Update: Grooveshark no longer exists, and I have moved my playlists to Spotify.

My last two posts have included live playlists powered by Grooveshark.  In a sentence – I LOVE Grooveshark.  I’ve only been using it only for a short time, but I can see so many possibilities for it in my teaching and sharing with teachers.  Let me explain:

As the author of a book about bringing music listening experiences into any classroom (Inspired by Listening), I’ve always wanted to compile a CD to accompany the book, but that brought along with it a whole new set of rules and regs!  I ultimately included a listing of over 30 pieces that could be used in the classroom in the back of the book.  (That was easier!)

But now… things can change.  Go onto Grooveshark Spotify and you will see that you have access to an incredible library of music of all genres!  Search a title, band, artist, composer and a listing of possibilities appears.  It is the greatest example of on-demand music.

But that is only the beginning.  If you sign up for an account (or sign in using your Google or Facebook account), you can compile your own music library and themed playlists!  You could have a playlist for quiet time, for break time, or for that geography unit on Mexico.

I do not know much more than the basics at this point.  There are limitations, of course.  I’m pretty sure you cannot burn or download your online playlists.  (Although there is an option to purchase at least individual songs if not playlists.)  But your playlists are there at your fingertips…

Which brings me to the applications in the classroom.  If you have internet access (and your school district does not block the site) you can search for and play any piece of music you desire!  This is great for quiet background music, for welcoming music as students enter the room and of course, my personal favorite: for sharing listening experiences with your students!

And you can share your playlists as well through Twitter, Stumble, email and by embedding it as I have been doing to share mine with you! By clicking the Share option, you are given the opportunity to create a widget that you can customize (if you prefer), and copy the HTML code to paste into your website or blog post.

So, Merry early Christmas!  Happy last week before school vacation!  Here is my little gift to you.  Enjoy this short playlist of great holiday music to play in your classroom at certain times in your day:

  • As students are entering your room and getting settled
  • As students are working on a holiday craft or art project
  • At snack time
  • As students are cleaning up the room
  • As you sit quietly alone for that one precious moment before your day begins or when it has ended

Using Music to Help Struggling Readers
Holiday Joy in Arts