It’s widely known that music promotes memory and learning. Professor Greg J. Crowther, at the University of Washington, has been studying this connection for years. Here’s what he has to say about music and learning:
Music is often considered a tool for efficiently memorizing science content, and it is true that ‘catchy’ lyrics are likely to be retained even if they cover highly technical material. At their best, however, content-rich songs are more than mnemonic devices. They also have the potential to engage students in a way that conventional classroom activities do not, and permit exploration and analysis of content that goes well beyond rote memorization. Because music can play these varied roles, it can be incorporated into both earlier and later stages of the learning process. For example, one instructor might use a song at the start of a lesson to introduce new vocabulary words, while another might end a lesson by having students critique scientific lyrics for clarity and precision, thus assessing their developing knowledge of a topic.
If you’d like to learn more about Professor Crowther’s work, please read this study in Advances in Physiology Education.
So think of the videos below as short musical lectures that will really boost your students’ learning. Enjoy!
- Scientific Method
- Scientific Method: An introduction to the structure of a controlled experiment.
- Octet Rule Song: A basic introduction to chemical bonding (ionic and covalent)
- Cell Biology
- Cell Song: The key organelles of animal and plant cells. Click here for interactive tutorials about cells.
- Osmosis: How the diffusion of water works, and its consequences, told through the lens of a gummy bear experiment. Click here for a quiz
- Membranes! The structure and function of the cell membrane. Click here for tutorials.
- Enzymes and Energy
- Enzymes: Enzyme structure and Function. Click here for a quiz.
- Glycolysis Rap: An overview of the first phase of cellular respiration.
- Glycolysis Time: A folk version of the first phase of cellular respiration.
- Krebs Cycle: the second phase of cellular respiration.
- Electron Transport Chain: A detailed explanation of how ATP is made in mitochondria
- Cellular Respiration Playlist: Glycolysis, Krebs Cycle, and Electron Transport Chain
- Photosynthesis: The Light Reactions
- Part 1 : The Big Picture. This is the first of a three part series about the light reactions, this music video focuses on the big picture: 1) the light reactions v. the Calvin cycle, 2) the structure of a chloroplast (thylakoids and stroma), 3) chlorophyll, and 4) action spectrum v. absorption spectrum.
- Part 2 : Non-cyclic Electron Flow
- Part 3: Making NADPH and 02; Cyclic Electron Flow
- Photosynthesis: Legacy versions
- The Light Reactions. My first ever music video. Good for old time’s sake, but my preference is that you watch my newer videos (above) about the light reactions of photosynthesis, starting with this one.
- Photosynthesis: The Calvin Cycle: How plant cells use the product of the light reactions to make glucose.
- Photosynthesis: The Light Reactions
- Cell Division
- DNA and Molecular Genetics
- DNA, Fantastic! DNA structure. Click here for quiz
- DNA Replication: How cells copy their DNA
- Protein Synthesis: A surprisingly detailed musical explanation of how cells produce proteins.
- Molecular Genetics Playlist (DNA, DNA Replication, Protein Synthesis)
- I Want a Clone: An explanation of cloning through somatic cell nuclear transfer.
- (I’m a) Virus: An overview of virus structure, the lytic cycle, the lysogenic cycle, and the life cycle of HIV.
- The Ballad of the Peppered Moth: A great introduction to natural selection
- Carbon Cycle: How the Carbon Cycle Works. Click here for a tutorial and quiz
- Food Chains Song: Trophic Levels, Food Chains, Food Webs. Click here for a tutorial and quiz
- Climate Change
- Greenhouse Effect: How it works, and how humans have disrupted it
- Keep Those Fossil Fuels in the Ground: The consequences of climate change.
- Seven Ways to Reduce Carbon: A guide to carbon reduction, based on Princeton’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative.
- Disrupt Climate Disruption: What we can do about climate change
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Pump it Up (Circulatory System Rap): An overview of the chambers, blood vessels, and valves of the heart. Click here for flashcards
- Heart Quiz: A beat by beat guide to the chambers, major blood vessels, and valves of the heart. Click here for interactive flashcards.
- Immune System 1: Non-Specific Immunity
- Immune System 2: Specific (Adaptive) Immunity
- Breathe! (an overview of the structure and function of the human respiratory system)
- Digestion!: A pretty detailed overview of the human digestive system. Click here for interactive learning.
- Interplanetary Exploration
- I Want to Go to Mars! A utopian fantasy about Mars colonization and terraforming.
- AP Exam Review Playlist
- Reviewing for the AP Biology Exam? Here’s a link to a page with a playlist for all my AP Bio-related songs.
- Scientific Method
What could be more fun than a Karaoke Biology Party. And there’s no better way to learn. The fun starts here!
This Post Has 90 Comments
I see you have a rap about Glycolysis and The Krebs Cycle, but I didn’t see anything on the Electron Transport Chain. Did I miss it, or have you not done one on that?
I have it on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VER6xW_r1vc
but I’ll go ahead and make a page for it on the website, too!
hello sir im a medical student from cameroon and i wish to say realy thamk you for all the raps you have been doing.
now wish to know if you may have some raps on embryology?
Nothing (so far) on embryology…Sorry. I’ll definitely have a lecture posted at some point (but I’m not sure about a song).
Good luck with your studies!
That’s what ultimately directed me here! This site may be the salvation to my biochem grade!
good luck, Marcy!
Would like to see one on the respritory system.
I’ve already recorded the vocals for the song…but since the school year’s in progress, it’ll be a while before I get the movie done. Sorry!
Hi Mr. W,
Do you think you could make a song about alcohol and lactic acid fermentation?
that’s a little narrow for a song…but maybe I’ll put together a quiz at some point!
I really enjoyed these musical videos .. it’s amazing how u could make us enjoy learning .. thanks ^_^
Thanks, Salma. I hope you’ve checked out my tutorials and quizzes, too!
Enjoy learning biology!
Hi Mr. W! Me and my friend love your videos. For one of the tests we just took in AP Bio, I quoted your electron transport chain practically word for word on the free response and got a good score! Can you please make a video about Cell Communication?
Your videos are just a great help for me. Can you please also have some videos on transportation in plants and mineral nutrients.. Thanks.
All I have on plants is my photosynthesis movies…but maybe someday!
Any chance of a rap song about neurotransmitters and parts of the brain?
You are amazing!!!
Doing a song about the brain is definitely on my list…but it could be a long while! I’m only good for about 5 videos/year. I have songs about photosynthesis and the respiratory system up next.
Thanks for the encouragement!
Wow. You just may have saved my extremely-auditory-learner-very-musical daughter’s Biology grade! I was a biochemist in my former life, and what you have made is stellar. I teach science in a homeschool setting. Next year I am toying with tackling Chemistry. Any slim chance you might produce some basic Chemistry music videos this summer? Also, I am planning to spread the word in the homeschool community about your amazing products!
Hi, Donna. I have a series of tutorials about very basic chemistry, and I might extend it a bit next year, but biology is my area of expertise.
Thanks so much for spreading the word!
Glycolysis, c’mon sugar, c’mon sugar for the breakdown. For the breakdown! Ah bon! Merci beaucoup pour les videos amusant!
Have you done a song or rap about meiosis
Yes! Check https://learn-biology.com/meiosis. Also lots of interactive quizzes: check http://www.sciencemusicvideos.com/quizzes
Yes. Check https://learn-biology.com/meiosis/. Also lots of interactives on the “learn” page.
Leave me a comment letting me know what you think!
This site is amazing and I think you should share these videos with your sixth period class
Your favorite student
I love all my students, Gideon! Thanks for your comment!
Hi, I’m doing grade 9 Biology, do u think you have any videos that can benefit me.
Look around at the tutorials page, Sid. A lot of my stuff is for 9th graders. I teach 9th grade. You should try the pages on enzymes, cells, DNA structure, membranes. Let me know if you think it’s the right level.
Do you have anything specifically about ecology.
I have a whole series of tutorial about the carbon cycle, food chains and food webs, and trophic levels. Just follow this link.
Please leave me a comment letting me know what you think!
You should make an immune system rap!
Amazing! That’s highest on my list of raps to write! But it’ll by six months before it’s on YouTube!
Thanks for the encouragement.
I’m a student from Ireland and I find these videos very helpful- especially when I can’t concentrate on my biology notes anymore!
I just want to thank you for sharing your amazing talent with the world!
That’s great, Aisha! Have you tried the tutorials on my website? If you do, let me know what you think.
I have! The quizzes etc just reinforce the fact that I have learned so much from this website!
I especially love labelling the diagram of the heart as I used to find this very difficult!
Thanks, Aisha! Please spread the word about sciencemusicvideos!
Thanks for making these fantastic videos! I showed them to my class to break up cellular respiration theory and now they are happily singing away!
Thanks, Dr. M.
Do you have any other videos for chemistry? I loved the mitosis song so much that I memorized it!
The material I have on chemistry is pretty basic: I have a song about chemical bonding (ionic, covalent) called The Octet Rule. I also have a series of tutorials about the same topic. The tutorials have quizzes, flashcards, and lots of interaction that should help you learn the content!
Hope they’re useful! Let me know how it goes.
hi this is cool
Thank you SO much for these amazing videos!! My sisters and I are really enjoying learning about biology while we dance along. You rock! Really awesome how you can compose all these different songs and videos, it’s clear that you put a lot of dedication into this! Wonderful work!
Hi Jessica. Try singing to the karaoke versions! I’d love to know what you think of them:
Great site! Lots of creativity here!! Anything on cellular respiration?
Hi Brian. Lots of stuff: For an overview, check out. I also have songs with supporting flashcards and/or diagram for glycolysis , krebs cycle , and the electron transport chain . Please consider supporting my channel through the “donate” button to your right!
I spent this weekend studying your approach to the teaching of metabolic pathways. It is pedagogically so well equipped, essential concepts demonstrated so lucidly, and artistically so well finished! I am immediately going to apply it in our freshman’s module on basic biology, which shall soon see 1500 students flocking to your website for finding the reference material for the tutorial questions that I design for them. You have achieved an amazing feat in your combination of information technology, art and science. Is there a Nobel Prize for science education where I can nominate you?
This is the most complimentary, validating comment I’ve ever received. Thanks so much. I don’t know about the Nobel Prize for science education (I’d love one!), but encouraging your students to buy my songs would be a lovely thing to do (and probably help them learn the material, too).
I’m curious about what you teach and where you teach it, so please let me know. Also, I’m not sure what kind of tutorial questions you’re designing for them, but if they include fill-in-the blanks, multiple choice, true false, etc, you might consider making them using our software (qwizcards.com). Or, if you don’t want to go through the trouble of making your own website, we can even host your questions for you.
You’ve made my day! Thanks so much!
Contest. every reply i get i will. give away an xbox one. comment quick only giving away 10
Mr. W here. How do I get my Xbox?
Let me know?
thanks Mr.w i found ur ways so much helpful
very helpful stuff. helped me study in the car and on the go when books are not a viable option. some of the material here really helped me a lot through my MCATS. Thank you
Wow. I love the fact that this is helping you study for your MCAT! Good luck! Please spread the word about sciencemusicvideos, and please consider buying my songs or donating to my channel!
I love these and have purchased the songs through iTunes. I’m printing the lyrics out. I learned that the way my brain takes in information the best is first through song. I was able to figure this out when homeschooling my kids. Wish I had known this when I was 19 and in college the first time! Now I’m back and taking a basic science course pre-rec before A&P I and I’m so so thankful I was able to find your videos through Youtube and from there your website. I’m able to memorize the songs, then really grasp the information that I’ve memorized through the song. On that I’m able to memorize even more than I realized, but without the information set to music, at the onset of new info, it’s VERY HARD for me. So, from a 40 year old mom back in college, I just wanted to thank you for using your talent of teaching and making an impact in ways you don’t even realize! 🙂
I can’t thank you enough for 1) buying my songs and 2) leaving me such a great comment.
One question: I’ve been experimenting with Karaoke as a way of providing learners with another way of memorizing the lyrics of the song (and thereby the ideas). Have you tried that? Let me know.
Good luck with your studies!
Hi Mr W,
I love what I have seen so far and I believe I will have a better learning outcome if I listen daily to your songs, and take the quizzes.
Even as I walk around the lake each day I can still be learning as an added bonus. I wish I had found you earlier than today and it may have helped me pass bio-science in preparation for Biochemistry. I wasn’t looking forward to repeating it, but I feel a lot more confident about passing it next time.
Do you have any videos on The Nervous System?
Nothing on the Nervous System yet…but it’s on my list of songs to write! Thanks for commenting!
Hi Mr W,
Our senior biology teacher really loves showing us your songs during class and we have all gotten to know quite a few of them pretty well! We are trying to find the perfect gift to give him at the end of the year as it is our last year of studies at high school. I was just wondering if there was any chance you would be able to send a little video saying “Hi” to our teacher or even a small song about him if we were to send you some lyrics?!
Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
Can you do one about cellular respiration
I have three songs about cellular respiration (Glycolysis, Krebs, and Electron Transport Chain): you must be asking for a tutorial? Let me know.
Hello!! Can you do a video about kingdoms like archaebacteria, protists and eubacteria? Thanks
Thanks for commenting!
This video would be a tough one, because it’s not directly a part of the AP Biology curriculum, my main focus for now. However, I might touch on this when I write an interactive tutorial about the origin and early evolution of life. Stay tuned.
Hi Mr W
First of all, congratulations for your videos. They are just great. I am Professor at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and I would like to use some of your videros for my teaching in Biology. What should I do?
I am also a scientist and I would like to show one of your videos in a presentation in a congress. May I?
Hello Professor Fajas,
I’m honored that you want to use my videos. If you want to use them through YouTube, please go ahead. If you need to download them, many of them are for sale (for about $4.00) at my teacherspayteachers website. If that’s inconvenient or not possible, feel free to download them using any of the websites or software that people use to download youtube videos. When you show the videos, if it’s appropriate, please let people know about my website.
Good luck, and let me know how it goes!
How about lipid and amino acid metabolism?
I’ve got protein synthesis, but your request is a bit specific for what I do (biology and AP Biology). Thanks for commenting!
Could you make a karaoke version for glycolysis please?
It’s at https://learn-biology.com/karaoke-biology/glycolysis-rap-karaoke-version/ Also, try out the tutorials at https://learn-biology.com/ap-biology/module-10-cellular-respiration/
You have. A good method in teaching thank you so much I see your rap fot immune system and digestive system was wonderful. Can you make one for integumentary system
Uau.. congratulations! U are very good explaining complex biological subjects.
Hi Mr. W,
Any plans for tutorials on Unit 13: Topics in Plant Biology? [If you have the time that is]
I enjoy your music videos on those topics, very helpful. I have a final in May and will be using your tutorials extensively…
Thank you and keep up the amazing work!
The tutorials are going to come…but possibly not until this summer. It’s my first year teaching AP biology since I’ve had this website, and I’ve been slowly building it out during the school year. I’m hoping to make a major push after the exam…which might, unfortunately, be too late for you (unless you’re a teacher). I do have some videos about photosynthesis, which you can see on my youtube channel.
Thank you for the reply. I am a college student that’s about to graduate so I probably won’t get to see the tutorial by the time you finish. In the meantime, I will be a regular on this site.
I’m glad that you are working on putting out more content! It’s good to know that your website will help out so many students like myself for years to come.
Best of luck for AP! I’m sure your students will all get 5’s!
can you say hi to meeee……
Hope you’re enjoying the website!
Mr. W., these are AMAZING. I haven’t studied science in about 20 years – I’m back in school, changing careers – and your songs are helping me remember some of the more complicated stuff I need to know! Any chance of one on beta oxidation?
That’s a bit more specific than the AP Biology stuff I’m doing. But check out my tutorials on Cellular Respiration.
Hope they’re useful!
Hi Mr W.
Thanks for your wonderful songs. My year 10 students told me about them and they love them. Just letting you know that I clicked on the links for the quizzes attached to the cell song and mitosis and neither of the links worked.
Thanks, Sarina. I edited the links/annotations on the movies, which were updated. But you found your way to my website, and I hope you found quizzes that are useful to you and your students. Let me know.
I am a parent of a teen who is interested in science and a pediatrician. We enjoy your music videos and have found many of the tutorials to be super helpful. I regularly recommend your website to patients who are interested in or struggling with biology. Keep up the awesome work!
You’ve made my day! Thanks! If you know of an angel investor, send them our way!
Can you make vocals only versions of your songs?
I have Karaoke versions, which is, of course, the opposite. What do you want the vocals for?
Let me know.
Hi ! I just discovered your Youtube channel. These songs are amazing! Thank you so much! Even if English isn’t my first language, it still helps me because of the subtitles. Thanks again! 🙂
Thanks so much, Aurélie! Please spread the word about sciencemusicvideos to your friends and teachers. And,if you can, please consider supporting me by buying my songs or making a donation.
I am about to take the MCAT and I have to say that finding your page is a huge blessing to me!!! My auditive auditive memory works best for me so you will be jamming in my hears!
on a more serious note, thank you for your those videos!!! you rock!!
Thanks so much, bintou!
Good luck on the MCATs! Please spread the word about my website and channel to your friends and teachers!
Do you have any videos on genetics?
No videos, Erin. But check out my genetics tutorials: they might be better than a song!
Let me know what you think!
Need music videos on natural selection and evidence of evolution please !! This summer would be a great opportunity to make those Mr. W !
First of all, thanks for commenting and suggesting. I’ve thought of a song about speciation…but recently, my efforts have been focused on this website, more interactive tutorials, etc. We’ll see where my muses take me!
Comments are closed.