Every time I have the opportunity to observe another teacher’s classroom and they throw on music during an activity, I mentally slap myself in the back of the head for forgetting about how great music in the classroom can be.
Whenever I’ve played music in my classes, it’s always gone over well, BUT I have to admit I am very lazy about one thing: Creating acceptable playlists.
If you’re anything like me you may have tried firing up iTunes on your computer or just letting a random playlist go from your mp3 player.
You may even have found yourself, like I did one time, in the back of the classroom helping a student solve a particularly complicated problem when…
♪You ain’t nothin’ but a Hoochie Mama!
Hood Rat! Hood Rat! Hoochie Mama!!”♪
Suddenly you find yourself flying across the room at breakneck speed, hurdling over desks like you’ve been possessed by Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
One experience like that is enough for most people, which is why I was so excited to find Songza – a service full of great, professionally curated music for all different settings. And the best part? It’s totally free! Not only that, but no audio ads interrupt your stream! Niiiiiice…
Some readers may be familiar with Pandora, which admittedly can be a good service, but which serves a slightly different purpose. Pandora chooses songs based on a single artist and then crawls along to “similar artists” who may or may not be similar at all. As you interact with Pandora, it does get better and smarter, but I’ve gone from starting a station with Hall & Oates and finishing it with Rihanna, and I couldn’t explain Pandora’s logic in getting from one to the other if you paid me.
That’s why I was so happy to see how Songza was set up. Songza’s most outstanding feature is the Concierge, who recognizes what time it is, and what you’re likely to be doing at those times – also recognizing that you might need something Safe For Work or with no lyrics at all. This alone is worth singing from the mountaintops.
Take a look at the review here:
Another great thing about Songza is that it’s EVERYWHERE, so no matter what technology you have access to, it’s going to be available to you. There’s an app for just about every platform – just type in Songza in the app store of your iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Blackberry… whatever.
Check it out and if you find any great playlists, let me know in the comments below!