Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Money Sings

Thomas Lucey


Students listen to and perform songs to learn the perceptions of people in regard to their financial holdings.


The student understands the relationships between music and other subjects and how each expresses events, emotions, and ideas (e.g., sadness, as expressed in music: dirge; in dance: ending of Swan Lake; and in visual art: Pietà).


-CD Player
-Audio CD's of your own choosing or as suggested in the procedures
-Easel pad and pen to write down student observations.


1. Seats should be readily moveable to break class into groups.
2. CD player and CD's should be in a location audible to the entire class.
3. Space or potential space should exist for students to perform their music.
4. An easel pad should be centrally located to record students' thoughts during discussion.


1. Explain to students: An account is a record of money owed from one to another. A deposit account occurs when a bank, savings and loan, or credit union owes money to the person who has
the legal claim on the funds. People put their money in deposit accounts until they need it.
There is less chance of money being lost or stolen if it is kept in a deposit account than if it
were kept in a pursue, wallet, or house. Many institutions will pay money (interest) for
keeping a deposit account at their offices. The interest rate is the price of money that is
borrowed or saved.

In this activity, we will consider how people view and/or treat others differently because they have different amounts of money in their accounts.

2.Using the list below as a starting guide, play some songs for the class which consider
money and its effects. Discuss the lyrics with the class and write down their responses to
the composers’ and artists’ views

***Screen any song for content before allowing their use in this exercise***

Some suggestions for songs to use:

“I Don’t Want Your Money”, Chicago III (Chicago),Columbia, 1970
“Golden Country”, REO TWO (REO Speedwagon), Epic 1972
“Son of a Poor Man”, Riddin the Storm Out (REO Speedwagon), Epic 1973
“Pieces of Eight”, Pieces of Eight (Styx), A&M 1978
“I’d Rather Be Rich”, Chicago XIV (Chicago), Columbia 1980
“Half-Penny, Two-Penny”, Paradise Theatre (Styx), A&M 1980
“We Can Stop the Hurtin”, Chicago XVII (Chicago), Warner Brothers 1984
“What About the Love”, Lead Me On (Amy Grant), Myrrh 1988
“Another Day In Paradise”, But Seriously (Phil Collins), Atlantic 1989

2. Divide the students into four evenly sized groups.

3. Inform the groups they will have 10 minutes to compose a song about money and its effects for the class.

4. After the 10 minutes have passed, instruct the first group to perform their song.

5. At the conclusion of the skits, bring the whole class together. Consider the messages in the songs they heard and performed. What messages do the songs convey? How does money affect perceptions of others? What might be done to change these perceptions conveyed by the content, if anything?

NOTE: This lesson also addresses the following Tennessee standards:

Fine Arts
Curriculum Standards
Approved by the Tennessee State Board of Education
August 31, 2001
General Music
Content Standard 1.0: Singing
Students will sing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music
Learning Expectations:
The student will
1.1 Demonstrate the ability to sing alone selected musical examples.
1.2 Demonstrate the ability to sing in an ensemble selected musical examples.
Performance Indicators:

At Level 3, the student is able to
o accurately sing solo melodies from a varied repertoire;
o accurately sing from a varied repertoire an individual voice part in an ensemble.

Music Theory, Music History, Vocal-Choral Music, Language Arts, Social Studies, National Standards for Arts Education.


Instruct the students to write a composition explaining how they think money affects people’s attitudes toward life and towards other people.

____ Displays understanding of different perceptions based on amounts of wealth.
_____ Displays understanding of different spending priorities.
_____Displays understanding of how music is used in society to express societal perceptions and attitudes.


Extending Activities:

Discuss and write about why some people do not have enough money or elect not to keep
money in a deposit account. Why does this situation occur? How can this situation be

Research the FDIC and the insurance guarantee associated with deposits of banks, credit
unions and savings institutions. How does the insurance/guarantee work? How does it
differ from other types of insurance?

Supporting Math Problems:

1: You have a checking account at a bank that requires a $200 balance. Every month that
the account falls below $200, you are charged $3. What rate are you paying by keeping
less than the minimum balance in the account?

2: You have a savings account which pays 3% interest each year. How long will it take for
your account to double? Hint: To double means to grow 100%. What if it pays 2 ½?, 3½?

3: You want to set up a deposit account at the bank and double your money in 20 years.
What interest rate do you want?

4: You have a Certificate of Deposit at the bank for $1,000 which is earning 6% interest.
You know that the Federal Government makes you pay tax on the interest earned and you
are in the 15% tax bracket. What is the rate of your earnings after taxes? What is the rate
if you are in the 28% tax bracket?

5: Repeat Exercise 4 presuming you have a savings account paying 2¼% interest.
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