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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Choosing acceptable music for the middle school dance class

Choosing acceptable music for the middle school dance class

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Does anyone have specific titles of fun music with a great beat to use for warmups that don't have NASTY lyrics? I end up often using instrumentals only or Disney music because I refuse to listen to swearing and nasty words! Some of it have a great beat, but it is NOT appropriate for middle school kids-HELP! Ann www.annparis.com http://voicesinginglessons.com/?p=3

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KatzS - 104049's picture

.... there is a CD series called Kidz Bop where kids sing pop songs- cleaned up. There a probably about 2 dozen CDs by now. The drawback will be that many middle schoolers will consider this music "babyish."

The other thing you can do, if you have time for the process, is to take any song and run it through a sound editor like Aviary or Dubstep and try to clean the lyrics. There are numerous videos on YouTube where you can get information on how to manipulate the software, and the editors themselves can be downloaded for free.

Steve's picture
Middle school music teacher, NJ

I teach the waltz to 5th graders. Yes they dance as partners. You could use a slow waltz, or often I just use a very simple progression on the piano. TobyMac would be good. Skillet is clean and has a harder sound. Superchick. Switchfoot.

Diane J.S.S.'s picture
Diane J.S.S.
Middle School Art Teacher in the Northwest

When selecting music for our drill team, we ask the team to suggest music, spend time listening to it...often times students actually burn cd's for us....then decide what are good tunes. I've found there is current, "popular" music on these cd's called: Hits Now...something like that. Also, you may look into cheer type cd's.
Good luck and have fun!

Lessia Bonn's picture
Lessia Bonn
I am Bullyproof Music - Bullyproof Rainbow Resources

We often use Justin Timberlake's drummer on our tracks but our music is lyric driven. Do believe you'll approve of the lyrics however and understand your frustration--that's why we started up what we do. Maybe our Einstein tune? Nonconformist has a beat and a msg. Chemical still needs to be mixed better. Got Your Back has a beat but mixes things up a bit. Let me know if anything suits you--we'll send you free tracks. Good luck! PS you'll love Fearless but it's def not a dance tune!

Jasmine Faulkner's picture
Jasmine Faulkner
K-12 Music Teacher from Fort Collins, CO

What style is the dance class? If you look for break dancing music, there is a lot of music available with school appropriate lyrics available. I use a lot of instrumental, but old school break dance music is usually good. Some common favorites: Dynamite (edited version), Party Rock (Kidz Bop), Rockin to the Beat, It's Like That. Search itunes with "break dance", "freestyle", or "dubstep". Also search sound tracks like "Step Up". Do youtube searches for "America's Best Dance Crew" or "So You Think You Can Dance" to get more ideas. Search DJ's break dancing song lists, you will get a lot of "underground" song titles. You still have to dig for appropriate music but once you get your first 12 songs, you will be less stressed about finding music. Have the students help you look!

Elizabeth's picture

Kids Bop is great. It's music the students know from the radio. The songs are sung by kids and lyrics are changed to be appropriate for their age.

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