The hallway outside of Room 2130 at Richland High School reverberated with the sounds of electric guitars and teen voices Wednesday morning.
No, students weren't throwing a party -- they were studying German grammar.
Inside the classroom, students sat on desks belting out the words to Perfekte Welle, a song by the German rock band Juli.
Posters of green-haired rockers holding drumsticks adorned the walls.
But when the last guitar chord of the Teutonic teen hit faded away, teacher Jennifer Hesse reviewed how verb clauses are constructedin the uptempo song.
Richland High's German teacher isn't the only foreign-language instructor to use music in the classroom. But she is one of the few anywhere who use current hit songs from the language's home country to teach grammar.
Her unique approach earned Hesse a presenter spot at the annual conference of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, held in Denver two weeks ago.
She also lectured on her method at a recent meetings for German teachers from around the state and for Washington foreign-language teachers.
Others are interested in her rock 'n' roll approach for a simple reason -- it works.
Hesse came up with the idea of using catchy pop hits to teach a language governed by notoriously difficult rules while getting her master's degree in Austria.
The Moses Lake native found herself fluently singing along with German pop songs. "I thought, 'If I can get them in my head that quickly, so could a student,' " she said.
She started developing lesson plans to teach grammar using only music. A first-year college class was her first test lab.
"They did so amazingly well on their test that I decided it had to be brought to the high school level," Hesse said.
Students more easily remember the complex sentence structures through hum-able songs, she said. They also pick up contemporary vocabulary and culture along the way.
And singing along to tunes in class lowers students' inhibitions. They're less afraid to mispronounce words while a rock tune is crashing away in the background.
Hesse takes a poll at the beginning of each semester to survey students' musical tastes. She then tailors her playlist to offer a little bit for everyone in class.
You can't please every teen every day when it comes to music, of course.
A student this semester couldn't stand a particular song and blocked it out. "He's not doing well on his homework," Hesse said.
The boy now will get a chance to review the material with another tune to catch up.
Students never are tested on the words or hidden meanings of particular songs. Only the grammatical concepts used in the lyrics matter in the test.
Students appreciate the teacher -- whom they call Frau -- and her wacky tunes.
"(The material) is easier to understand when it's through music," said Amethyst Parsons, 17.
It can be tricky to know which version of the German equivalent of the word "the" to use in front of a noun. Thinking of which one is used in a song's lyrics does the trick every time, said Shondra Hines, 15.
And nobody needs to worry about musical talent while singing along in grammar class.
"If you're not in tune, that's OK," Hesse said. "And if anyone makes fun of you, they're the ones who will be losing points."