Friday, May 30, 2008

Classical Music Videos to Use in the English Language Classroom

Using Classical Music Videos in the EFL Classroom
Naturally, most of your English as a foreign language learners love music. They also most certainly enjoy music videos too. It’s very likely they watch more music videos in a week than you might in a month or more. So why not take advantage of it? In previous article posts we discussed the use of classical music in the EFL classroom for a variety of purposes. Let’s continue with nine actual classical music videos you can access for use with your English or foreign language learners.

Ludwig Van Beethoven
There is a free classical music radio station online featuring Beethoven at: For a nice interpretation of Beethoven’s perennial classic “Moonlight Sonata” or play the video clip below.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart has contributed so much to the theme of using music to alter the state of the mind in teaching and learning his pieces simply must be included here. Try his one video clip of Jascha Heifetz playing Rondo (from Serenade No. 7 "Haffner", K. 250) by Mozart online.

Johan Sebastian Bach
An amazing composer, Bach has left us with a music legacy that could not be easily surpassed. This video music clip will help us to understand why. Have a listen here as Mstislav Rostropovich plays the Prelude from Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007.

Antonio Vivaldi
Having already mentioned using Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” in your English language classroom, I thought you’d like a preview listen to some of it here as played by Anne-Sophie Mutter with her classical music group in a fun music video online at

Franz Schubert
Although his life was fairly short - he died at the age of 31, he left a proud musical legacy for the son of a school teacher. There is a good video documentary on his life online which is ten minutes long, in English and good for EFL classroom use. Have a look for yourself.

Frederic Chopin
Born in Poland and ending his days in Paris, Chopin dedicated himself almost exclusively to the piano more so than any other classical music composer. Watch this amazing video as 8 and a half year old Hannah Hua plays Chopin’s “Nocturne #20 in C Sharp Minor” on a Kawai RX-7 Semi-Concert Grand Piano online. If this doesn’t inspire your learners, what will?

Peyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky (pictured above) initially studied Law and was 20 years old in 1860. Listen to part of one of his most renowned compositions for orchestra, the 1812 Overture. Part one is online. If you’d like to hear part two of this popular, well-known and well-used composition, it’s online too on You Tube.

Johannes Brahms
Brahms, born in Hamburg, Germany, soloed on the piano in public at the age of 15. On You Tube online you can listen to Brahms’ “Symphony No.3 Poco Allegretto” in the background while watching a brief synopsis of his life and career.

Claude Debussy
Debussy was born in France near the start of the American Civil War and died in Paris from Cancer near the end of World War I in 1918. Listen to the Cypress String Quartet play “Quartet in G” by Debussy online.

Whether you use these and many additional related music videos for pure enjoyment, to stimulate discussions and assignments, as background music during language classes, to evoke visual imagery or as fodder for assigned work, you’ll find them highly effective, useful and enjoyable in your English as a Foreign Language classes.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, "If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

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