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This download includes:
40-slide interactive PowerPoint
Genre Cheat-Sheet (in both MS WORD and PDF formats)
Answer Key (in both MS WORD and PDF formats)

Applications include:
Study of music
Intro to music genres
Review Game
Brain breaks
Critical thinking
Use with "Famous Musicians" informational PowerPoint lessons
Use with "Music Genre Overview" lessons

About this version: Almost all movies use songs. Sometimes, producers new musical scores are made, and sometimes songs become instant classics, forever connected to the movie in which it was featured. In this version of “Name that Song”, you will hear 15 famous hit songs that were featured in (and made more famous by) a hit film. Which ones do you recognize?

There are 20 versions to choose from, including:
1-Hit Wonders, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, British Invasion, California Songs, Covers, Died Young, Genre Mix-up, In Their Parent’s Footsteps, Legends, Pioneers of Style, Soundtrack Hit Songs, Soundtrack Instrumental Tracks, Vietnam War
***Child Stars, Foreign Language Hits, Patriotic Songs (only available as bonus resources with the bundle download)
How to play:
“Name that Song” is designed to be a fun activity to expose students to different types of music and give them an understanding of which musical characteristics match with which genres of music. Hyperlinks are provided for the songs, but you won’t want to display this to the class as it would reveal the answers. Students should see the interactive slides, which you can click to reveal hints and answers. Here are 4 ways to listen to the songs without showing students the links and videos as you play.
1) Use the “freeze screen” function on your projector – this way, you can open links and navigate with your computer without the students seeing anything on the projector
2) Try “split screen” function with your computer/projector – you choose what is visible via the projector while you access songs & links on the device screen in front of you
3) Enlist a separate device (Chromebook, iPad, phone) to play songs – you have freedom to play music from a 2nddevice while featuring slides on the main computer/projector
4) Find alternate sources besides provided links to play songs from another device (e.g. Spotify, Pandora) - also allows you to feature slides on main computer/projector

Best Practices:
How to keep score – Each song has three potential answers: the name of the song, the artist performing the song, and the genre of music that matches the song. You may want to have different values for each, depending on perceived difficulty, or you may want to tie it to your classroom economy (e.g. handing out tickets, adding points on the board, etc.). You could also give partial credit if students identify a different genre than the listed answer, as long as they can still explain how the song is similar to that genre.
How to maintain high engagement – Music is magic in the classroom, which should promote plenty of engagement already. Also, consider having students in groups, partners, or some other type of flexible grouping or structured student interaction so that the game doesn’t just become a bore where a small number of musically-cultured students know all the answers.
How to keep all students accountable – Provide students with the genre cheat sheet. Even if they don’t know any of the songs or artists, they could at least be called on to take a stab at the genre, using evidence from the cheat sheet to justify their answers. Calling on non-volunteers is also a great way to maintain a healthy anxiety and keep everyone involved with the lesson.

Naming the genre is subjective, and that’s okay!
Naming the song or artist is an exact science. Placing songs into a genre category is not. There are often multiple genre answers. If their answers are different from the listed answer, they may not necessarily be wrong, so long as they can justify their answer. To promote critical thinking, ask students to identify clues and characteristics that hint at the genre. Specifically encourage them to look for the following clues…

Instrumentsas clues – Certain genres tend to use certain instruments. For example, rockers will often use guitars, bluegrass has mandolins, Jazz has brass, and Ragtime features the piano.
Tempoas a clue – Disco and Funk are upbeat and designed for dancing. Jazz is famous for improvisation and features changes in tempo. Hip Hop and rap maintain consistently fast beats.
Lyricsas a clue – Blues lyrics are usually about struggle. Gospel music is naturally Christian. Folk songs like to tell a story that comes full circle. Country is about rural life (hunting, fishing, dogs, tractors, and trucks).
Vocalsas a clue – Some genres are known for the vocals and some are not. Soul is all about the vocals (e.g. Charles, Cooke). Folk singers don’t always have the best voices (e.g. Dylan, Guthrie). Rock & Roll vocals are hit and miss. Vocals are largely absent with Ragtime.
Referenced genres include:
Rock & Roll
Hip Hop

Name that Song, Artist, Genre: 2010s Version (interactive music guessing game)

  • Grade Level:


  • Pages:

    40 slides and a printable answer key
  • Subject(s):

    Music, History

  • Format(s):

    Zip with PowerPoint, Word, PDF

    (Google Compatible: PPT to SLIDES, WORD to DOCS)

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