Teaching English: High School Musical Songs


While teaching English at the high school, I decided to teach my students some songs from High School Musical and then watch the movie. I taught the same lesson 19 times each week, so I may hold some record for the number of times an adult has watched High School Musical within a week (or ever), but the students loved it and the music was fun.

While I prefer to teach music without translated lyrics, I did include a Chinese translation someone had done because of my students’ English level. I’m sure there are some mistakes and gaps in meaning, but it provided them with some general context for what was going on in the song before we worked through vocabulary and pronunciation.

When I’m teaching music to English language learners, here are some things that have worked well:

  • Give students time to read the song lyrics quickly before we listen.
  • Give students time to complete a slow read after their first listen, underlining any words or phrases they don’t understand.
  • Students ask their questions and take notes about the meanings and uses of various words and other related example sentences and phrases.
  • Students repeat the song after me, line after line with a focus on pronunciation and intonation.
  • Students practice singing the song along with the original track.
  • Students sing the song along with an instrumental track.
  • Students answer discussion questions pertaining to the content of the song.

Click here to download the PDF worksheet of three songs from High School Musical: High School Musical

The PDF file is two pages and includes the songs “Breaking Free,” “When There Was Me and You,” and “Something New.”



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