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Top Five Resources for Incorporating Music in the Upper Grades


Until recently I was jealous of the music resources available to lower grade teachers.  It seemed like the market was limited to this age bracket, and it just seemed unfair.  However, now the tables have turned!  An abundance of resources can be found, purchased, and downloaded for the upper grade crowds. And, to top it off, the music really caters to the tastes of older kids. If you haven't found some of these resources yet, I'd like to share some of my finds with you. Integrating music into lesson plans has never been easier!

Top Five Web Resources for Incorporating Music in the Upper Grades

#1- Mr. Duey at www.mrduey.com

This is one of the most popular links on Teachertube, and it is easy to see why! When I first heard Mr. Duey's music last year, I knew we just HAD to have him perform at our school (set for November 7).  This actual classroom teacher offers a CD, lyrics, music videos, games, t-shirts, and even school performances.  With an actual background in music, Mr. Duey's songs will become a welcome addition to your classroom repetoire. Some of his topics include:

Math-integers, point plotting, converting improper fractions, factor trees, measurement conversion

Science-animal cells, rock cycle, atoms, states of matter

Social Studies- latitude and longitude, government branches, core democratic values

English-nouns, verbs, adjectives, and writing essays

(voted number one do his balance of reaching across the content areas on one CD-and for his coolness)

#2- Rockin' The Standards at www.rockinthestandards.com

I strongly depend on this group for math instruction. This group is also made up of real classroom teachers in California. RTS specializes in math content songs and can be quite catchy.  This year I shared a few of their songs with a fellow teacher, and she said she had never seen higher test scores on place value and rounding in her 17 years of teaching. Yeah, they are THAT good! Like Mr. Duey, they also offer a CD, music videos, lyrics, teaching standard correlations, and school performances. Some of their topics include:

Math- parallel and perpendicular, quadrilaterals, place value, mean, mode, median, angles, triangle, measurement, multiplication facts

To download the lyrics to their honestly rockin' songs, click here (PDF).

#3 Scholastic's Study Jams at www.studyjams.com 

If you have not visited this resource offered by Scholastic, you are truly missing out. Study Jams specializes in math and science and covers nearly every topic found in the 3-5 teaching spectrum.  I formally depended on sites like www.brainpop.com and Discovery's United Streaming for short video clips on content subjects, but Study Jams goes above the rest with the additional resources offered.  Study Jams offers songs, short video clips, interactive question sessions (that aren't boring), and a jam session studio for students. You can't find that combined anywhere else! A free trial is available, and a yearly subscription is reasonably priced. Some of their topics include:

Math- Honestly, all of the main skills are addressed in some form or fashion.

Science- Ditto

Click here to listen to a states of matter song and to see all that is offered.


#4-Teacher and the Rockbots at www.teacherandtherockbots.com

I found this group recently and was excited to find their quirky music. Teacher and the Rockbots focuses on several content areas, and is a little more "off beat".  This is, however, not a bad thing as teaching needs to be silly sometimes. Some of their topics include (on seperate CDs):

Science- animal classification, food chain, water cycle, simple machines, electricity, scientific method, complicated machines, planets, light, weather, organ systems

Math/Science- Measurement (pints, cups, etc.), multiplication facts

Social Studies- continents, how to read a map, oceans, habitats, landforms, globes, Civil War, westward growth, branches of government, Bill of Rights, symbols of America

You can click here to listen to their songs and you can click here to view their lyrics.


#5- Yourself- No Really.

One of our third grade teachers, Mrs. Bratcher, has a talent for incorporating music into her classroom.  When her students enter my classroom in the fourth grade, they have expectations. Music expectations, that is. Assuming she was hoarding a list of content song resources somewhere in a vault, I hunted her down and wanted her to share her secrets with me. And guess what? I discovered that she, in fact, had written many of the songs taught in class. I couldn't believe it at first. I thought, I could never do that. Then, I went back into my classroom and thought about the topics being taught at the time.  We had been working on rounding decimals at the moment. I flipped through a site that listed basic tunes and focused on the Hokey Pokey. Ten minutes later I had the rounding decimal song. It was that easy. Really. I was proud to call myself a song writer as well!

I encourage you do to the same. You can do it, and some of you already have. I encourage you to share with others. Preferably, here on this blog.  If you have a video, original song, or a resource that helps us teach the content areas in a more meaningful and music inspiring way, I'd love to hear about it. Please share under the comments section below. We are depending on it.

Teachers Galore Have Posted on www.teachertube.com. Mrs. Burks is very popular for math instruction.

Some of our classroom songs: rounding whole numbers (written and composed by Mrs. Bunyi's class-more verses available on our site), invertebrates/vertebrates song (written and composed by Mrs. Bratcher), and a portion of the place value song performed by Mrs. Bunyi' class (written by RTS).


To download the place value posters featured in the main photo, click here.

To learn more about our classroom, visit us here.


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Angela Bunyi

Hey Tim!

You must have a web tracking system on your page...you found us pretty quickly! Hopefully this means teachers have been visiting your great site and more will continue to do so. And I was happy to see that your album is doing really well under Amazon...and I am happy to say that your music will make it into our teaching schedule today.

Anyway, look for more incorporation of your music in my November math unit coming up, and keep up the great work!

Best to you,



Hey Mrs. Bunyi! Thanks so much for mentioning the band in your blog! I loved your class video...so weird seeing kids from the other side of the U.S. jammin' to one of our tunes. Music is powerful!
Take care,
Rockin' the Standards

P.S. I hear what you're saying on Mr. Duey. His stuff is awesome, but the concepts are definitely more middle school. If I taught those grades, I would definitely be using Duey.

Angela Bunyi

Hey Christina!

Share, share, and share. I think kids really benefit from music, but more so from these groups that have made it actually song like real music.

I actually had to visit my own blog today while completing my lesson plans. I realized I didn't have to shuffle through CDs for song topics because I listed everything right here on this page! My class will be using 4 out of the 5 resources listed above (sorry Mr. Duey), and I know it wil make a difference.

Have a great week!

Christina Towery

Great Resources! Can't wait to share them with my team.


Comments are closed. Please see Classroom Solutions, our new blog for the 2009-2010 school year. And stay tuned for Teaching Matters with Angela Bunyi and Beth Newingham.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Inside Angela's 4th Grade Classroom are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.