Monday, August 22, 2016

Songs of the Month

When I first began teaching 23 years ago (yikes!) I didn't keep track of song repertoire the way I do now.  I also often felt pressed to sing lots of songs (still do) but would only sing them once or twice and then be done with that song.  Now I keep a list of repertoire learned and frequently revisit songs. I also try to "double dip" concepts and skills and repeat songs learned in previous grades but with a focus on a different concept.  That So Mi song that has Do, Re, Mi at the ending may be great for SM in Kindergarten, but also works beautifully in first for DRM. 
I have a lot of different ways to start music class, see the post here about Musical Moments to Start Class, but one thing I really love to do is a "Song of the Month" (SOM) for each grade level. 
I have found SOM also helps students to "change gears".

Opening songs set the stage for musical learning, provide a warm-up for the voice and the brain, and offer a predictable, structural transition to music class.

The song we sing may or may not be connected to the specific concepts or skills we are working on. An opening song is not the focus of the lesson and should not take up more than a few minutes. I see my students on a 4 day rotation, so 1 to 2 times a week depending on the week.  You could certainly sing these for 6 to 8 weeks, depending on how frequently you see your students (and how sick of the song they or you get!). 

Here are a few ideas for grades K-1:

  • Hello, Hello

Thanks to Katie Traxler for introducing this one to me.
I am not sure of the source, but it is a familiar tune to all of us music folks!
It is performed in a circle with partners facing each other and is a changing partner song/dance. 

  • Hey, There, Friend

(Another thanks to Katie for this one on her youtube channel, I changed the word "glorious" to "wonderful".  My kindies LOVE this!  I am not sure of the source, if you know, please let me know.   

  • Hello

This is one I wrote late last week for my littles. 


Grades 2 through 4

  • Bow Wow Wow

My 2nd graders love this song and dance.  I love the giggles each time they turn around to find a new partner! 


  • Chocolate, Chocolate

Third graders enjoy this song about chocolate!  We often add a "B" section with composed rhythms created from, what else, chocolate!  Kit Kat, Hersheys, Peanut butter cup!  


  • Boom Snap Clap

Fourth graders love this as it sounds like "beat boxing"!  They love the challenge of it and that there are "levels" of play.  This is in my book, Hands to Hands, available here. 
  •  To Stop the Train

Another of my favorites! Love the way Rob Amchin processes this with movement first!


  1. Love the song "Hello." Introducing the D note on the piano will go perfectly with the song. Especially showing D in the middle of the 2 black keys. (dog house) Thanks for sharing!

    1. So glad you liked the song! Have fun using it with your students!

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