Spanish Music Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

With this lesson plan, your students are going to learn about Spanish musical traditions. They will ultimately research different kinds of music and bring them all all together in a Spanish music festival.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify several genres of music that are historically popular in Spain
  • Explain the historic role of music in regional identity in Spain
  • Connect music to greater ideas about history, culture, and identity


120-180 minutes, over two class periods

Curriculum Standards


Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.


Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making (e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed.


Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.


  • Copies of Spanish Music: Artists & Types and the lesson quiz
  • An audio clip of any Spanish music
  • Audio clips of one song in each style, along with lyrics in the original language and English: flamenco, jota, zarzuela, bolero, sardana, gaita, and modern Spanish pop (make sure these are all from Spanish artists, not other musicians in the greater Spanish-speaking world)


  • Start class by playing a piece of Spanish music without introducing it (flamenco is good, and Manitas de Plata is always a safe bet). Ask students to describe it.
    • What did you hear in this piece? What stood out to you about this music?
    • Do we associate this music with a specific culture? Which one? Why?
  • Distribute copies of the lesson, Spanish Music: Artists & Types.
  • You will read this lesson as a class, with one student reading aloud at a time, switching every paragraph. Using this method, read the section ''Spanish Music.'' Pause and discuss this.
    • What do we know about Spain and Spanish culture? What do we know about Spanish music?
    • How much Spanish music do most of us have access to in our normal lives? Do you think this is representative of the breadth of musical stylings in Spain?
  • Continue reading the lesson as a class and work through the remaining sections. Discuss this.
    • What are all the types of music we've learned about in this lesson? (List them all on the board.)
    • What common themes do you see throughout these different styles? What do they have in common? What makes them different? What does this tell us about regional identity in Spain?
    • What are some of the major influences on Spanish music? What influences do we see in terms of style, rhythm, instruments, and role in society? What does this tell us about Spanish history?
  • You may test student understanding with the lesson quiz.

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