Music Moment: Movement Songs for the Older Set

3 06 2011

I love to incorporate music into my library programs.  Music is an important tool for language development, and moving along to music builds motor skills as well.  Dancing to music is also a great way to burn off excess energy and help a group focus on the next book to be read.  Even older kids need help focusing sometimes, and I have found that music is a great way to break the ice with older kids, too.  However, it’s not always easy to find music that older kids aren’t “too cool” for.  I don’t mind a little eye-rolling, but I do want the kids to have fun.

There’s always the option of just using regular popular music, and I know lots of people like the Kidz Bop series.  But if you’re looking for actual “children’s” music to use with older kids, here are some suggestions:

“My Bonnie”

There are various recorded versions of this song, but I just sing it myself so that I can control the speed.  Why is speed important?  Because you raise and lower your hands with each “b” sound you come to in the song, and the faster you go, the more fun it is.  You can also stand up and sit down on the “b” sounds, but that’s a little rough on my knees these days!

“The Silly Dance Contest” by Jim Gill (Jim Gill Sings the Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes)

“The Silly Dance Contest” is a type of “freeze” song where the kids stop moving when the music stops playing.  I like this one because the lyrics give the kids some instruction on silly dance moves to try.  This song is a little on the younger side, so it doesn’t work as well for kids once they’re in, say, upper elementary.

“Put Your Hands on Your Hips” by Mark D. Pencil (Exercise Party)

This is a song I’ve even used with middle schoolers, and adults love it, too.  It has a hip-hop beat, and the lyrics are basically a list of dance steps.  It’s reminiscent of the wedding reception favorite “The Cha-Cha Slide”.  Lots of fun!

What songs do you like to use with older kids?

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Better Than Ezra Channel on YouTube

19 05 2009

I’m so excited about all the new things coming from my favorite band lately – new album, new drummer (but I miss you, Travis!), and a new tour.  They’re also tweeting now, but I’m not into Twitter, so that one isn’t so exciting for me.

The new album, Paper Empire, is typical Better Than Ezra.  A great balance of fun, catchy pop songs and lush, melodic ballads performed by a truly talented group.  I can’t wait to see the band perform the new tunes live.  Seeing BTE live is always a great time.  They know how to put on a fun, high energy, rocking show.

In addition to the new album and tour, BTE has also launched their own channel on YouTube – the aptly named BetterThanEzraTV.  Their first feature on the channel is the music video for their new single “Absolutely Still.”  Check it out below.  I love that the video starts with Kevin, Tom, and a couple of ladies making crafts like we make during storytime at the library – you can make anything out of toilet paper tubes, crayons, glue, and scissors!

Enjoy!