Description – Students create a band and try to get gigs at music venues.
Preparation – Make a copy of the “Musician Sheet” for each student. Prepare some examples of different music genres for students to listen to (optional).
Put students in pairs or groups of three or four. Ask them to brainstorm as many music genres as they can. Make it a competition to see which group can brainstorm the most in a set amount of time or just let them brainstorm normally. When they are finished, elicit the genres the groups came up with. Choose a few genres and ask students what makes them unique. Let students listen to the examples of genres, if you prepared them.
Next, ask students to choose one or two of their favorite bands or artists and discuss why they like them and what makes them different from other bands and artists in their genre.
Note – The discussion questions are about music in general. Depending on the teacher’s preference, the discussion questions can be used during the warm up, wrap up, or as a supplement.
Tell students they are going to create a band, group, or a solo performer. They will then try to get a gig at a local venue. Go over what a gig and venue are.
Students should work individually. Give them the “Musician Sheet” and let them create their idea for a band, group, or solo performer. When they are finished or after ten minutes, divide the class into two lines facing each other. Half of the students will be musicians and the other half will be owners of venues looking for live performers. Ask the owners of venues what type of business they have (restaurant, bar, club, coffee shop, etc.). Ask them to think of, but not say, what type of music would work best in their venue. If there is an odd number of students, make two students be a team.
Rotate the students clockwise once so they know how they will be rotating. Let the owners know they will choose only one musician to hire. They have the power, so they can be harsh and demanding.
The musicians will have three minutes to convince the venue owners to hire them. After three minutes, tell the musicians to rotate to the next venue. Repeat this for four turns or until students get back to their original partner. Then, rotate once more but don’t let them start again. (This ensures that the person they just finished talking to isn’t obliged to choose them.) Ask each venue owner who they chose. Congratulate the musicians with the most votes.
For the 2nd round, the venue owners will now be the musicians. After switching roles, repeat the instructions from the 1st round.
Put students back in their original groups and have them discuss which musicians from the role play they liked the most.
- Who are some of your favorite bands or artists?
- How often do you listen to music?
- When was the last time you bought a song or album?
- Where do you buy music?
- Have you ever illegally downloaded music? Do you think it is okay or not okay to download music illegally?
- What kind of music do you listen to when you want to dance?
- What kind of music do you listen to when you are sad?
- Is there a certain song or type of music that makes you really energetic?
- Do you think music is getting better or worse?
- What kind of music will your kids listen to?
- What music did your parents listen to?
- How do you feel about your country’s traditional music?
- Should people try to modernize traditional music?
- How is your country’s traditional music different from other countries’ traditional music?
You can view and download a PDF of the Musician Sheet here:
I hope you find this role play useful in your classes. You can download the full Microsoft Word version of this role play or the full PDF version of this role play. If you liked this role play please consider purchasing the book it came from “ESL Role Plays: 50 Engaging Role Plays for ESL and EFL Classes”