"I'm trained as an Instructor. I've earned multiple certifications, spent thousands of dollars and invested hundreds of hours, all with the purpose of delivering a great class to you today."
"But many of you will probably judge me by my skills as a DJ... the one part of this class for which I have no formal education."
It had to be the funniest thing I've ever heard said by another Instructor... well I thought it was funny, and I laughed out-loud when she said it during her opening of class. What made this humorous was a combination of her deadpan delivery and the unexpected honesty of her statement.
Could anything be more true about teaching an Indoor Cycling class?
To paraphrase the memorable line from a TV and radio commercial from Verbal Advantage; People judge you by the music you play...
In past surveys I've done, Instructors have said that they spend more time on music than any other aspect of their classes. I'm not sure this dependency on a great playlist, as the foundation of you class, is entirely healthy. But I can understand how it can become the focus of your class preparations.
So what's my suggestion for ensuring your class will enjoy your music selections?
Steal music ideas from others 😉
Here are a few places you can start:
- Rolling Stone's Top 500 Songs of all Time. Especially if you have an older demographic, you can't go wrong with these past favorites. Most are so memorable that you could start a sing-a-long. Here's a link to the list and there's a partial list (385) you can find in Spotify.
- Grab our list of the Top 404 Indoor Cycling Songs. These have been hand picked by other instructors and a class playlist created from them is a nearly guaranteed hit.
- Subscribe to ICI/PRO where we have over 50 class playlists, created by experienced Instructors. Each playlist is tied to an easy to follow class profile that explains exactly how to teach the class; cues, timing - everything 🙂
- Get the Shazam app for your iPhone or Droid and bring it to a popular Instructor's class. Shazam each song they play and the app will keep a list for you to "appropriate" into your playlist. Don't be surprised to catch an Instructor in your class doing this if you've followed suggestion #3
- Consider a mixed class music service like indoorcyclingmusic.com A good DJ doesn't have gaps between songs - it wrecks the mood you want to create. If you don't have the hours to spend with MixMeister, this could really simplify your life 🙂
- ICI/PRO Podcast 299 – Power and your Playlist… don't make it too hard - June 5, 2023
- Please come back to my class! - May 30, 2023
- My Life Time Instructor Teach Back - May 24, 2023
This is great advice.
Let’s face it there is no way to hear all that is out there. Moreover, we all have our comfort zone music. It is hard to break out of.
For every one good piece of music that I found for my self I have 20 that I picked up from others willing to share. Especially genre changes.
Also, when another instructor does a great class to totally different music than your own ask for it. Try it. Take a chance. It will make you better.
One more thought, most of us have so much music on iTunes that sometimes it is fun to make a playlist from the stuff I bought and never got around to using. Take a look at your library. There is likely a ton of good tracks you forgot you had.
This whole time I thought my students came to class because of my amazing wit and stellar instruction.Come to think of it, I always have a student or two stopping me after class and asking, “What song did you play on that climb?” or “What was the name of that band?”
It is ALWAYS worth the time and effort to create a good playlist, and to really understand how powerful music can be.
Thank you for the above tips. We all need to spread the word about spotify, it is an unbelievable time saving tool for an instructor searching for music.I especially appreciate the Shazam idea… Brilliant.
For most of my students, music choice is key! I would come to class all prepared to teach a certain profile (with a certain playlist) and they would be requesting certain songs. I started bringing a notebook with my playlists and profiles in sheet protector sheets so that I can quickly find a playlist with the requested song. Playing ONE favorite song can make the class! When students hear a song that they really like, they become motivated and energized, and this energy can change the whole feel and attitude of the class,