Teacher-Only Instructions

To embrace student-ownership in your jazz ensemble, this activity puts choosing a song in

the hands of the musicians, with the teacher’s guidance of course.

FOUR SIMPLE STEPS to Complete (about 30 minutes prep - time includes you doing the activity too):

Note: Only ONE class at a time can do this form otherwise data would get mixed. Stagger if you have two or more classes.

At any time, if you need help or a walk through? Book a PTGZoom here.

Step 1 - Register

To participate in this interactive activity you FIRST need to:

1) LOGIN or REGISTER for a PlayTheGroove account.

2) A unique, 5-Digit PIN will be created and available at Account Details. You and your students will need this pin for the activity.

When both are completed, go to Step 2.

At any time, if you need help or a walk through? Book a PTGZoom here.

Step 2 - Choose Level of Challenge & Complete Activity

Choose one, pre-made playlist based on your ensemble skill level and average challenge-level of the songs.

1) Medium – Level 2-3 — middle school intermediate through high school all levels (best for first time).

2) Medium Hard – Level 3-4 — adventuresome high school intermediate and advanced.

Pre-listen to the songs at this link. Scroll down to:

Fully complete this activity (alone and before students):

1a) For “Medium”, click THIS LINK for the Teacher and Students 3-2-1 Song Choosing Form (URL TBD), or

1b) For “Medium-Hard”, click THIS LINK for the Teacher and Students 3-2-1 Song Choosing Form (URL TBD)

2) Inspect all content – you are doing this before your students.

3) Complete the form (your choices count too!)

4) Acquaint yourself with the process and directions to better explain to your students (your situation and class make-up is unique – you know them best).


  • PlayTheGroove is COPPA compliant. NO student information is requested. This activity can be done completely anonymously. Or, if desired, ask the students to choose a pseudonym which can be a made up name or a student ID # and shared with you. This is a way to check off who did the assignment.
  • Entries can not be changed once form is submitted.
  • Previewing results are suggested – link an anchor link to Step 4 link tbd

Step 3 - Give Students Directions

Since you have done this activity alone by this point, adjust your instructions to your students as necessary. This can be discussed and demonstrated in class, or simply sent as an assignment. 

Prepare the follow for your students and send via an email, or LMS.

Hi Class – We are doing a fun activity – well I thought it was fun – to listen to new music, analyze it, and collaboratively pick a song to play. You will need this information:

1) Provide your 5-Digit Pin*

2) Copy and Provide Link to appropriate form*

3) *Provide a clear deadline date for completion – we suggest 3 to 5 days (or over a weekend)

4) Optional: Choose and alert students’ to be either anonymous or pseudonym responses.

5) Optional: Suggest this is to be done alone to allow for individual thought (although pairs or small groups are fine too if it’s truly collaborative).


Step 4 - Preview & Present Results

Complete the Form Request Form – very short! (initially they will be only yours).

  • Create Basic PDF / Graphic Report, and/or Create Excel / Google Sheet Data File.
  • Reports are emailed to your email on file.

Only the teacher has access to the results — you must:

  1. Be logged in to (see your name at the top),
  2. Have your 5-digit pin, and
  3. Have your start and end dates (beginning and end date, ie… the day YOU did the form through today’s or deadline date).

Prepare for class: Self-study the basic information, and if you receive the data spreadsheet, the full data.

Present to class — Allow 5-10 minutes class time for this process:

1) Using an A/V projection or whiteboard system, access the results in your email.

2) Present the results as you deem fit – initiate discussions.

3) Point out how their responses have been converted (cross-curricular)

4) Ask Inquiry-Based Questions to elicit discussions. Jot down some advanced questions to elicit verbal responses. “What do you think it was that made tunes X & Y more popular in this question?” “X tune didn’t get many votes, what do you think was the issue?” “I see a tie, how do we determine a single pick?” Or, “Do you want to try both?” 

If class is quiet, state “Discuss the results with your neighbor for 3 minutes and your thoughts on the above.”  Find a chatty person, “Bobby/Sally – I noticed you had a few comments, could you share with the class what you thought?”

5) With a chosen tune, go to for parts, recordings, and guidelines… reward them for their efforts… have fun playing! 🙂

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