Music. It has the ability to make us feel emotions like joy, inspiration, gratitude, and more. We listen to it at home, in our cars, at the grocery store, and sometimes in the classroom. Many teachers say that music in the classroom helps reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, increase focus and engagement, and even improve behavior. Makes sense, right? We’ve all had days when we’re exhausted, worn down, or upset and just hearing our favorite song INSTANTLY boosts our mood. Here’s what a few teachers had to say about music in the classroom:
“I love it! I play it while they are writing or doing their seatwork. Great for transitions and of course dance stretch breaks!”-Olivia T.
“I use instrumental music during writing and the students will sometimes ask for it during independent work and center rotations.”-Ali L.
“I love having music in the classroom. However, I don’t play it while I’m teaching. But I do play it while the kids are working on stations or other work!”-Lindsay C.
“I think some nice calming music really helps them settle down and stay in their seats. Their focus and behavior were way better. Music really sets the mood in the classroom. Sometimes I let a student choose one.”-Rachel C.
I’ve compiled a list of 15 Spotify artists and playlists for primary you can try out in your classroom TODAY! There’s a little bit of everything; pop, rock, classical, hip-hop, even some Jamaican vibes thrown in! Make sure to check out #2, #4, #7, and #11.
PLAYLIST #1 – OLDIES CLASSROOM PLAYLIST
This playlist was designed by Miss Bensko, a middle school science teacher and educational Rockstar. Her playlist is filled with amazing classics like You Make My Dreams Come True, Love Train, and I Wanna Dance with Somebody. These tunes will have you and your students swaying all day.
#2 – THE PIANO GUYS
Exactly like the name states, these guys play the piano but to songs that you and your students will recognize. Some of their hits include A Thousand Years, Just the Way You Are, and the Avengers theme song.
PLAYLIST #3 – VITAMIN STRING QUARTET
Similar to our Piano Guys above, the Vitamin String Quartet takes everyday hits but recreates them using their own style. I love how these songs are familiar but I don’t have to worry about any lyrics that are questionable.
#4 – JACK JOHNSON
Specifically Jack Johnson and Friends (13 Songs for Curious George). Happy beats, joyful lyrics, all centered around a smooth melody that you and your students will adore! My personal favorite from this playlist is Upside Down. (It’s also my 2 year old’s favorite.)
PLAYLIST #5 – THIS IS DISNEY
This playlist is pretty self-explanatory. It’s filled with Disney favorites to keep you “wishing upon a star” all day. A few on the playlist include Into the Unknown from Frozen 2, Go the Distance from Hercules, and Reflection from Mulan.
Again we’ve got an outstanding playlist by Miss Bensko (she’s seriously amazing at this). Love movie soundtracks but can never remember the song titles? No worries, Miss Bensko created the perfect playlist for you! Go see for yourself!
PLAYLIST #7 – ZDOT INSTRUMENTAL WORLD 2
Be prepared to have your kids bebopping left and right to this playlist. My third graders would CHEER when I turned this on for our “Around the Room” games. They would break out their favorite moves while answering math questions. Again, I love the instrumental aspect so lyrics are not a worry and the beat is INCREDIBLE! You have to check it out, especially Wolf Pack.
#8 – LECHE CON CHOCOLATE
Does your classroom have a lot of Spanish speaking students? Leche Con Chocolate is a fabulous playlist of both English and Spanish tracks that are all kid-friendly!
PLAYLIST #9 – HIP HOPSCOTCH AND REGGAE RECESS
Is hip hop your jam? Maybe you connect with the Reggae Trolls in Trolls World Tour. If you’re thinking, “yeah, that’s totally me” then this playlist has your name ALL OVER IT! Filled with kid-friendly songs like Girls Run Everything and Hiphop-O-Potamus, this playlist has the beats to last all day.
#10 – ROCK YOUR SCHOOL
I seriously could write an entire blog on playlists from Miss Bensko alone. She has a way of creating playlists that you and your students will love! Got a big test coming up or are conferences around the corner? Get your students jazzed and ready to rock with her Rock Your School playlist!
PLAYLIST #11 – JAMAICAN STEEL BAND
Need I say more? It’s Jamaican, it’s steel drums, it’s island vibes no matter where your classroom is located. My own children can’t get enough of these tracks too! (Just a heads up, you might find yourself listening to this at home while making some weekend beverages. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
#12 – PUMP UP CLASSROOM JAMS
You guessed it, Miss Bensko again with a heart-pounding, feet grooving, head bobbing playlist to PUMP YOU UP! Songs like One Foot, Magic, and Dynamite will have you hooked! Is your classroom doing a Reading March Madness? If so, this playlist is just what you need to set the mood!
PLAYLIST #13 – ELIZABETH MITCHELL
Elizabeth Mitchell is a funky folk-rock singer with some smooth sounds to accompany her. Check her out if you’re interested in a more relaxed feel (think coffeehouse) for tunes in your classroom. I am sure you’ll love her!
#14 – OCEAN SOUNDS
Who doesn’t love the ocean? Not sand, just the ocean. I have a love/hate relationship with sand, somehow it ends up everywhere. (Side note, baby powder is the KEY to removing sand off kiddos.) If you’re like me and love the ocean, then this Ocean Sounds Playlist is for you! Soothing waves crashing on the shore, the occasional Seagull in the background, so peaceful.
PLAYLIST #15 – THIS IS TAUREN WELLS
Need a little music to make you feel better? Maybe you actually get to have your planning time one day and want some vibes to cheer you up. Whatever your reason, this playlist is full of songs by artist Tauren Wells and is sure to lift your spirits.
“This list needs Emily Arrow! She writes songs based off of children’s books. They’re light, happy, and the kids LOVE them!” -Stephanie S. After receiving this suggestion, of course I had to check her out! The first song I listened to was We Are Enough and it is adorable! Definitely check her out for light-hearted lyrics and soft beats!
Whatever your musical preference, I hope you can use one of these (or multiple) in your classroom. Happy grooving! If you have any other suggestions for Spotify artists and playlists for primary, be sure to let us know in the comments. Visit Spotify.com to get started for free.
Written by: Heather Wagoner
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