Music for the Big Game

by | Jan 24, 2017 | Lesson Ideas, Printables | 3 comments



The countdown to the SuperBowl is on.

Will you be tuning in on February 5th? What about your students? Will they be watching or attaining a Super Bowl party?  Several sources say that over 114 million people tuned in to the game last year, so my guess is that most of our students and their families will be watching.

I like for my students to have some exposure and experience with the music that will be performed at the Super Bowl before the “big day” arrives. I want them to be interested in the music of the event and be able to “show off” some skills…to be able to say “Hey, I can play that song!” and put on their own show!

Have you heard who will be performing this year’s half time show?




That’s right, Lady Gaga!

Here are some Lady Gaga songs you may recognize:

  • Bad Romance
  • Born This Way
  • The Edge of Glory
  • Just Dance
  • Poker Face
  • Telephone
  • You and I
  • Applause
  • Paparazzi
  • Alejandro


You may remember when she sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl in 2016.



What are your first thoughts when you see or hear Lady Gaga? 

I’m not a super-fan or “Little Monster”–but I do enjoy some of her music and I respect the message of her work and what she advocates: acceptance, diversity, individuality, celebrating who you are, and believing that there’s nothing wrong with who you are.

I thought the author of this article did a good job in describing Lady Gaga:

“…at the end of the day, Lady Gaga is pop star—a cool, wacky, controversial pop star who is really, really hated by those who hate her, and really, really loved by her fans. But a pop star nonetheless.”

How do YOU react to Lady Gaga?

Want to know how kids react to her? I was interested to see what the kids in this video had to say:

Could you see some of your students saying these same things about her? I think mine would!

So I’ve been thinking, “What can I do in lessons to get students familiar with Lady Gaga’s music?”

First of all, it has to be age appropriate, so showing Gaga’s music videos is out of the question.

While we’re on this topic of being age appropriate, I feel we need to be mindful of what we have our students watch and listen to.  I hope the Lady Gaga and all of the producers and performers of the half time show are mindful that families will be watching and keep these little eyes and ears in mind.

Here’s how I’m going to incorporate Lady Gaga’s music into lessons over the next two weeks:

First, I start a conversation my students. I ask them if they like football, if anyone in their family is a football fan, if they will be watching the Super Bowl, who they will be rooting for, just talking to them about football in general.

Then I ask them if they know Lady Gaga, if they’ve heard her music and what they think of it, what they think of her, etc.

Then I decide where to go from there.  Here are some options:


Bad Romance

I sing this part of “Bad Romance” and ask if my students recognize it.




Of course most of them do, then I see if it’s something they’d like to learn.

If so, I teach it by rote. If I see that a visual would help them, I’ll use this.

The lines and dots under the two “A’s” are to show the different rhythms on the repeats.  First and third time long, second time short.


Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 10.20.00 AM

Click picture to download as a PDF.


Here is my student playing this after teaching her by rote.


Born This Way

“Born This Way” is the next song I”ll be using in lessons.

I’ll teach my students the chord progression to “Born this Way”. Then I’ll have them create an arrangement with the different patterns from these Chord Variations. For more ideas using chords, check out my Free Ultimate Chord Bundle.

F#, E, B, F#


In addition to teaching the chords, I want to talk with students about the message of this song and how music can express our thoughts and beliefs.

Some of the lyrics we’ll discuss:

“There’s nothing wrong with loving who you are”
She said, “‘Cause he made you perfect, babe”
“So hold your head up girl and you’ll go far”

I’m beautiful in my way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes

Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way”

Here’s a kid friendly version of “Born this Way”


If your students aren’t interested in learning Lady Gaga music, here are some more options:

NFL Theme Song



Download sheet music from


Football Fever

Wendy Stevens at Compose Create has an original football themed solo.


While you’re there, be sure to download her Football Flashcards.



Check back tomorrow! I’ll be sharing an idea on a football-themed idea for technique and giving an updated version of these football rhythm cards.



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