Sunday, March 13, 2016

Starting a music band (Role-play)


In this lesson, learners work in groups to create a music band. You can start off by introducing / recycling  the word "audition". Write it on the board and ask learners if they know what it means. You can explain it yourself if they are not familiar with the word. You can also ask if any of them has played with a band before and encourage them to talk about their experiences.

After this short introduction, let them know that they are going to create a music band together, but they need to know what makes a good band member first. Ask them to watch the video below and try to write down some of the characteristics of a good band member mentioned in the video.


They are supposed to write down a few of the following points:

A good bandmate is someone who; 
  • can perform well, 
  • play all the parts right, 
  • has good musicianship, 
  • is a quick learner, 
  • is creative, 
  • has his/her act together, 
  • is professional, 
  • doesn’t complain, 
  • goes with the flow, 
  • takes care of things, 
  • you enjoy spending time with.
Now that they know the characteristics of a good band member, they can start creating their own (imaginary) band. There will be seven members in the band, so you need seven groups. In each group, there are four people, one of whom is the leader. The other three people in the group are contestants who are auditioning for a position in the band.

Each group will determine who gets one of the positions in the band (e.g. all the members of group 1 will be auditioning for the singer, group 2 members for the drummer etc.) Each student has a different role and a situation. Contestants are expected to defend their own role and refute the others' arguments in order to convince the group leader to choose him/her for the band.

You can use these role cards to assign roles to everyone. The colors of the cards will help you form the groups e.g. everyone who has a blue card will be in the second group. Each card also has a number on the upper right corner which gives you the group number in case you are unable to get color prints.

You can set a time limit based on the level of the learners. My students were intermediate, and I gave them 12 minutes. You might also want to monitor them and take notes of anything worth mentioning during the feedback session after the task.

When the time is up, ask each group leader who s/he has chosen as a band member. The group leaders should explain the rationale behind this choice. While the group leaders tell who they have chosen for each position, write the names on the board thus creating the band.

If you have enough time, giving some feedback after the task might be a good idea.

As a follow-up activity, you can ask learners to write a profile for the band using this worksheet. This might be done in pairs or groups. Before they begin writing, you might want to go over the items on the worksheet and explain what they should write for each item.