music

Objectives: After the discussion, you should be able to discuss music.

Materials: A computer with the internet or a CD Player and CDs


Listen and repeat these expressions.

That sounds great! Say this after you hear good music.
Hmmm, it’s not really my style. Say this after you hear bad music.
Her voice is beautiful. Say this after you hear good singing.
His voice is terrible. Say this after you hear bad singing.
I like the beat. Say this after you hear good rhythm.
I don’t like the beat. Say this after you hear bad rhythm.
It has a nice melody. Say this after you hear a good melody.
It has a bad melody. Say this after you hear a bad melody.
Oooh, cool bass line. Say this after you hear good bass sounds.
Ouch, bad bass line. Say this after you hear bad bass sounds.
Crank it! Say this because you want the music to be louder.
Aagh! It makes my ears hurt. Say after you hear really bad music.

Vocabulary: Melody, Voice, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Rhythm

Vocab Activity: Do a Google image search for each word and discuss the pictures with your partner. (You can also draw pictures of each word and discuss the pictures with your partner.)

Play some songs Play songs for your partner. Each partner should play two songs. (See below for some suggestions, but it’s better if you choose). While you listen, you should write answers to these questions (example answers are in italics).

Do you like this song? Yes, I like this song because…

Do you like the melody? No, I don’t like the melody because it makes my ears hurt.

Do you like the singer’s voice? Yes, her voice is beautiful.

Do you like the guitar/bass/rhythm? Yes, I do because… No, I don’t because…

Does this song remind you of another song? Yes, it reminds me of The Beatles.

Now, discuss the song with your partner. Ask your partner these questions. You should both answer each question.

Did you like this song? Why?

Do you listen to similar music?

Is this good music for dancing?

Is this good music for walking?

Can you say three adjectives to describe this song?

Question Time Ask your partner these questions about music.

How often do you listen to music?

What are your favorite bands? Why?

What is your favorite genre (Rock, R&B, Classical, etc.)? Why?

Do your friends and you listen to the same music?

What kind of music do your parents listen to?

Do you listen to music from other countries a lot?

Your Questions Now write five discussion questions about music. Ask the questions to your partner.

DJ Pretend that you are a DJ on the radio for one hour. With your partner, choose the songs you will play. Practice introducing five songs. For example:

DJ: Now, we will listen to Michael Jackson’s biggest hit “Thriller”. It’s an old song, but I love it.

Something Else Here are some other songs you might like. You should be able to find them on YouTube.

Owl City “Fireflies”, Marit Larsen “If a Song Could Get Me You”, Peter Bjorn and John “Young Folks”

One Response to “ “Talking about Music”

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