Top 10 Debate Club

Participants debate and defend their favorite songs and create their own “Billboard” playlist 

Do your participants know a lot about the latest and hottest tracks in popular music? Put their musical knowledge and opinions to the test by helping them create a collaborative, weekly Top 10 playlist.  Split participants into groups and have them nominate current songs/artists they think should be on the Top 10 list. When the groups come back together, they’ll have debate and agree on a final Top 10 list for the week.  

In additional participants will: 

  • Develop critical listening skills and identify key song elements 
  • Be exposed to different kinds of music 
  • Learn to respectfully engage in a group discussion and communicate their ideas
  • Get to know their peers and their musical tastes

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How to… 

  • Check out current top hits on the Billboard 100 as a jumping off point to keep things current
    • Optional: Decide on the day’s/week’s Top 10 debate theme, for example:
      • Specific artist (e.g. “Top 10 Jay-Z songs”)
      • Genre (e.g. “Top 10 Rap songs/albums”)
      • Decades (e.g. “Top 90s songs/albums”)
  • Split participants into small groups 
    • Participants will discuss/debate the theme until their small group reaches a consensus about a comprehensive Top 10 List. 
    • Each participant should speak and provide input.
    • Each smaller group will nominate a representative to present their Top 10 List to the larger group.
  • Bring small groups back together 
    • Each small group makes their case for their Top 10 List 
    • Staff member moderates a discussion and allows participants/groups to argue which song was best and why
    • The goal is to determine a master Top 10 List by voting on each others’ choices 
  • Voting process
    • Post each group’s list on a board/easel (so you can see them all next to each other)
    • Starting with #10 (and working up) everyone votes (heads down/hands up) for each rank
    • For example: 
      • Say there were 3 groups with 3 different lists and 3 different #10 songs
      • All the participants put their heads down 
      • Staff read each #10 song out loud and tally the participants votes (raise of hand) for which of the 3 songs deserves the #10
      • The song with the most votes lands at #10 on the master list
      • Repeat this process until you get to the number 1 song
    • The final master list serves as our “Billboard Top 10” week-to-week and we can start comparing where songs move up/down, etc. 
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