Get your primary children singing before 9.00 am!


children singing

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.

Primarysongs logo

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!

Great songs that primary children love to sing!

As a practicing primary teacher I’m always on the lookout for great songs that inspire children and enhance their learning. There is nothing better than seeing children’s faces light up with enjoyment and personalities coming to life with the right song while, at the same time, knowing that learning in other curriculum areas is taking place.

Until fairly recently, finding suitable songs meant a visit to the local music shop (or 20 mile round trip in my case!) and browsing through various compilations, collections and musicals, or trawling through publisher’s weighty catalogues. Sometimes I would strike it lucky but most often than not I would end up buying a book of songs and only using two or perhaps three songs.

Throughout my teaching career I have always written my own songs (I twice reached the finals of the HTV Carol Competition having just started teaching) and since then, many colleagues have told me over the years that I should get them published. However, with the demands of teaching I just didn’t get round to it.

With new technology together with the internet I really saw the potential for my songs to reach a wider audience and after collaborating with a colleague a few years ago to create ten successful songs in the Welsh language for primary teachers in Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire, I was inspired to explore this new exciting direction. I had an enormous amount of fun composing new songs, re-energising some older ones and creating backing tracks as well as converting them into digital format using mp3s, PDFs and PPTs etc.; so that they could be instantly made available via download. And that is the essence of my website; fun songs that children really enjoy singing that support important areas of learning and are instantly accessible, with everything a teacher needs to give a great performance!

You don’t even need to be a music or vocal specialist as all songs come with audio tracks of the piano accompaniment if you don’t have a pianist, and more songs now have audio tracks with vocals to either sing-along to or to help you really get to know them before you teach them.

So as my first blog post comes to an end I look forward to providing you with an ever-growing selection of great songs written especially for primary aged children. Please let me know your thoughts about them and although I have lots of ideas buzzing around in my head, I always appreciate any suggestions for new material.