Nov 092007

From time to time I’m sure that most teachers use music in lessons but I hadn’t used music videos until this year. Here’s my top 5 videos with a strong geographical theme. They cost around £1.90 to download from the iTunes store.

Number 5 – Heima (film extract) – Sigur Ros
The new Sigur Ros album Hvarf/Heim (video version) contains an evocative video of the song Hopipolla (used as the theme tune for the BBC Planet Earth production) The band return home to play intimate gigs in Iceland. Concert footage is interspersed with various shots of the Icelandic landscape. It’s not immediately apparent how it could be used in a lesson apart from the obvious link to tectonics, yet it’s great for exploring the relationship between music , the artist and place. I’d think about playing part of the track first without the audio, then getting students to make suggestions about the origin of the music and describing the landscape (urban or rural etc) before playing the video.


Number 4 – Proper Education – Eric Prydz

The remix of a classic Pink Floyd track which students enjoy, though I’m not that keen! Great as a lesson starter for work on climate change or sustainability. How many acts of environmental responsibility can the class find? Why do the kids put bricks in the toilet and the fridge? The urban sports of parkour and BMX are featured, possibly to make a point about transport?

Proper Education

Number 3 – Diamonds from Sierra Leone – Kanye West
This version of Kanye West’s song is totally ‘clean’ and leaves out Jay Z’s rather off-message contribution that appeared on the album version of the song. It’s a brilliant production and would link well to my Google Earth resource which can be found here.


Number 2 -The Saints Are Coming – Green Day / U2
An almost essential resource to use when teaching hurricane Katrina. What message is the director trying to make?


Number 1 The Masterplan (Oasis)

Indisputably one of the finest music videos. The band parade through a Lowryesque cartoon version of Manchester, accompanied by dozens of subtle visual gags. It’s a great song, my GCSE class were captivated. Watch the video and describe Manchester’s inner city environment. Then research an example of inner city regeneration.