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  • Writer's picturePodcast Librarian

Strong Songs: Your favorite songs dissected by a charming music nerd

The Premise (from Apple Podcasts):

Music: it's good. On each episode of Strong Songs, host Kirk Hamilton takes listeners inside a piece of music, breaking it down and figuring out what makes it work. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Series or standalone:


Begin listening to:

Any episode (but pick one about a song you love for the full effect)


Audio diary/narrative


Musician Kirk Hamilton

Sound/production quality:


Rating/age suitability:

Safe for all ages; probably appeals most to teens and adults, particularly musicians or music fans

Approximate length of episodes:

50-60 minutes

Curricular ties:

This would be fantastic to use in a music class since it covers songs that students are likely already familiar with and/or like a lot. It's great for helping students learn about and express their own music appreciation.

Similar recommended pods:

Switched on Pop

Podcast Librarian’s Review:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you follow my daily IG Stories featuring the pods I listen to each day, you know I’ve been burning through all the available episodes of this pod lately. Kirk is an utterly delightful host whose music-nerdiness is absolutely contagious. He strikes the perfect balance of pointing out how a song works from both a music theory perspective and the aesthetic experience as a regular listener. He must be a teacher; he explains the concepts so well. He’ll first play a part of the song, explain the point of music theory behind it, and then play it again so you can apply your new knowledge to it in context. The result is a deeper music appreciation that is accessible even for non-musicians. Kirk is the one and only speaker during the pods (so far), and to be honest, I’m not usually a fan of solo podcasts. They usually sound stilted to me and are prone to awkward silence and laughter at one’s own jokes. Luckily, Kirk avoids all of those pitfalls. He’s so charismatic, enthusiastic, and well-prepared (but never scripted). If you like music and want to know how it so effectively makes you FEEL something, then you must listen. High school music teachers/directors could easily work this pod into their lessons as a fun mini-lesson on music theory/appreciation! Start with any episode, but I recommend listening to one about a song you know reasonably well. My faves: Africa, Dancing Queen, Let It Go, Tiny Dancer/Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and TV Songs: Animated Edition.

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