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Teacher is a DJ

06 Mar

Does any job include so many roles as a teacher’s job?

Have a look at this ingenious image of 20 possible teacher roles made by Stacy Bonino for BusyTeacher.org:

teacher-roles

How many roles have you played in your teaching career?

Can you think of any other roles?

***

As for me, when I look back at my almost ten years of teaching practice I can say that I’ve played a considerable number of roles from the above list. I never chose in advance which role to play in the next lesson. Very often it wasn’t even my conscious choice in the lesson: I just responded to a given situation in the best (in my opinion) possible and appropriate way.

Naturally, some roles I like more than others.

Apparently, I play some roles better than others.

And, honestly speaking, I sometimes don’t feel like playing any of these roles at all.

As for other roles, I can say for sure that there are much more teacher roles than those listed in the above image. At least there is one I really enjoy performing. And as you have already guessed by the title of this blogpost, this is the role of a DJ.

Yes, Teacher is a DJ, too 🙂

***

If you know Jason R. Levine (@FluencyMC), I’m sure you will agree with me that Jason is the most brilliant example of a teacher being a DJ. He is inimitable in his ability to mix rap rhythms with English language items making English learning so fun and energetic!

If you don’t know Jason yet, it’s time to get aquainted with his superb music vidoes for English language learners. Here is one of my favourites: http://youtu.be/iOqlPXvnG34

Got hooked? 🙂 Check out tons of other Jason’s videos here: http://www.youtube.com/user/collolearn

***

As you may know well, music can be an incredibly effective way in teaching a language. I’m sure, you have already tried this or that way to incorporate music into your lessons. However, here is a simple guidence for you on how to music and songs in ESL lesson:

http://www.ehow.com/how_4493586_use-songs-music-esl-lessons.html

And here you will find a huge list (50 points!!!) on various ways music and songs can be exploited in the classroom. Surprisingly, music can be used for discipline matters!

http://fr.slideshare.net/ddeubel/50-ways-to-use-music-in-the-english-language-classroom-18755901

***

My favourite way to use music in my lessons, which actually inspired me to write this blogpost, is to use music or songs as the background while students are doing some tasks.

In fact, it wasn’t my idea. I borrowed it from my teacher of English at Oxford House College in London. At first, I was surprised when she put on some music after giving us a task to work on in pairs. It was so unusual as I had never seen any teacher in my school or university use music this way. But I promptly realized how great this idea is!

First of all, music takes tension away! It helps students to relax but at the same time to focus on the activity. (Don’t you listen to music while doing something else? For example, just right now, while I’m typing this post I’m listening to the music of which I’ll speak a bit later 🙂 )

Secondly, music creates some noise which makes students feel less shy to speak. Otherwise, students sometimes feel embarrassed when they hear their voices echoing in the quite room.

Finally, music or songs can create a specific mood which best suits the task or part of the lesson. In fact, this is when our skills as DJs come into play! 🙂 And this is what I particularly like! 🙂

I really love looking through the music playlist on my iPhone and choosing the right music to play. Everything matters: the type of the task, the part of the lesson (the beginning, the middle, or the end), what mood I would like to put my students in, whether or not a music piece has some lyrics, and finally, the music itself (it’s rhythm, tempo, tune etc).

I think that music you put on in class as the background should be light and easy and should have little lyrics. But at the same time it must be sonorous and catchy. Such music will not dominate the classroom or pull students’ attention to itself but will create a lively and pleasant atmosphere in the class.

So I believe it’s highly useful to make a music playlist on your mobile device which would consist of music of different types and genres. Using only one and the same piece of music is a bit boring. So a varied playlist is a guarantee that your lessons will become more surprising and tuneful, and you, in turn, will become a better DJ! 🙂

Below are some of the example music pieces I use as the background:

  1. Isao Tomita “The Sea Named Solaris” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqPSFv6ZUac
  2. Ewan Dobson “Time 2” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXqPYte8tvc
  3. Frank Duval ‘Solitude” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbzAa8V6xyg
  4. Pink Floyd “Terminal Frost” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNWsQXYSsJQ
  5. Pink Floyd “Learning to Fly” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCB_INs2E24
  6. Enya “May it be” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_upDME6MwPY
  7. Enya “Orinoco Flow” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTrk4X9ACtw
  8. Kate Bush “Bertie” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBRJeD2Y1nY
  9. Yann Tiersen “La Valse d’Amelie” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0c6cpscjb0
  10. Lindsey Stirling “Crystallize” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHjpOzsQ9YI
  11. The Glitch Mob “Drive It Like You Stole It” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kON_KRmFRKk
  12. DJ Smash “Moscow Never Sleeps” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDm3GdDKt2w
  13. Eric Prydz “Call on me” (surely, I never show the video 🙂 ) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQSYo_pC-QA
  14. Uniting Nations “Out of Touch” (also, the video is never shown 🙂 ) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-Xz8aLuD7Y
  15. Urban Cookie Collective “The Key The Secret” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kt91rG311OM
  16. Michael Zager Band “Let’s All Chant” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-VlM_alVkY
  17. HBO Boxing Original Theme Song – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSlDpLql1Hc
  18. Dropkick Murphys “I’m shipping to Boston” (yes, even this, even though it’s loud and has too much lyrics 😉 ) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSlDpLql1Hc
  19. The Prodigy “No Good. Start the Dance” (yes, sometimes even this 🙂 ) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svJvT6ruolA
  20. And the crowing track on my playlist is surely my favourite – Yelle “Comme Un Enfant” (CENOB1TE Remix) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NT_M91s0lrk

Well, of course, this list is no way exhaustive! Moreover, it’s being renewed all the time: some tracks come, some go. But you are kindly invited to treat yourselves to the tracks on my playlist! 🙂 I hope you will like some 🙂

And to round off this blogpost, here is the short musical movie I was listening to while writing this blogpost. It’s called God is a DJ, but so are teachers 🙂

Enjoy! 🙂

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1 Comment

Posted by on March 6, 2015 in General, Miscellaneous

 

One response to “Teacher is a DJ

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