Music to Encourage the Wild Rumpus

I’ve posted before about music to soothe the savage beasts in your classroom, but sometimes, I like to play more up-tempo music. It makes the classroom have an air of fun, and it can encourage students when working on tough work, or when doing something monotonous (like coloring for a batik).

The issue is that SO MUCH music is totally inappropriate for the classroom! Even music I know my students listen to on the radio in their parent’s cars is not something I want to play for them in the classroom. In order to compile a great playlist for your classroom you have to listen to each and every song because no one wants to be surprised when the music drops a “hell” in the middle of your kindergarten art class! And, that take a lot of time.
I have a great oldies playlist that gets a lot of rotation in my classroom, and it still took a long time to compile that music. You’d be surprised how many oldies songs use “hell” and/or sing about things that I’m not really looking to explain to elementary students (Let’s Get It On –hello! etc.). But, the other issue is that I have to live with the playlist day-in and day-out too.
I love oldies, but even I can only handle so many playings in a day of Yesterday before I get a little nutty. Seriously.
Which is part of the reason I love the show Glee so much! I watch Glee every week, and I get to preview songs and be entertained at the same time. Ha! Love it. The great thing about the show is that they use so many songs that reach across genres and have a large margin of likability. The other aspect of the music that is great for my classroom is that it is retooled for prime-time TV, and that means most of the foul language is removed. Sure, there are songs that aren’t good for an elementary classroom, but they are more obvious. Which, you probably already know because you watch the show, right? 🙂
This year, I’ve been working-on and adding to a more modern playlist for my classroom. The kids LOVE it, and I like it because it helps diversify what I get to listen to all day (selfish, but true). Do you have any playlists for your classroom? I’d love to know what you play! Here are some of my favorites from it:
Rumor Has it Adele
Someone Like You Adele
Zoot Suit Riot Squirrel Nut Zippers
Dog Days Are Over Glee Cast
Fire Glee Cast
Another One Bites the Dust Glee Cast
Hey Soul Sister Glee Cast
The Time of My Life Glee Cast
Ice Ice Baby Glee Cast
Losing My Religion Glee Cast
One Love Glee Cast
Teenage Dream Glee Cast
Valerie Glee Cast
I Love Rock n Roll Joan Jett
Crimson and Clover Joan Jett
Cry Me a River Michael Buble
All Of Me Michael Buble
Georgia On My Mind Michael Buble
Last Kiss Pearl Jam
Under The Sea Squirrel Nut Zippers (great cover of the Disney song)
I’ll Stand By You The Pretenders
Don’t Stand So Close to Me The Police
True Colors Cyndi Lauper
Crush Jennifer Page
Lean On Me Bill Withers
Ain’t No Sunshine Bill Withers
Your Song Ewan McGregor from the Moulin Rouge Soundtrack
Faithfully Glee Cast
Don’t Stop Believin’ Glee Cast (I have the Journey version too)
Over the Rainbow Glee Cast
Big Yellow Taxi Counting Crows

4 thoughts on “Music to Encourage the Wild Rumpus”

  1. I've been playing They Might Be Giants' kids cds pretty much non-stop lately. I ordered a couple of the Songs in the Key of Art cds this year and those are ok once in a while. I have The Best of REM and that cd is good, just had to delete “Bad Day”. I also played a Cake cd last year and the Twilight soundtrack. I bought the Twilight soundtrack because I liked the music but I quit playing it when it creeped me out that 1st graders were coming up to me and saying “did you know in the 4th book Edward and Bella have a baby?” Yes I did. But you are waaaay too young for those books! I, too, love Glee. Glee is the only reason I'm familiar with any new music since my car radio is always set on classic rock!

  2. I also like They Might be Giants, and oh, you mentioned the Squirrel Nut Zippers – LOVE them!!I have some Putumayo CD's, and especially like the World Playground ones, plus a New Orleans Playground. The kids love them. My son made me lots of CD's for the art room before he went off to college, but they are getting a little tiring. But they are fun, upbeat,and school-friendly. A sampling of of the songs on them (at least what I can recall at the moment): Delilah (Plain White T's), Banana Pancakes, and Constellation (Jack Johnson), Picture Book (the Kinks), World Spins Madly On (the WeePees), The Mollusk (Ween), songs by Matt Costa, and so many more. Also he always throws on in between things, some silly songs: Purple People Eater, Monster Mash, Ghostbusters, FishHeads (the kids LOVE this), and Psycho Chicken (the kids crack up at this one). When I play music, the rule is you need to dance to get anywhere in the room. It's so cute watching the kids dance their way to the sink! (Oh and I love Glee too!)

  3. Ladies! Thank you so much for sharing your favorites with me! I hadn't thought of some of them and now I'm eager to incorporate!Phyl, I LOVE the idea of “you must dance” when walking across the room when music is on! How much fun!!

  4. Thanks so much for the ideas. I've used a pile of cds I inherited from my grandma. You'd be surprised how many kids will comment “My papa listens to Nat King Cole.” I've also used my own kids to listen carefully for any words I've missed. I'd rather spend my time planning lessons than play song police. Your song ideas really help!

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