Over the past year I’ve posted about several sites that allow you to search for songs and then lets you play them off the Web. Most also let you create playlists you can maintain.
I use a lot of music when I’m teaching English Language Learners, especially with Beginners and Early Intermediate students. If these sites are legal, and if they’re not blocked by school content filters, they can be a great source of useful music. I always test them by searching for Raffi songs, and all the ones listed here have passed that test. Others have not, and they did not make the list.
But “if these sites are legal” is the “rub.” The sites say they are, and blogs that are far bigger and more respected than this one say they are, though it’s difficult for me to understand how that is the case. I haven’t really found anything they questions their legality, though. I think it might have something to do with the fact they don’t actually allow downloads and people can only listen from the Web, but that’s just a guess. I’d appreciate somebody explaining to me in the comments section how that works.
Given my concern (which may be unfounded), and given that I also can’t really find much difference between how most of these sites work, I’m not officially labeling it one of my “The Best…” lists.
You can also find links to these sites on my webpages under Movies and Music For ESL.
You might also be interested in these “The Best…” lists:
One of my next lists will highlight sites for lyrics.
Here’s my “List” of Music Sites where a teacher can find useful songs (they’re not in any order of preference except for the first one):
Listen Music is a new web application that allows access to many, many songs. One nice feature is that you can also get the lyrics easily & quickly.
Choruzz lets you — without needing to register — search for music videos and create a playlist of them. You’re then given a unique url address for your list that you can share. It’s very easy to use, and it meets my “Raffi” test — in other words, plenty of songs are accessible that you can use with English Language Learners.
As always, feedback is welcome.