Using Spotify to create course listening assignments

Tip of the Week

For those looking to incorporate a music component into classes, Spotify offers a massive library of licensed streaming music that can be easily organized into playlists and shared with students. And, the mobile portability and familiarity of Spotify means students may be more likely to complete listening assignments!

You and your students can access Spotify either through a Web browser, or via software downloaded to your desktop or mobile device. There is little difference between these two modes of listening, except that the downloaded software allows you to reorder songs in a playlist.

To get started using the browser version, go to play.spotify.com and set up an account. Spotify offers both a free and a paid subscription to its service:  the free version is ad-supported, and the paid offers unlimited ad-free listening at a modest price for students.

Once logged in, use the search button on the left side of the window to find desired songs. You can choose to display results by album, artist, or song title.

To add a song to a playlist, click the ellipses (see screen shot below), then choose “Add to” then “New Playlist” and enter a name for you list.

Click ellipses to add a song to a playlist

When you’re finished adding to your playlist, choose “Your music” from the left side of the screen. Select the playlist, click the ellipses, and then “Copy Spotify URL” as shown below. 

Share the playlist

You can then paste that URL into your Moodle site, or send it along to your students. Many students already have a Spotify account and will have no trouble opening the playlist. Those who do not have an account yet will prompted to create one when they open the URL.

Hopefully Spotify playlists will make an appearance in your next syllabus!

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