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Songs of the Month

Once upon a time I nearly had a music teacher breakdown.  It wasn’t because of the increasingly difficult amount of paperwork, the political takeover of education or even challenging students.  One April I looked back at the number of songs my kids had learned in a year and was flabbergasted by how FEW there were for some grade levels.  One grade had only learned 15 songs (that included songs for two concerts).  Now, they had composed, improvised, explored, played keyboards and more but they didn’t sing too much more than that.  YIKES!
It was then and there that I devised a plan to remedy that.  There is such a wealth of folk songs, seasonal songs and more that I could not allow this to happen again.  I sat down and devised a plan for Song of the Week.
My plan was to introduce a song (folk song, patriotic, children’s tune, MK8 favorite, camp song, etc…) every week.  I knew that it would be a little tricky because at that time I was teaching Preschool through 8th grades.  I decided that some classes would just “experience” the song.  Some weeks that meant that PK-2 used the song as a way to keep steady beat and/or explore movement or form.  Some weeks that meant that 7th and 8th Graders used that song to identify pitch names, add rhythmic ostinatos or sang it as a warm-up. 
I used a rainy day to compose a list of songs that I might like to use and I sketched a few bulletin board possibilities.  I wanted to create a display so that when we had a few minutes at the end of class we could pick some of our favorite songs of the week to sing.  Here are a few that I've tried over the years.

When I started song of the week I saw my classes for 30 minutes twice a week.  When my schedule changed to see my kiddos just once a week for 50 minutes, I needed a new plan.  I would sometimes go a couple of weeks without seeing a group (especially if they saw me on Fridays).  So, Song of the Week became Song of the Month.  This worked well because students could sing or “experience” the song a few times that month.  They were still getting about 10 “bonus” songs every year and I was thrilled that my whole school new many classics!
Some Ideas for Songs of the Month
Star-Spangled Banner (every August, every class)
She’ll Be Comin’ Around the Mountain
The Apple Song (MK8)
My Aunt Came Back
Wheels on the Bus
I Love the Mountains
Eight Legs (MK8)
There’s a Spider on the Floor
Grandma’s Feather Bed
Pumpkin March (MK8)
Over the River and Through the Woods
Mashed Potatoes (MK8)
Jingle Bells
Something patriotic for Veteran’s Day
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Christmas Makes Me Sing (MK8)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Frosty the Snowman
Mary Had a Baby
Joy to the World
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean
Oh What a Beautiful Morning
What a Wonderful World
Let Me Call You Sweetheart
Follow the Drinking Gourd
Wade in the Water
Peace Like a River
Music Alone Shall Live
I’ve Got Rhythm
Music is Always There (MK8)
Over the Rainbow
Danny Boy
Old Irish Blessing (MK8)
Red River Valley
Take Me Home, Country Roads
You are My Sunshine
The Bunny Hop
You Make Me Smile (MK8)
This Land is Your Land
Oh Susanna
Home on the Range
Cat Came Back
American Tears
I know that some of these songs seem random.  *shrugging*  They may be chosen for the month based on a holiday or theme or may just be songs I like doing around that time of the year.  That’s the beauty of Songs of the Month.
Do you do Songs of the Week/Month?  What are your favorites?  Let me know in the comments.

I've created a set of posters that you may like for your songs.  Sometimes I'll use the "Song of the Day" poster and just leave it up for the month.
 Music of the Day Posters

This year I am using this bulletin board to record our Songs of the Month.  I’m just writing the name of the song(s) on each sheet with a dry erase marker.  I’ve laminated them so I can save them and use them for something else if I want.  You can snag them here.

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1 comment:

  1. I began this year to use a poster and write (yes, I know, how old-fashioned) songs for each grade level as we learn them. Once in a while we have a "sing-along" and sing some of our old songs and some of our new. This keeps me in check and helps me to add some favorite game songs like "Round da doo Bop", "Bluebird", "Singing in the Rain (camp song)", and "Highland Gates". All the kiddos love these classics and it's nice for a quick 2-3 minute activity at the end of song or a brain break/energizer in the middle of a tired class.