Silent classrooms are a thing of the past. Teachers these days know that music has a lot of proven benefits, like helping students study or improving the overall class mood. You can assemble your own playlists or use streaming music services, like Pandora and Spotify, to do the hard work for you. The members of our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE Facebook group recently shared their favorite Spotify playlist recommendations for kids of all ages. Check out this list for new ideas when you just can’t handle one more Kidz Bop tune!
1. Vitamin String Quartet
Kelsea S. says her class loves these “strong instrumentals of popular songs. It’s super relaxing, but not quite as mild as pure classical.”
Sample songs: Lorde’s “Royals,” Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself”
2. Oldies Classroom Playlist
This playlist, assembled by missbensko and recommended by Sara G., includes 30 hit songs you’ll remember and kids will love.
Sample songs: The Jackson Five’s “ABC,” The O’Jays’ “Love Train”
3. Jack Johnson
“I use Jack Johnson a lot,” says Dominique T. “He did the Curious George soundtrack as well.” These laid-back songs will please younger and older kids, and adults too.
Sample songs: “Upside Down,” “Banana Pancakes”
4. This Is Disney
Younger kids (and probably some not-so-young kids) will love these original Disney favorites from movies like The Little Mermaid and Frozen. Thanks to Johanna H. for this recommendation.
Sample songs: “Under the Sea,” “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes”
5. Creedence Clearwater Revival
Amanda M. recommends this classic 60s folk-rock group, whose music remains popular and loved today.
Sample songs: “Down on the Corner,” “Proud Mary”
6. The Laurie Berkner Band
Perfect for younger ears, Laurie Berkner’s music is fun and catchy. Kids will love to sing along to familiar classics and learn the lyrics to original songs, too. Thanks, Johanna E.!
Sample songs: “We Are the Dinosaurs,” “I’m Gonna Catch You”
7. The Piano Guys
Multiple teachers love The Piano Guys, who play instrumental versions of popular songs (heavy on the piano, of course). “It plays all day in my room,” says Brittany K.
Sample songs: Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years,” David Guetta’s “Without You”
8. Movie Classroom Playlist
Another playlist assembled by missbensko and recommended by Sara G., this one has 75+ songs from well-known and kid-favorite movies, like Tangled and Happy Feet.
Sample songs: “Touch the Sky” from Brave, “The Greatest Show” from The Greatest Showman
9. Secret Agent 23 Skiddoo
Looking for something with a strong beat? Christopher B. recommends this kid-friendly rap group. “They make songs safe for kids’ ears!”
Sample songs: “Bored Is a Bad Word,” “I Like Fruit”
10. Children’s Songs (Christopher Bartlett)
This Spotify playlist was assembled by a WeAreTeachers reader and has more than 220 songs that kids will love.
Sample songs: “Boogie Boogie Hedgehog,” “‘C’ Is for Cookie”
11. They Might Be Giants
This popular band gave us earworms, like “Birdhouse in Your Soul,” but they also put out several albums of original songs for kids. This Spotify playlist assembles the best of them for your classroom. Thanks to Janna K. for this recommendation.
Sample songs: “Why Does the Sun Shine?” “Seven”
12. Dan Zanes
“Dan Zanes has some fun kids’ music that is grown-up friendly,” says Katy M. His folksy spin on well-known tunes makes this music ideal for the classroom.
Sample songs: “Rock Island Line,” “Turn Turn Turn”
13. Class Songs (Ashley Avis)
This is another Spotify playlist put together by a WeAreTeachers reader, full of popular songs that are safe and fun for all ages.
Sample songs: Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine,” Katy Perry’s “Firework”
14. Guitar Tribute Players
Try these easy-listening, guitar-led instrumentals of songs your kids will recognize, with no lyrics to distract them while they work.
Sample songs: “I’m Yours,” “She Will Be Loved”
15. Leche con Chocolate
Ana T. wondered if there were any kid-friendly playlists in Spanish on Spotify for her third grade class. This one seems to fit the bill, with a nice mix of canciones en español and English songs.
Sample songs: “Un Mundo Ideal,” “Luz y Sombra”
16. Hip-Hopscotch & Reggae Recess
This Spotify playlist gathers age-appropriate hip hop and reggae, all with beats that make you want to move. Be warned: Some of these will stay in your head for days!
Sample songs: “Hiphop-O-Potamus,” “Soul Clap”
17. Elizabeth Mitchell
Looking for quiet, upbeat music to play in the background while younger kids work? Elizabeth Mitchell’s pretty melodies are just what you need.
Sample songs: “Little Bird, Little Bird,” “The Happy Song”
18. Ultimate Covers: The Beatles
You could just put on a playlist with songs by The Beatles, but why not try this playlist of covers by artists like Johnny Cash and Maroon 5 instead?
Sample songs: “If I Fell,” “Let It Be”
19. Pop 4 Kids
OK, this Spotify playlist does have its fair share of Kidz Bop. But there are plenty of other great songs on here to enjoy, including popular hits by Imagine Dragons and Shakira. Consider it a compromise.
Sample songs: Meghan Trainor’s “Better When I’m Dancing,” Grace Potter’s “Something That I Want”
What are your favorite Spotify playlist and artists recommendations for teachers? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers Chat group on Facebook.
Plus, take a look at our favorite Pandora stations.