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Kids World

Topics of interest to teachers of English as a second or foreign language to young learners.

June 15, 2004

School Theme Song

kids1.jpg Songs are a wonderful vehicle to help facilitate positive feelings about being in an English-speaking environment. They naturally create a pleasant atmosphere by virtue of the universal appeal of melodious music. I strongly recommend that you consider incorporating a theme song that represents YOU and your school.

Entering and leaving the classroom is always a positive, pleasant experience cushioned by an upbeat tempo and a corresponding happy atmosphere.

Playing this song in your classroom is a signal to your students that it is time for their lesson to begin. When youngsters at our school, waiting out in the lobby, hear our theme song, they come running to the classroom, smiling, eager to greet their teacher and excited for class to begin. I believe the recognition of the song, and their identity with it, prompts such a sentiment.

We also use the same theme song again to signal to the students that class is over and it is time for them to leave. Thus, entering and leaving the classroom is always a positive, pleasant experience cushioned by an upbeat tempo and a corresponding happy atmosphere.

Selecting your school theme song should be a fun experience for you in that it should reflect your personality or teaching philosophy. If you are Australian or have visited Australia, you might select "Waltzing Matilda." If you are American or have been to America, you might like "Country Road" or "You Are My Sunshine." "London Bridge" is a possibility for those attracted to England. Every country in the world has beautiful songs from which to select.

Walt Disney's songs are also excellent choices because children are familiar with them. Possibilities might be "It's a Small World" or "Hi-Ho" (the march of the Seven Dwarves in "Snow White ") or "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah" from "The Song of the South."

Standard children's songs are appropriate for nursery schools or kindergartens. "This Old Man", "If You're Happy", "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," or "Skidamarink" are good selections. The list is endless, but the point is that the song you chose will come to symbolize you and your school. And when your students grow up and hear that song, they will think of you and their memories of English class with you.

If you have an answering machine for your school, you can also use this song as background music to your message. In addition, if and when you have a "happyokai," this theme song can be used as background music to help relax the students and get them "in the mood" for English.

If you do not have a school, but are teaching English, you can still use this concept to teach your classes. You just bring your own atmosphere and song with you wherever you go.

At our school we also use our theme song for outside lessons at kindergartens to create our own special English mood. The students are lined up in a semi-circle in the classroom waiting for us at their school. We put the CD on and walk around the semi-circle, shaking hands with each child saying, "Hello" as our theme songs plays. We also do the same thing at the end of class: the students line up in a semi-circle to say goodbye and shake hands with their teacher while the music plays in the background.

This theme song concept is an example of how a little thought and a little preparation can be a strong catalyst to help you nourish in your students a positive and happy attitude about you and the English classes you create for them with a song in your heart.



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