Using Popular Music as a Pedagogical Tool for Engaging and Inspiring Students

If you would like to choose something that can inspire your students and help them to write and explore, using popular music is hard to beat! When an average youngster is asked about their role models, there will be at least one pop singer or a band that they like. Although there is not much they can say about the performers right away without proper exploration, using pop music will help to motivate and inspire students as they work on independent projects and get creative. Once an educator shows engagement and offers something more interesting than boring textbook tasks, it takes learning to another level and helps to learn in a totally different environment! 

Using Popular Music as a Pedagogical Tool for Engaging and Inspiring Students 

– Discovering Social Subjects. 

Popular music can help you to address various social subjects like human relationships, care for the elderly, family problems, studies, and the use of fame and popularity. Depending on the range of songs that you choose, one may even deal with racial prejudice and domestic violence, as it’s also often reflected in popular music. As one explores things deeper, many interesting subjects can be discovered. Just think about “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga, “Man In The Mirror” by Michael Jackson, or “Let it Be” by the Beatles, for starters, or ask your students to come up with the songs that inspire them! 

– Exploring Popularity and Personality Aspects. 

Another interesting way to use popular music is to ask students to explore the elements behind the popularity of their favorite performers. It helps to reveal the importance of human personality and leadership skills. If this subject sounds too challenging, one may consider the WritingUniverse as a great option for writing, editing, and proofreading purposes. Depending on the essay type or the challenges encountered, asking an expert always helps to decrease stress and anxiety! Just let the music flow, and the writing will come naturally! 

– Addressing The Challenges of Youth. 

Using pop music can also be helpful as students overcome inner insecurities and work on their social and communication skills. The majority of pop songs often speak about challenges or ask the listener to keep on fighting. Therefore, it’s possible to use such song content for analytical and reflection purposes. Asking your students to write a reflective essay that relates to their favorite pop tracks is a task that most students will happily accept as they learn to analyze and work on the actual examples to support their arguments! 

– Focusing on The Musical Part. 

It’s also possible to explore music technology and sound engineering by focusing on audio content. Even when you study Physics or Audio Engineering, it’s possible to use pop music to keep things more interesting and inspiring. As long as music technology remains accessible, it is a great way to learn about the different methods of synthesis or the ways how sounds are being created and why certain tones are easy to remember and recognize! Likewise, it’s also possible to study Psychology and Sociology by exploring the reasoning behind choosing a particular song or disliking a certain set of sounds or arrangements! 

The Lyrical Content! 

While the majority of pop lyrics will not be overly complex, they will still offer specific rhythmic patterns and the use of metaphors and allegories, among other literary devices. Therefore, popular music can be safely used as a pedagogical tool to study literature and as a way to motivate students to write poetry. Once a popular song is chosen, students can be asked to continue the lyric or even change the song completely by turning the sad song into a happier one or even translating it into another language. The lyrics always represent a powerful tool that can be used to learn since the students are already happy to explore the content as they know it well! 


Olivia Evans cannot imagine her life without music and constantly uses it as she implements various teaching methods. As an educator and online content analyst, she loves to write and keep things fun. Follow Olivia to discover interesting ideas and find inspiration as you learn.