Genius: Helping to Interpret Song Lyrics

Free! Genius is a website that provides interpretations for song lyrics and lets users propose their own interpretations as well as reading trending news from the music industry. To view the interpretation of a song’s lyrics, users can type in the name of a song, musician, or keyword in the box on the top left. Next, Genius will report will the musicians, artists, and other materials that match the search. Users can then click on a piece of content that was reported. Genius will then show the lyrics, and users can click the lyrics highlighted in grey to read their…

Review Overview

A. Instruction - 6.8
B. Design - 8.4
C. Engagement - 8

7.7

Genius: Helping to Interpret Song Lyrics

Summary : Not Name That Tune; Rather, Explain That Lyric!

Genius is a website that provides interpretations for song lyrics and lets users propose their own interpretations as well as reading trending news from the music industry. To view the interpretation of a song’s lyrics, users can type in the name of a song, musician, or keyword in the box on the top left. Next, Genius will report will the musicians, artists, and other materials that match the search. Users can then click on a piece of content that was reported. Genius will then show the lyrics, and users can click the lyrics highlighted in grey to read their interpretation. If users create a profile by clicking the “Sign Up” button on the top right of the screen, they will be able to suggest edits to the interpretations. (As users suggest edits, they earn “IQ” points, which unlocks additional privileges in the website.)

Genius also provides users with a list to top songs (and their interpretations too) and videos. Plus, each time Genius is loaded, users can view trending news from the music industry.

Please Note: Teachers need to use discretion when using this website, as some lyrics contain adult themes and language.

Instructional Ideas for Genius

  1. Teachers can give students a copy of lyrics and ask them to interpret them based on their prior knowledge and own understanding of the song. Next, teachers can project the Genius interpreted song lyrics to the class, and students can compare their interpretations against the Genius interpretation. Teachers can then facilitate a conversation by asking: (1) What was similar between your interpretation and those of Genius?, (2) What was different between the two interpretations?, and (3) If you could suggest one revision of the Genius interpretation, what would it be?
  2. Students can create a profile and view the different song interpretations on this website. As they do, they can offer suggestions to accumulate “IQ” points. Once students understand the process of earning “IQ” points, teachers can start a friendly class challenge to see which students can amass the most “IQ” points in a specific period of time.
  3. Teachers can have students read a news story about the music industry from this website. Students can then summarize the article’s main points, and teachers can use this analysis as a springboard into a class conversation.
  4. After reading a news story in this website, students can conduct an online search for additional information about the news story and compare their perspective. Students can then create a mind map that identifies the source and highlights the similarities and differences.
  5. When students identify an artist of interest, they can view the Music Timeline to see where that artist best fits. While viewing the resource, students can look for similar artists and view their songs and lyrics in Genius. This activity has implications for future research and study.
A1. Rigor
A2. 21st Century Skills
A3. Conn. to Future Learning
A4. Value of Errors
A5. Feedback to Teacher
A6. Level of Material
A7. Cooperative Learning
A8. Accom. of Individual Diff.
B1. Ability to Save Progress
B2. Platform Integration
B3. Screen Design
B4. Ease of Use
B5. Navigation
B6. Goal Orientation
B7. Information Presentation
B8. Media Integration
B9. Cultural Sensitivity
C1. Learner Control
C2. Interactivity
C3. Pace
C4. Flexibility
C5. Interest
C6. Aesthetics
C7. Utility

Screenshots of Genius