Picture this scenario...
8 year old: "I'd like to sing Little Mix, Shout Out To My Ex!"
It's so common for children to want to sing all the best songs in the charts and why not? It's what they hear on the radio or streaming sites everyday and when I was 8 I was dancing around my back garden bellowing, "I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want!" having absolutely no idea what the Spice Girls' song, Wannabe, was actually about! I do think it's ok for children to sing along to their favourite chart songs, even if they're a bit raunchy, because most of the time they don't realise what they're singing about, they just like the catchy tune. We've all been there and done that. However, I draw the line as a teacher. I just don't think it's appropriate for me to actually teach one of these songs, as we would usually spend time thinking about lyrics and performance.
So what do you do with all your students who are wannabe pop stars and love a good chart song? Over the past few months, I've trawled YouTube trying to find some lovely child friendly pop songs from the last 10 years, which are perfect for the budding recording artist. The fact is, not all children want to sing Disney or Matilda the Musical (although I personally love those!) I've shared 5 of my favourite pop songs for this situation below:
1. High Hopes - Panic At The Disco
This song is about "shooting for the stars" even when things are tough. It talks about never giving up, staying true to yourself and having vision. All great things to instil in young minds!
2. Dance Monkey - Tones and I
This has been such a big track for 2020 and it's a great one for kids to learn. They all absolutely love it and there's nothing raunchy in here. When asked about the song, the Tones and I singer said she wrote it about busking and the pressure to entertain. The only challenge I find with this song is trying to get my students to sing it in their own voice and not copy her style.
3. Happy - Pharrell Williams
This tune was and still is an absolute banger. It always goes down well with my students, as they love to dance along to it. What's better is you just have to sing it with a smile on your face.
4. Fight Song - Rachel Platten
A bit like High Hopes, this song is about being strong and owning your life. Even if you've been knocked down, you can get back up and keep fighting. We could probably all do with a little bit of this in 2020.
5. Better When I'm Dancin' - Meghan Trainor
This is another feel good tune and it does what it says on the tin: a song all about having a little dance making you feel better. Meghan Trainor is very often on the list of my student's favourite artists and this song is totally fun and cheesy! Hooray! It was even featured on Strictly at the weekend.