There are many reasons to use music in school counseling. Music lights up the brain and playing music is even more powerful. Music can evoke powerful emotions. Music can be healingmusic-a-powerful-ally
Music can improve listening and concentration skills (there is good research to show playing classical music can help build concentration skills). Music helps students remember key concepts being taught. The Committee for Children recognized this and incorporates songs for each of the main units in Second Step. Our younger students love “The Problem Solving Song.” Singing the four steps helps put them into long term memory.
There are many great artist that produce powerful songs for young children. My favorite is Red Grammar. At my former school we taught the whole school his song "teaching Peace" and sang it during our annual peace walk through the neighborhood. He has many songs that can facilitate teaching social emotional learning. If you don't know his work I strongly encourage you to check out his site www.redgrammer.com
My new favorite is Emily Arrow emilyarrow.com I really like that most of her songs have a direct link to children's literature, many books that I already use with groups or in the classroom. There are also some good Disney songs you might want to use although I usually try to avoid promoting commercial characters but the kids love "You've Got a Friend in Me." www.youtube.com
There are also some good music videos with lyrics under Character sites like Respect Song Video - Classroom Mix Version www.youtube.com Responsibility song www.youtube.com Respect Rap only www.youtube.com are a few of the ones I have used.
For students in grades 2-5 there are many popular songs that can be used as a hook for a lesson are incorporated more fully. My lessons are taught around themes so most of these songs go along with one of my monthly themes like goal setting, assertiveness,bullying, emotions, empathy, compassion, diversity, kindness or friendship. You have to be very careful to read all the lyrics first to see if they are acceptable to your learning community. I frequently introduce the song by reading the lyrics as a poem. Then I often have the students chant the words in rhythm or even clap while reading them. Sometimes vocabulary or phrases need to be clarified. After they know and understand the words then I play it or them. I always put the lyrics on the Smartboard so they can sing along if they are comfortable (sometime we dance, clap, or even use rhythm sticks). I frequently ask the students to reflect on the song with questions such as, "Does the song remind you of something in your own life?"
Goals and Optimism:
The Best Day of My Life by American Authors www.youtube.com (lyrics and singing)
The Climb by Miley Cyrus www.youtube.com (lyrics and singing)
Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland www.youtube.com (lyrics and singing)
Firework by Katy Perry www.youtube.com (lyrics and singing) Review lyrics carefully
Hurricane by The Vamps www.youtube.com (lyrics and singing)
Assertiveness and Self-Esteem:
Roar by Katy Perry www.youtube.com (lyrics and singing)
Hero by Mariah Carey www.youtube.com (lyrics and singing) Review lyrics carefully
Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield www.youtube.com (lyrics and singing)
Mean by Taylor Swift www.youtube.com (suggest stopping after first 3 versus)
True Colors www.youtube.com (lyrics music video)
Diversity and Self-Esteem:
Cool Kids by Echosmith www.youtube.com (lyrics and singing)
Ebony and Ivory by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder www.youtube.com (lyrics and singing)
Happy by Pharrell Williams www.youtube.com (lyrics and singing)
Kind-hearted Hand by Peter Seltzer www.youtube.com (lyrics and singing)
Stand By Me by Ben E. King www.youtube.com (lyrics and singing)
Count on Me by Bruno Mars www.youtube.com (lyrics and singing)
New Comers Welcome
Home by Phillip Phillips www.youtube.com (lyrics and singing)
Feel free to leave a Comment if you have others you have used successfully in a group or classroom.