Never gonna go to war, never gonna drop a bomb
Never gonna shoot a gun and hurt you
Switzerland is never gonna say let’s fight
Never gonna tell a lie, Neutrality
These are not lyrics by Rick Astley. They’re by me, and they’re really lame. But . . . .they serve as a pretty good intro to the idea of having students record their own videos/songs of pop hits recreated with content-related lyrics.
If you know me, you know that I love a good “Rick Roll.” You also know that I love the idea of students proving their mastery of content by creating things rather than by filling in bubbles.
This idea mixes students love of 1) being creative and 2) lyrics videos on YouTube. Here’s a video (with even worse lyrics), followed by the steps.
- Rewrite the lyrics to a song.
- Find an instrumental version of that song.
- Click on the Screencastify Extension and select Tab mode (Desktop works too, but would show you switching tabs to play the music, if you are using one device). Microphone on, webcam off (unless you want to show your face).
- After starting recording, start playing the instrumental music (on the same computer or a different one – your call).
- Now you have options – do you want to sing? Do you want to show the lyrics to the song? Do you want to do both? Do you want to sing while there are images related to your content on the screen? Get creative. In the video above, I chose to use shift and the arrow key to highlight the lyrics kind of like a karaoke machine.
If you (or your students) try this out – I’d love to see the results! Tweet at me – @JakeMillerTech.
Note: We’re dealing with some copyright gray area here. I tend to lean towards allowing things that give the students a chance to be creative and engaged. My recommendation is to remind them to site their musical source and just keep the video between student-teacher on Google Drive rather than posting it publicly on YouTube. If you are more cautious about this stuff, I understand and don’t blame you at all.
On that note:
- “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” performed by Justin Timberlake, written by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin & Shellback – VEVO Video here
- “Never Gonna Give You Up,” performed by Rick Astley, written & produced by Stock Aitken Waterman – VEVO Video here