Mr. Vasicek's Classroom Music Playlist

By Brent Vasicek on January 19, 2011
  • Grades: 1–2

After reading my post "Music to Manage Your Classroom," some of you wanted to know some good tunes to play in your classroom. Grab your speakers and get ready to download some of the songs I use regularly in my classroom. Enjoy!


Photo courtesy of Rinjith Krishnan.



Come-In Songs — Bouncy songs to start the day off right.

Morning Kickoff — These songs provide a short, interactive way to start the day as soon as that bell rings. In my class we accompany the songs with motions and peer interaction. Positive touch each day can really help to build relationships (see Dr. Becky Bailey).

Writing Time — During writing time, I play slow-paced songs that have no recognizable lyrics, which would create a distraction. I play these selections ONLY when the students should be writing. The last song is ALWAYS the same so they know they need to wrap up their thoughts. Works like a charm . . . just like Pavlov's experiment.

Subject Anchors — I use these songs to indicate the start of the next subject. The songs signal what books and folders students will need for the next lesson.

Timed Transitions — I find TV theme songs work great for this.

  • Thirtysomething theme song — one minute  (The link goes to an extended version of the song.)
  • ER TV theme song — one minute
  • Malcolm in the Middle TV theme song — 30 seconds (Again, this links to an extended version of the song.)
  • A reader's comment on my first post about music alerted me to TV Ad Songs, a website that hosts free downloads of commercial jingles, video game soundtracks, and TV theme songs.

End of the Day

Class Songs — A song we pick to sing every Friday during our reflection and share time, which we call "Highs and Lows."

Woofer_music_03 Photo by: Salvatore Vuono

Dance Favorites

Other Favorites

Feel free to use any of these playlist to manage your own classroom. If you are a teacher in my building, however, I respectfully ask you refrain from using the playlists, as the Pavlovian conditioning is powerful and difficult to unprogram.

What cool songs do you use?

2I2 Trademark 2010 Vasicek Get that tune out of my head,



2i2 is a trademark of Mr. Vasicek's class to symbolize living to your potential and doing it with Integrity.


I find that old tv theme songs really intrigue the students. Right now, I'm using the Sanford and Son theme. It's really jazzy and my 5th grade students really love it. I'm going to try and use some other jazzy tunes from old 70s tv shows that the kids will love too! They tend to be a little longer and can be used in the morning to get the kids ready for the day.

For those that use Amazon Prime, remember you have free access to Amazon Music. I created playlist for each subject or time of day so that it is easy to play. Commercial free and NO CHARGE!!!

HI I have Amazon prime but not familiar with this can you please give me more info?

Incase anyone ever reads this again--- I use Yakety Yak by the Coasters for transition/cleanup and my class loves it!

I am having trouble with the morning walk-in songs. The links lead me to a "MySpace" video. I wasn't sure if you were aware or if anyone else was having this issue?

I am having trouble with the morning walk-in songs. The links lead me to a "MySpace" video. I wasn't sure if you were aware or if anyone else was having this issue?

I want to play Good Day by Nappy Roots but can't find a clean version


I've been listening to music on itunes for days trying to pick appropriate music for my first graders. I should have visited your site and it would have saved me valuable time! Thank you so much for the info. I am so excited to try the music recommended........great job!

Hi, very interesting topic here. I actually need some feedback on a problemI have. My son(9 yrs) just started at a new school and has a teacher who plays current popular songs while the kids are working on math and language assignments. I don't have a problem witn proper use of appropiate music in the classroom, but it seems to me it would be rather distracting for a 9 year old to concentrate on the task at hand while having a pop song playing in the background. My son is easily distracted and I'm worried this new environment would be detrimental to his learning. process. I believe this teacher has heard about music in the classroom but doesn't fully understand how to use it as a learning tool. Any feedback would be appreciated and enlightening.

Frustrated American mom in Norway

I have students in my classroom who find the music distracting, so I keep a set of cordless headphones that they may wear.

My 7th graders and I have grown fond of "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" by Leslie Gore for the start of each period! ;-) GREAT post I will keep referring to throughout the year - thank you!

Oh What A Beautiful Morning from Oklahoma for beginning of the day. Happy Trails To You for days end.
Crayola Doesn't Make a Color by Kristen Andresan is my favorite song and video EVER...

I have been wanting to add more music to my 2nd grade class but have been so overwhelmed as to where to start and so afraid of playing something bad! This site has been an amazing place for me to start, thank you SOOO much for posting your playlist!

After our empowerment tunes became huge hits for years in local schools we put together I am Bullyproof Music; Pop tunes recorded in a pro studio with lyrics that stick in a student's head like glue and help them cope with stress and see the world in a more self-empowered light. Oh, the thankful mail we receive! Songs like Whatever make a student feel better :-) Fearless (our most popular tune with Jessie Bridges singing- fun trivia; dad is actor, Jeff, and Got Your Back--a song that reminds kids that a loyalty within friendship is the most special part of the equation. Sorry this comment is so long. It's just, we're so up your alley, we felt compelled to say hello! btw Einstin is fun too. We use Justin Timberlake's drummer and a little bit of Beethoven. Every radio worthy pop tune of ours features a different tween or teen singer and unique wisdom-packed lyrics. We have songs for early grades too. Nonconformist took over an entire school once making "different" the new cool. Absolutely love what you're doing here! Chow for now :-) Sincerely, Lessia Bonn PS We're new at TPT and have a few websites.

Hey everyone....while I am not a teacher, I am a husband of a teacher. and after making CD after CD for my wife's third grade classes, I decided to see if there was anything online that would help out teachers incorporate music into the classroom. Not necessarily just old children's music, but actual popular songs (current and older). This blog post was about the only thing that seemed beneficial.

So i decided to start up a website geared toward using music to manage your classroom

go check it out...

hopefully everyone can enjoy it!!

I recommend Hall of Fame by The Script, Firework by Katy Perry, and Freckles by Natasha Bedingfield.

Is there an easy way to just use the music without the videos showing. Some are inappropriate.

I use SMILE by Vitamin C as a class song. The words are awesome, and we talk about the message of the song. I have used this for several years now with my third graders. ---Julie

This is awesome! Another awesome song - "Shinning Star" by Earth, Wind, and Fire

Do you have permission from all those artists to use their music?

Thank you so much! I've been wanting to use music in my classroom, but always felt overwhelemed by trying to decide what to use. I SO appreciate your sharing!

NAS - "I Can"

Thanks for the great list and when you use the songs. I love to play "I Feel Good" by James Brown. I also play the Mission Impossible theme song When my students are at their lockers.

I like Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole and Sunrise by Norah Jones for the morning.

I love your ideas & plan to use more of these type of songs. I tend to only use "educational" artists~Dr. Jean, Greg & Steve, etc.
I've always thought "It's a Beautiful Day" by U2 would make a great "opening" song.

I love Nappy Roots "Good Day"......and always play it on the first day of school and it instantly becomes a class favorite. Very uplifting song with children in the chorus.

"Heard it through the Grapevine" is good for the bouncing raising experiment (

Thanks for the great song ideas! I went to a Kim Sutton math wkshp & she gave out song ideas for coloring time - "Crayons" by Ziggy Marley & Diana Ross and for tranition times/clean up time we use "William Tell Overture" to keep them moving.

How do your kids handle the days when there may be a substitute? Do you have a student leader in charge of the music then? Just curious. I'm super excited about trying this with my students this year.

This is my favorite post of yours. I just got to hear Dr. Marica Tate, author of "Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites" and she spoke of the importance of music in your classroom. Thanks for sharing these great resources!


Thanks so much, Susan. I am glad you enjoyed the article. I have not read "Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites," but from experience the title is a great summary. You are welcome! Brent

This is a great idea! My students always want to listen to music, but turning on the radio is too problematic. Great list! Thank you.

Teri, And sometimes I will have iPod days. These are earned with very strict criteria. But they can listen to iPods or mp3's during any independent work time. ~Brent

Musical cues sounds like a great idea! My sixth grade teacher used to play classical music while we were doing "seat work" and posted the names of the songs along the top of the classroom. I still remember some of those songs today when I hear them! I will definitely try this out in my classroom. Thanks for the great song suggestions as well when when you use them. I am sure the students will love to add to the list as well.

Laura~ Oh yes they do. They often are bringing in music that they wish me to play during the day. Enjoy! Brent

This sounds like a great idea. I'll have to try it out.

Cyndee, Thank you for reading. Hope you have as much fun with it as I do! Brent

You are amazing! From "Your Three Words" to your morning and wrap up routines, I have been hooked for the last hour on viewing your clasroom. Thank you for the inspiration and ideas! I teach 4th grade in CT and love to use music in my classroom as well. I think I might try the Pavlovian conditioning with next years group from the start! (-: I love to use the Casper Slide, the Macarena, or other dance songs to regain energy during standardized testing, immediately after the testing time is up. I play Mozart or Jim Brickman during writing time.


Awesome! I am glad you found something useful from those videos. I really need to get a couple more routines up there for y'all to see. Thanks for filling my bucket. ~Brent

I play Day-O by Harry Belafonte (made famous by the movie Beetlejuice) at the end of the day! That is my fifth-graders' cue to start packing up for the day. I play Respect by Aretha Franklin as the cue to get our chairs into a circle for morning meeting. I love using musical cues! The kids know what to do, and I don't have to say a word! Thank you for posting this. It gave me a lot of new ideas for my classroom!

Andrea~ You are welcome. Thank you for the Day-O. That is a great song!!! ~Brent

These are so fantastic. I am from the US but teach Special Education in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. My classroom uses music each day and I complied some kid friendly adult songs.

Some of our favorites include Good Day Sunshine by the Beatles, Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes by Paul Simon, Everybody Likes to Cha Cha Cha by Sam Cooke and Ooby Dooby by Roy Orbison.

Aurora~ I can't wait to search for some of your play list songs on the Internet when I go home this evening! Thanks for adding to the list. ~Brent

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