World Music

Ever since I took a World Music course in college a million years ago, I’ve loved listening to music from around the world. I’m amazed at the diversity, yet singularity, of instruments and the unbelievable sounds people can make with their vocal chords. Even if I don’t understand it, I appreciate that there is a whole corner of the world that does.

I indulged in hours of world music while seeking inspiration for my Geography Learning Songs, and so I decided to share what I found with you.

Supplement to Geography Curriculum

Listening to world music is a fun supplement to your geography studies. In addition to challenging one’s tastes about what is “normal”, it also offers insight into a country’s history, religion, and even climate. Just a look at a country’s native instruments can tell us about the movement people groups and natural materials available in the region. And the profusion of African-inspired percussion throughout the world testifies to the historical and social reach of systemized slavery.


These playlists combine a sampling of both traditional and contemporary music examples. It is not intended to be a complete representation of a region’s musical legacy.

*Disclaimer: When I made these playlists, I chose only songs that do NOT have expletives or overt sexual language. However, some songs may have sexual innuendo. I also chose videos that do NOT contain images that overly sexualize women or promote drug use. However, some videos do contain smoking. Please, PLEASE review videos to assess its suitability for your students.

To start, select a region that fits your interest or listen along with my recommended Three Year Geography Cycle. In my home, we listen to music inspired by our current geography studies while we work and play. Over the years, each of my children have come to favor certain world music genres. For example, my oldest daughter loves Russian folk music. I even hear her humming the famous, “Song of the Volga Boatmen” from time to time.


African Music (coming soon)

Music of the Americas: Jug band, Bluegrass, Jazz, Blues, Ragtime, Salsa, Southwest American Indian Tribes, Inuit Tribes, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay, Andean Region, and Caribbean.

Asian Music (coming soon)

European Music (coming soon)

Oceanian Music (coming soon)