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Musical Note 3

Make learning English a more joyful experience by using classical music.

"Whenever I recall the story of my life, it is with music."
Lord Tennyson

Nothing is better than telling a story.  It puts words in context and gives them emotion. When you add pictures and music, it is a winning combination.

Classical music, in particular is ideally suited to the classroom.  Many students are familiar with the tunes.  Through exposure to classical music in movies, advertisements and cellphone ring tones, classical music is no longer the domain of a select group of people.  Moreover, classical music helps memory retention.

ESL Classics and More ESL Classics are songbooks that combine story-telling, grammar and classical music. Each unit focuses on a specific theme and a particular aspect of grammar. In addition, each unit deals with the music of a different classical composer. 

Every day words come to life and become more memorable when they are sung to upbeat classical music.  It's an enjoyable and stress-free way to focus on pronunciation, intonation, stress and rhyming of words.  In addition, the illustrations help visual learners improve their comprehension.

As learners listen to each song, they can complete a variety of exercises provided in the songbooks.  These exercises focus on listening, speaking, reading and writing. 

ESL-EFL-ESOL songs for learning English
A multi-level songbook combining classical music and illustrated verses

Watch a video.

Listen to song samples of the following units.

(1) Daily Activities  (Ponchielli)
     Imperatives, Phrasal Verbs
Open Book
Daily Activities
(2) Shopping  (Mozart)
     Adjectives, Opposites


(3) Winter Weather/Clothing  (Beethoven)
     Simple Past Tense
Open Book
Winter Weather
(4) Preparing Dinner  (Berwald)
Simple Present Tense


(5) Fast Food Restaurant   (Vivaldi)
     Future Tense
Open Book
Fast Food Restaurant


(6) Doctor's Office  (J. Strauss II)
     Simple Present Tense
Open Book
Doctor's Office


(7) Employment  (J. S. Bach)
     Past Tense, Questions
Open Book


(8) Love/Relationships  (Beethoven)
     Modals, Past Perfect Tense


(9) Children  (Mendelssohn)
      Future Perfect Tense

(10) School (Mozart)
       Phrasal Verbs, Imperatives
Open Book


(11) Driving  (Offenbach)
       Present Tense, Adverbs
Open Book
(13)  Socializing  (Boccherini)
        Noun Clauses, Questions
Open Book


(12)  Travel  (Verdi)
        Present Perfect Tense, Articles
Open Book


(14)  The Party  (Mozart)
        Conditionals, Future Tense
Open Book
The Party


(15) Banking  (Leontovych)
       Phrasal Verbs, Polite Questions


(16) Crime/Safety  (Bizet)
       Past Tense, Irregular Verbs


(17)  Pets  (Rosas)
        Prepositions, Word Order


(18)  Neighborhood  (Pachelbel)
        Adjectives, Opposites


"A stimulating approach to enhance learning."
Toronto TESL Newsletter
Winter 2009

"For teachers who would like to add another practical activity to their repertoire."
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition
Washington, D.C.
August 2007

"Happy, elated, ecstatic, this is the mood that Maureen Stewart's book puts you in."
Julia Chemali, Materials Consultant 
Toronto District Catholic School Board

"Your students will leave the class singing."
Daniela Delmastro, President
P/H/E TESL Affiliate


"This book and its activities are well-suited for ESL students of all ages.  The songs are upbeat and enjoyable for the student and the teacher.  I am sure it will be a useful tool in your resource list."
Toronto Catholic District School Board

"Fun and refreshing, ESL Classics will provide many hours of enjoyable learning. Teachers will enjoy selecting from the well-prepared variety of activities in the book's extensive repertoire."
Ellen Pilon, TESL Nova Scotia newsletter
Fall 2006

"Toronto ESL teacher Maureen Stewart writes lyrics and sets them to classical music to teach university graduates from non-English-speaking countries about language, pronunciation and everyday life in Canada."
The Globe and Mail Newspaper
December 2007