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Singing with Suno

The head of my old learning technology team once said “We use technology because we want to be better teachers, right?” to which I replied: “No, we use technology because it’s bright and shiny, then we look for an educational purpose.” Such was the case recently with Suno, a tool for making songs that I stumbled upon while preparing a presentation on AI tools for our lecturers. An AI tool that generates songs for you in any style you want is a pretty cool thing to end a presentation with; the only thing missing was an educational justification. Then I remembered a podcast where a physics professor mentioned that he liked to finish his lectures by singing a song summarising the content. That actually makes educational sense because you are much more likely to remember a song than a bunch of bullet points.

Anyway, that was my excuse, and I finished the presentation with “Moodle Blues”. Now it is true that the lyrics generated were fairly banal:

Well, I woke up this morning, feelin’ oh so down (oh-oh-oh)
Got my Moodle open, but it’s slow as molasses in this town
I’m tryin’ to learn, tryin’ to study, tryin’ to make the grade
But Moodle’s got me feelin’ like I’m stuck in a never-ending maze

Oh, Moodle, Moodle, why you gotta be so rough?
You got me wanderin’ ’round, can’t find my way, it’s tough
Oh, Moodle, Moodle, won’t you set me free?
I’m beggin’ you, baby, unlock the knowledge that I seek (oh yeah, unlock it now)

However, this is just what Suno came up with from a fairly minimal prompt, and you can if you prefer write your own lyrics or edit the ones Suno came up with. Being a silly learning technologist rather than a serious teacher, I preferred to see what Suno could come up with, creating a series of songs about famous philosophers, my favourites being “From the Warring States” (Gangsta rap about Mencius and Lord Shang) and “Auf dem Bergen mit Martin Heidegger” (the language was unintentional – I asked Suno for a German folk song, and it assumed reasonably that I wanted a Gemrna folk song in German). If you are going to use it educationally, though, it’s probably better to write your own lyrics. Unfortunately, prompt length is limited: it would be great to use another AI tool to summarise the main points of a text and feed that into a Suno prompt!

Suno is free to use, but like Midjourney, the free version limits the number of songs you can generate per day – not a big problem unless you need to generate lots of content. The one drawback that did annoy me is that clips are very short, and although you can stitch several together to make a longer song, it’s a hassle. But agina, that’s not a major problem if you just want to have something fun to click on at the end of each module or add a musical finale to your course podcast.

Robin Turner
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Robin Turner

Until recently, EAP instructor and Moodle systems administrator at Bilkent University, Ankara, now Learning Technologist at the Global Banking School's London Greenford campus. Interested in educational technology and gamification/game-based learning.

One thought on “Singing with Suno

  • blank Stuart Mealor

    Interesting post – I hadn’t heard of Suno before.
    You are right of course, teachers, and all of us, are influenced by the ‘shiny and new’.
    As a musician, and artist, I find most AI attempts at creativity to be lacking.
    Of course, like digital photographer and processing, things will change in the future.


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