Grooveshark – Making Playlists for the Classroom

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 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

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Article by Elizabeth Peterson

Elizabeth Peterson has devoted her life to education and to reaching out to other teachers who want to remain inspired. Mrs. Peterson teaches fourth grade in Amesbury, Massachusetts and is the host of She holds an M.Ed. in Education, “Arts and Learning” and a C.A.G.S. degree with a focus in “Arts Leadership and Learning.” Elizabeth is author of Inspired by Listening, a teacher resource book that includes a method of music integration she has developed and implemented into her own teaching. She teaches workshops and courses on the integration of the arts into the curriculum and organizes the annual summer Teacher Art Retreat. Mrs. Peterson believes there is a love of active, integrated learning in all children and from their enthusiasm, teachers can shape great opportunities to learn.
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  1. Julie O'Neill says:

    Love it! I have been thinking of you – started transitioning the kids back into the room after they switch classes for reading by doing “music before math” – so they boogie for a few minutes before we launch into calendar routine. It’s been helping my stragglers get there sooner and my many shall we say “extremely active” learners get some energy out before they have to concentrate. So far we have gone through a good deal of Motown and just started on the Beatles – any other upbeat ideas? Hope you are well! I will be using grooveshark ASAP…

  2. That’s awesome, Julie! Music makes such a great transition and it seems to work well for your class. One of my favorite genres of music to use in class is big band. Keep it up and thanks for the comment. 🙂

  3. Musikmarc says:

    Grooveshark seems like an awesome tool but I am wondering about copyright legalities with it. Do you know what the parameters are around the music that is used?

  4. Hi Musikmarc!
    From what I can gather, Grooveshark can be used as a playlist maker, but is also a place where you can purchase the music as well. There is also evidence that each time a song is played, the artist/label gets a compensation. it seems to be a guilt-free way to enjoy music on demand. How awesome is that? (Please note: I am not a Grooveshark expert, just a user. 😉 ) My other thought is that as long as you are using the playlists for personal or educational use, you should be ok.

    Grooveshark has a great help and FAQs page:
    And there is an paid upgrade you can get too for more access in more places.

    Hope this is helpful!

  5. Jessica Moody says:

    After reading your article I was so excited to have access to all of these different types of songs without being limited by the amount in my wallet, unfortunately when I click on the link it appears to be blocked. Is that just my computer or has it recently been added to the list? Regardless, you have made me think about what other free options there are and I think the library would be a great resource too. I also like these options so I can “try before I buy” and see what works for me, my students, and the specific assignment we’re doing. Thanks for the ideas!

    • I totally understand, Jessica! Did you try getting to Grooveshark from school? Unfortunately, many schools (including ours) blocks that site because it is streaming music. Maybe we can work on that… In the meantime, at least it is a good place for me to house playlists that can be accessed online so teachers can have an idea of what they can use in the classroom. I hope it proves helpful to you!!

    • Jen Daileanes says:

      Hi, Jessica. I gravitated to this article as well. Playlists remind me of making mixed tapes back in the day! I tried clicking on the link in Elizabeth’s article above, and I also could not open it. However, I got to the Grooveshark site just fine by Googling it. I am at home right now, though, so I will try it at the high school tomorrow. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is not blocked at school…but I could always ask for it to be unblocked in the district if I find that to be the case.

  • […] It’s the creation of atmosphere, the expression of joy and the celebration of culture.  Many people say, “Christmas is a feeling,” and what better way to express our feelings than through the arts!  Alters are decorated extra special, snowflakes are cut by the hundreds by little scissors and the music, oh the music.  What would this season be without it?  Even if you can’t stand it as a whole, there is usually that one song that just hits the spot.  For me, it’s O Holy Night and the instrumental version of Sleigh Ride: two completely different feelings that come alive during the season. (To hear these and other great holiday songs, scroll to the end of this post.) […]

  • […] Grooveshark – Making Playlists for the Classroom 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 […] […]

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