Musica in Classe!

On Tuesdays. 2130-22.15 Italian time(2030-21.15 UK time) I go to Italianverse in Second Life to lead a pronunciation class.  Every two weeks we use a song text.  You are welcome to come along to listen or join in!  I give notices on my Facebook page and keep an album on Facebook.  There are some pics on Flickr too but the person who takes the best pics is WizardOz Chrome.  Here’s one of hers taken after a Beatles Tribute!


Why? Singing songs is a fantastic way to socialise, to have fun, and to learn how to pronounce words.  It is particularly challenging to know how to pronounce the wide range of sounds we have in English, and to know where to put the stress.

How did it start? After a delicious meal with Loris Talon and Marjorie Fargis in ‘real life’, we drove home and started singing.  And within minutes, we decided to set up a regular weekly ‘pronunciation-through-song’ session, which Marjorie has coordinated under the name of ‘Musica in classe’.. lezioni di inglesi su testi di canzoni famosi’ a cura di Karelia Kondor.  As always with Marjorie, she has designed a beautiful opening slide, which makes me feel very important!

What happens?

PREPARATION! Anyone can suggest a song for us to sing.  I prefer ones which are slow and have easy chords!!! I find the words of the song and pass them to Loris.  There are often several versions of the words, so we need to use the same ones, or, as the expression goes: ‘sing from the same hymn sheet’ … (how appropriate.. I am so proud of myself!) Loris translates the song into Italian and prepares a notecard and slides for inworld. I find the chords for the song either on the Internet or by downloading the sheet music from music notes, and I practise bluffing on the guitar for the next week. Marjorie advertises the event on Facebook and inworld.


(1) Gathering We gather at 2130 Italian time (2030 UK time, 1230 SL Time) We adjust settings so that there is no ambient sound to distract people. I find out if people want to listen or speak. I ask people to close their microphones except for when they speak. Loris passes out a note card.

(2) Listening We listen to the song on YouTube (either inworld or using external browsers) People write ‘I have finished’ in local chat when they have heard the song.

(3) Repeating Loris operates the slides.  (He is the slide changer supremo.  He tells me off if I interfere) I pronounce each line very clearly, then go up to people individually, say their name, and they open their microphones and repeat.  (The physical moving helps to focus the class I think.. especially when I accidentally walk on top of them …!)  If there is silence, I move on to the next person and return later.  I like to keep the pace going! I give ‘differentiated’ feedback and extra help if needed..  I try not to spend too long on any one phrase or person! A good technique is to break a word or phrase down into syllables and practise them backwards.. this way, you retain the stress pattern of the word or phrase).

(4) Singing Part 1 I ask people to close their microphones and sing along with me aloud at home.   I sing the song making the words very clear,  sometimes slowing down a little.

(5) Singing Part 2 (not recommended for the sensitive of hearing) This is the crazy bit.  I ask people to open their microphones and sing WITH me.  There is a time lag for sound in Second Life so this is an impossible task, but it does not stop us trying!!!  In particular, we have to hold the note for a bit longer when Loris changes the slide ..!!

(6) Class Photo I love to keep a record of the classes and of the lovely people who come along, so we take a photo at the end which I publish in a Facebook Album.  This is a good technique to check  that your class is still there and awake!  It also creates a nice sociable end to the activity.  We have some faithful regulars (they know who they are!) but we welcome all, and stress that you do not have to give a commitment.  Every class starts from afresh.

(7) Planning for the next week. We ask for song requests for future classes.  There are always lots of ideas!

Here are the songs we have done so far:

    1. 1. You’ve got a friend – James Taylor (22/02/12)
    1. 2. Annie’s Song – John Denver (28/02/12)
    1. 3. When I’m 64 – The Beatles (06/03/12)
    1. 4. It’s a perfect day – Lou Reed (13/03/12)
    1. 5. Every day is yours to win – R.E.M. (20/03/12)
    1. 6. Father and Son – Cat Stevens (28/03/12)
    1. 7. Breaking up is hard to do – Neil Sedaka (3/04/12)
    1. 8. Only love can break your heart – Neil Young (13/04/12)
    1. 9. I’m Easy – Keith Carradine (17/04/12)
    1. 10. Because the night – Patti Smith (01/05/12)
    1. 11. You’re so vain – Carly Simon (08/05/12)
    1. 12. These boots are made for walking – Nancy Sinatra (15/05/12)
    1. 13. I want the world to stop – Belle and Sebastian (22/05/12)
    1. 14. The Riddle – Nik Kershaw (29/05/12)
    1. 15. Summertime – Gershwin (5/06/12)
    1. 16. Gimme some lovin’ – Spencer Davis / Blues Brothers (12/06/12)
    1. 17. Fields of Gold – Sting (26/06/12)
    1. 18. Tears in Heaven , Eric Clapton (3/07/12)
    1. 19. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin (10/07/12)
    1. 20. Penny Lane, The Beatles (17/07/12)
    1. 21. A Groovy Kind of Love, The Mindbenders / Phil Collins (24/07/12)
    1. 22. The Way I am, Ingrid Michaelson (21/08/12)
    1. 23. The Boxer, Simon and Garfunkel (28/08/12)
    1. 24. Us and them, Pink Floyd (4/09/12)
    1. 25. The Wedding (11/09/12)
    1. 26. Diamonds are forever (18/09/12)
    1. 27. Talkin’ ’bout a revolution, Tracy Chapman (25/09/12)
    1. 28. Until it’s time for you to go (2/10/12)
    1. 29. The Scientist, Coldplay (17/10/12)
    1. 30. Nothing else matters, Metallica (16/10/12)
    1. 31. If I had a hammer (13/11/13)
    1. 32. Can’t take my eyes off you (27/11/13)
    1. 33. Smooth Operator, Sade (4/12/12)
    1. 34. Walking in a winter wonderland (11/12/12)
    1. 35. White Christmas + Have yourself a merry little Christmas (18/12/12)
    1. 36. Time after time, Cyndy Lauper (5/02/13)
    1. 37. I want to Hold Your Hand, The Beatles (12/02/13)
    1. 38. California Dreamin’, The Mamas & The Papas (19/02/13)
    1. 39. The Partisan, Leonard Cohen (26/02/13)
    1. 40. New York, New York, Liza Minelli (19/03/13)
    1. 41. My favourite things, Julie Andrews (26/03/13)
    1. 42. Imagine, John Lennon (09/04/13)
    1. 43. Vincent, Don McLean ( 23/04/13)
    1. 44. Light My Fire, The Doors (30/04/13)
    1. 45. What a Wonderful Word, Luis Armstrong (14/05/13)
    1. 46. Downtown, Petula Clark (21/05/13)
    1. 47. Fly Me To The Moon, Frank Sinatra (28/05/13)
    1. 48. In The Ghetto, Elvis Presley (04/06/13)
    1. 49. Your Song, Elton John (18/06/13)
    1. 50. Gold, Spandau Ballet (25/06/13)
    1. 51. Ruby Tuesday, The Rolling Stones (02/07/2013)
    1. 52. Mrs Robinson, Simon and Garfunkel (16/07/13)
    1. 53. Will You Leave Me Tomorrow, The Shirelles (23/07/13)
    54. Let’s call the whole thing off, Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire (27/08/13)
    55. If you could read my mind Gordon Lightfoot
    56. Unchained Melody The Righteous Brothers
    57. Someone Like you Adele

58. Stormy Weather Lena Horne

59. Blowin’ in the Wind Bob Dylan

60 Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds The Beatles

61. The Twelve Days of Christmas John Denver

62. Tom’s Diner Suzannne Vega

63. American Pie Don McLean

64. Something The Beatles

65. Englishmand in New York Sting

66. Viva la Vida Coldplay

67. Always on my MInd Michael Buble

68. There But For Fortune Joan Baez

69. Colours Donovan

70. I Do It For You Bryan Adams

71. Supercalifragilisticexpiralidocious Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins)

72. Feed the Birds Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins)

73. Moonlight Shadow Maggie Reilly

74. Norwegian Wood The Beatles

75. Space Oddity David Bowie

76. Hello Lionel Richie

77. America Simon & Garfunkel

78. Streets of London Ralph McTell

79. Rocky Mountain High John Denver

80. Nowhere Man The Beatles

81. Strangers In The Night Frank Sinatra

82. Summer Nights Grease

83. A Whiter Shade Of Pale Procol Harum

84. The Rain In Spain Audrey Hepburn

85. I Could Have Danced All Night Audrey Hepburn

86. Dont Cry For Me Argentina Madonna

87. The Man Who Sold The World David Bowie

88. In an English Country Garden Nana Mouskouri

89. Baker Street Gerry Rafferty

90. Let’s Dance David Bowie

91. Bad Moon Rising Creedence Clearwater Revival

92. I Walk The Line Johnny Cash

93. Somewhere Over The Rainbow Judy Garland

94. Moon RIver Audrey Hepburn

95. Roxanne The Police

96. Happy XMas John Lennon

97. Personal Jesus Depeche Mode

98. Lullaby The Cure

99. The Power Of Love Frankie Goes To Hollywood


Suggestions for the future:

  • Flowers on the wall (Lew Dewitt)
  • I wanna be loved by you (Marilyn Munroe)
  • You can’t alway sget what you want (Rolling Stones)

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