Describe Your Favorite Piece of Music: IELTS Speaking (2 Cue Cards With Example Answers)

If you’re asked to describe your favorite piece of music in part two of your IELTS Speaking test, there are many ways to answer. Here are some tips on how to get a band-seven score, including two cue cards with example answers (go straight to the answers here).

What You Can Say

First, choose a piece of music you like and can talk about for two minutes. You can then say:

  • What kind of music it is
  • Who wrote it (or who composed it)
  • Who performs it
  • Why you like this piece of music so much
  • How it makes you feel 
  • Where and when you first heard it
  • How often you listen to it
  • Where and when you listen to it
  • Why you like the lyrics (if there are any lyrics)
  • What you know about the meaning of the piece of music
  • What you know about the musician or performer
  • Why you like that genre of music
  • If you’ve ever seen it performed live
  • Similar music you like 
  • Anything else that comes to mind

Focus on Vocabulary

In part two, the best way to get a good score is to focus on using interesting vocabulary. 

To make this easier, you can prepare word groups.

A word group is a collection of 15 or 20 interesting words and phrases that describe a particular characteristic of someone or something.

For example, a ‘spacious place’ word group might include, ‘spacious, roomy, commodious, bright and airy, plenty of room to breathe, well-ventilated, enough space to swing a cat…’ and more. 

You could then use this ‘spacious place’ word group in your answer to many different part-two questions. For example:

  • Describe your home
  • Describe a place you want to travel to
  • Describe a place you visited before 
  • Describe a place full of color
  • Describe a quiet place you like to go
  • And many more ‘place’ questions

In the example answers below, you’ll see two word groups in use: the ‘sadly moving’ word group and the ‘uplifting thing’ word group (learn more about word groups here). 

Use Anki App to Memorize Words

A very efficient and effective way to memorize word groups is by using a flashcard app like Anki App. 

You can also use other apps like Elsa and Cake to further improve your English for IELTS Speaking.

Tell Stories

Another important tip for part two is to tell a story or two. 

If you prepare a story related to music, you will find it easier to keep talking while you describe this memory. 

With a story, you also show the examiner that you can use the past tenses well (past simple, past continuous, past perfect…). And each story you learn can be used for various different part-two questions.

For this question about a piece of music, you might think of a story about:

  • When you first heard this music
  • How it influenced your life
  • How it helped you somehow
  • What or who it reminds you of
  • A special event where you heard this music played
  • If you’ve ever seen it played live
  • A recent time when you listened to it
  • Anything else you can think of

Example Answers

Let’s take a look at two good answers to this question. See what ideas you can borrow for your own answer.

Music Cue Card One

Describe your favorite piece of music.

You should say:

  • Who wrote or composed this piece of music
  • How it makes you feel
  • How often you listen to it

What makes it such a good piece of music.

That’s a difficult question, but I think I’m going to talk about a song by Adele called ‘Easy On Me.’ It’s a beautiful, heartfelt ballad recently released by Adele, who I’m a big fan of. 

I love this song, firstly, because the piano music and melody are really lovely to listen to. Also, the lyrics of the song are very poetic and beautiful, just like all of Adele’s music. It’s a very poignant, moving song. When I listen to it, it often brings a tear to my eye, and it also brings up sad memories, but I quite like that because it helps me to express my feelings from some more sorrowful moments in my life. 

As I understand it, the song is about Adele trying to recover after a difficult divorce. So she’s asking people to go ‘easy on her’ because she’s still recovering. I’ve had some similar sad experiences in the past. And so this song really makes me feel nostalgic and wistful, remembering better times in the past. Maybe it’s strange, but sometimes it’s nice to feel sad and melancholic. 

I first heard this song when it was released last year. I was driving to work and it came on the radio. Since then, I’ve listened to it hundreds of times and I think it really helped me get over a difficult time I was having last year. I feel like Adele is singing about my own experience. So whenever I feel blue, I listen to ‘Easy On Me,’ and afterward I feel a little better. 

Adele has been one of my favorite singers for many years now. I think she’s inspirational, and many of her songs are really touching and sentimental. I’d love to see her perform live one day. 

(Word Group Used: ‘Sadly Moving Thing’)

Moving, Touching, Emotional, Poignant, Poetic, Wistful, Heartfelt, Melancholic, Nostalgic, Depressing, Heart-rending, Brings a tear to my eye, Brought me to tears, Sentimental, Breathtaking, Sorrowful, Somber, Beautifully touching, Reminds me of sadder times, Brings up sad memories, Helps me to feel and express my sadness, I listen to it whenever I feel blue.

See many more word groups here.

Music Cue Card Two

Describe your favorite piece of music.

You should say:

  • What it’s called
  • What genre of music it is
  • When you first heard it

Why it’s your favorite piece of music.

I’m going to talk about a piece called ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ by a classical composer named Korsakov. I think this is my favorite piece of music because it’s so wonderfully exhilarating and glorious to listen to. 

It’s such a clever, fast-paced, invigorating piece. And the pianist who plays it needs to be incredibly skillful. I find that Flight of the Bumblebee really lifts my spirits every time I listen to it. It really cheers me up if I’m feeling a little lazy or moody or blue. 

I’ve been a fan of classical music since I was a child. My father used to listen to all sorts of classical composers, such as Beethoven, Bach, Wagner, and Korsakov. So whenever I listen to these classical pieces I feel calm and clear-minded and I remember many happy, heartwarming childhood memories. I remember one time my brother and I used to dash around the room like bumblebees while this music was playing. It was a lot of fun. That time of my life was full of joy. 

Flight of the Bumblebee always puts a smile on my face. It’s very cheerful and uplifting and heartening, and I think everyone recognizes it. It’s one of the more famous and popular classical pieces because it’s so feel-good and merry. It makes you think of a playful bee flying around as fast as it can. 

I think classical music is my favorite kind of music because it’s so intelligent and beautifully made. I feel calm and at peace when I listen to classical music. And it never fails to put a smile on my face. 

(Word Group Used: ‘Uplifting Thing’)

Uplifting, Cheerful, Joyful, Catchy, Heartening, Feel-good, Heartwarming, Full of joy, Merry, Invigorating, Glorious, Exhilarating, Encouraging, Inspiring, Rousing, Touching, Moving, Lifts my spirits, Really cheers me up, Never fails to cheer me up, Fills my heart with joy, Puts a smile on my face, I do it whenever I feel a bit blue, Can’t get it out of my head.

Now, It’s Your Turn!

The very best way to prepare for IELTS Speaking is, of course, to practice answering the questions yourself. 

So, choose a word group now, or create your own. Choose vocabulary that could describe the music you like. 

Also, think of a story or two related to your favorite music.

Then set up the recorder on your phone. This is so you can listen to your answer and try to improve it each time. 

Give yourself one minute to prepare. Then try to speak for two whole minutes without pausing or hesitating.

Try to use as many of the interesting words in your word group as you can. 

This is one of the best ways to get ready for part two of your IELTS Speaking test. 

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