Cue Card # 11: Describe your favourite song or piece of music

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card # 11

Describe your favourite song or piece of music.

You should say:

  • what music or song it is
  • how often do you listen to it
  • who is the singer

and explain why this is your favourite song/ piece of music.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:

It was the year 1991, I believe, if my memory serves me well. I was living and studying in Cyprus. Trying to gather some war news (1st gulf war between the USA and Iraq), I was flipping TV channels one after another. Then suddenly, I stopped pushing the buttons of the TV remote controller. I stopped not because I finally found the TV channel that I was searching for, but because I heard a very distinguished musical melody in a very distinguishable musical voice, which certainly meant to transcend generations and all kinds of song genres in my opinion. Immediately, I became fond of pop music (some will call it “rock”) which, up until then, never really gained much attention from me.

Needless to say, since that day, I have heard that song, composed and sung by Phil Collins, numerous times only to rediscover its musical appeal anew with its perfect melody, rhythm and harmony.

The song titled “I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh lord” was a solo single in debut, released in January 1981. The song remains one of Phil Collins’ best-known hits of all time. Please understand that I am no music expert by any stretch of the imagination, but, until I heard this song, I never really knew that a song could be sung from such a low pitch to a high pitch in such a perfect manner. I also dare to suggest, this song probably would never sound quite the same had it been sung by another artist probably because the author, singer and drummer are the same person – Phil Collins. I have heard this song probably millions of times and it still offers a sensation to my ear and heart.

Am I exaggerating my experience as far as the singer/song is concerned? Perhaps so, but then again, who says that everything has to be said in fair and square terms when you are in love with something? Don’t they say that everything is fair in love and war? Oh, talking about love, Phil Collins wrote and sang this song after a bitter divorce from his first wife if we must know the historical background of this song.

Finally, if I don’t talk about the drum beats used in this song, it will be a great injustice to one of the greatest musical feats ever achieved in the entire musical history by a singer-cum-drummer. According to some critics, this song is especially famous for his drum break towards the end, which has been described as “the sleekest, most melodramatic drum break in history” and one of the “101 Greatest Drumming Moments”. To conclude “Jai ho” (hail, Phil Collins!) in the words of another world-famous music composer and singer, A. R. Rahman.

Model Answer 2:

Music has always been an important part of my life, and it still is. This is why I am so glad to have this topic. I would, therefore, like to thank you for the opportunity to let me talk about my favourite music.

What music or song it is:
Well, it was tough to decide on my favourite music or song as it has changed over time, and it was always an inner battle of mine to single out a single song from the many excellent pieces of music which I love. But, here I will speak from my heart and say that “Always on My Mind” by Elvis Presley is my favourite song that will always remain special in my mind and heart. Originally written by the songwriting trio, Wayne Carson, Johnny Christopher, and Mark James, “Always on My Mind” narrates the tale of a man who eventually confesses that despite not always doing the things he should have to show how much he appreciates the woman he loves, he wants her to know he never stops thinking about her.

How often do you listen to it:
There was a time when I used to listen to Elvis Presley’s songs at least 30 minutes a day, sometimes exceeding 6 or 7 hours a day. On such a day, during my college years, I used to listen to this song at least 4 or 5 times. Nowadays, I perhaps listen to this masterpiece at least once a week.

Who is the singer:
The singer of this classical timeless song needs no introduction. He is none other than the King of Rock and Roll – “Elvis Aaron Presley”, more famously known as simply Elvis Presley, who was an American singer. He is considered to be one of the top-three most popular celebrities of all time and one of the most significant cultural icons of modern times.

And explain why this is your favourite song/ piece of music:
The first time I listened to this song, I felt that it was written exclusively for me. It gave me a sensational feeling and told the story of a man whom I could relate to and understand- because that person was “me”! Nothing could better express my inner feeling at that time when I was going through an intricate time of turbulence. This is still a masterpiece and a timeless love song that will be cherished by millions of people – including me – throughout their whole life.


For this speaking topic, you can talk about any song that you like, or that has a special meaning or place in your life. Since it asks you to talk about your favourite piece of song or music, you should mention that song or piece of music to be your favourite. You can talk about a song from your language or from any other country in a different language. You can also talk about your national anthem, a patriotic song, a classical song that you love, a song that inspires you (that could be rap or hip-hop, metal, folk, pop or from any other genre), a musical, an instrumental, or even something that your mom used to hum to you in your childhood. There is simply no limit to it.

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