The new school year is almost upon us, and for school-aged children, that means new classes, new friends, a fresh set of pencils, and for many, lots of anxiety around changing schedules and routines!
Music has a unique way of helping us remember important information (like the ABCs) while also bringing us comfort or joy (through a favorite song or a lullaby). Listen & Learn Music has many songs featuring a “back to school” theme with lyrics that can help children ease into the new school year.
Some of the goals addressed in these songs:
- Improve social skills
- Increase social interactions
- Increase group cohesion
“That Yellow Bus” introduces the steps to riding on the bus. Each verse details when it’s time to get on or off the bus and ends with fun lyrics about finger-snapping and toe-tapping. Essentially, “That Yellow Bus” is a social story in song form, which can easily be supplemented with visuals for children who benefit from them.
In “Off to School”, the verses explain the days students attend school, things to bring, and school classes. This song has so many details about the school week and may help children know what to expect when they go to school. Lyrics can be easily be modified, and in the past, I’ve used this song as a musical schedule and created verses for each day of the week.
“Sit With Me Maybe” (based on the Carly Rae Jepsen hit “Call Me Maybe”) is probably the catchiest goal-oriented song ever. This song models social situations and language that students can utilize when approaching new friends on the playground or at lunch time. The chorus is so catchy that my students are sure to remember it and can use lyrics as reminders of what to say when they want to sit next to a friend at lunch.
“Music Classtime Band” (adapted from the classic “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”) brings everyone together in what I like to call an “instrument jam”. Each child in the group has an opportunity to make instrument choices and then play along with their friends in a “Music Classtime Band”.
Collaborative instrument playing is a meaningful social experience, as well as an opportunity for each child to play a solo and choose a friend with whom to play or switch instruments. Talk about a fun way to start the school year!
These four songs are excellent resources for easing the transition from summer vacation to the new school year. For children who might struggle with the changes that the new school year brings, these songs can help them prepare for what’s coming in a fun and motivating way.
Tell me in the comments below: what are the biggest challenges for your students when it comes to the new school year?
You can listen to all of these songs in their entirety right here. Lyrics, chords, mp3, and instrumental track for these original songs are available for download right here. As is the case for all Listen & Learn Music creations, we invite you to adapt these songs as needed to best serve your students and/or clients.