Believe it or not, I’m one of those crazy people that gets up and goes to the gym at 5 am. It sounds completely awful, I know; but I love getting a jump start on my day and having my workout finished before most people are even out of bed. Besides a really loud alarm clock placed strategically out of my reach, there is only one thing that keeps me going every day: music.

I have filled my little iPod shuffle with songs that I know will keep me moving from the second I step onto the treadmill, through all of my strength training reps, to my cardio cool-down at the end. A few current favorites are the Black Eyed Peas, Michael Jackson, All American Rejects, and Kelly Clarkson.

Music is a great way to motivate my students and keep them moving, as well. As a music therapist, I always forget how useful recorded music can be – in fact, I was just having this conversation with another music therapist recently. I have been trying to use it to my advantage more lately, and I am being reminded that it can really give my students the push to do their work and meet their goals.

So here is a little list of the songs on my iPod that my students are digging, and that they will work extra hard to hear at the end of their session:

The Jungle Book – “Bare Necessities”
High School Musical – “We’re All in This Together”
High School Musical 2 – “You are the Music in Me”
Laurie Berkner Band – “Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz)”
Alvin & the Chipmunks – “Witch Doctor”
Smashmouth – “All Star”
Jonas Brothers – “Live to Party”
The Lion King – “Hakuna Matata”
Justin Roberts – “Hey Hippopotamus”
Lou Bega – “Disney Mambo # 5”

This is just a short list of the many songs that I find myself humming after a long day of music therapy! Are there any others you can add to the list? If so, I’d love to hear them.