I know how difficult it can be to find ‘the’ right piece of music for your class. I’ve been teaching for a long time, so I do have a large library of music, but sometimes I still struggle – and isn’t it so time consuming!
I’ve been aware of Spotify for a long time – like with most technology, it was children that introduced it to me. However, I’ve only recently appreciated just how useful it can be for a teacher of dance.
If you’re new to Spotify, it’s basically an online music service where you search the database and play any track for free. This is great for anyone who teaches dance, especially if you only need to use a particular track once or twice, because you won’t need to pay to use it. (although you will still need PRS / PPL licence if applicable).
So should you be using it?
One of the main advantages is the extensive catalogue, as there are millions of tracks in the virtual library. It’s great for a teacher of dance, as there’s so much choice, meaning it can be a lot quicker and easier to find appropriate music. However, please note that not all artists have given permission for their music to be available on Spotify – Radiohead for example.
Another reason to use Spotify is that you can create a playlist. I find playlists incredibly useful as you can group all the tracks for each class together in the right order, which helps to maintain flow in your teaching (rather than faffing about trying to find the right piece of music to play!).
The free service is great, but adverts often pop up when you’re listening to a track, which can interrupt the music (not great when you’re in the middle of a dance routine!). You can subscribe to the premium service, which removes the adverts, but this means you will have to pay (at the moment it’s £9.99 a month). The premium service also allows you to listen to music offline, so you don’t always need to be connected to the internet.
Spotify has sparked controversy ever since it’s inception, with the debate over the payment of artists’ royalties. So you may wish to read up on these issues before you use the service.
As an alternative, you could instead use YouTube (although not always guaranteed sound quality) or SoundCloud.
I’d love to hear what you use in your own dance teaching – have you used Spotify and if so what do you think about it?