I don’t know about you but as a primary teacher I’m always looking for ways to include songs and music in my classroom. Perhaps I’m biased, but I know the benefits that it can bring – greater concentration, better listening skills and a feeling of belonging to name a few. Settling children down when they first come into class in the morning can be tricky and I wanted something to bring order out of the ‘chaos’ without resorting to raising my voice or using hand signals. I’m always searching for primary songs online to help me support the curriculum but after spending precious time searching for motivational songs for primary children, I found that there were very few relevant fun, educational songs out there that could be downloaded instantly for me to use – hence the reason why I set up Primary Songs in the first place! As I pondered this, I realized that what was needed was a short, positive, energetic song that set the tone for the day and would become this settling tool. So I set about writing one and this resulted in the Key Stage 2 song ‘Good Morning!’, which I have used nearly every day for the past school year! Most children enter the classroom in a fairly good frame of mind but there are some who don’t for a variety of reasons and I have found that this song really helps them to develop a more positive approach to the day ahead.
It lasts for 43 seconds and is easy to learn using the PowerPoint screen words. You could teach the song in a relatively short amount of time using the lead sheet and a piano/keyboard(even a tablet!) or simply put the vocal track on for the class to listen to and eventually, over time, they will pick it up. I used the vocal track with to sing along to for the first term and gradually introduced the backing track without vocals in the Spring Term so that all children were confident by this time. Initially I let them move their bodies freely to the song and then after about half a term the class decided on some set movements that they could all do, which helped to reinforce the words, gave them a sense of belonging and provided an extra bit of fun! My class particularly enjoyed using the instrumental ending to really ‘let loose’ and shouted their year group loudly to finish. I found that over the year not only did the children’s singing improve but their attitude did too, and the fact that more oxygen reached their brains through singing meant that a few sleepyheads were woken up ready to start work! The children soon got into the routine of sitting quietly for the register once the song had finished, so there was no need for me to intervene. When all the children had entered the classroom (we have a staggered entry over 10 minutes), I simply started the track on my laptop with the audio coming through the speakers so, again I didn’t need to gain the children’s attention. So there you have it – how to get the day off to a positive start without straining your own voice! Perhaps you would like to use Primary Songs ‘Good Morning’ to start your school day? If you do, then please let me know how you get on. Happy singing!