Music is captivating, and it fosters retention. Songs For Learning may be written in advance of their educational application in order to teach non-musical objectives for transfer. Academic and social can be set to music to enhance learning and recall.


A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing: This activity uses the song "A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing"  from Schoolhouse Rock. It can be used to teach the academic concept of nouns to elementary-school aged children. In order to ensure that the skill transfers to the classroom setting, use three plastic cups: one with the word "person," one with the word "place," and one with the word "thing" written on it with a marker. Print out pictures of people, places, and things. Have each child take a turn choosing from a pile of the pictures and placing it in the correct cup. 

Big Numbers Counting Song: This activity uses the song "The Big Numbers Song ." Simply singing this song session after session and gradually fading the cues (visual as well as verbal) is very effective at teaching students to count from zero to one-hundred independently. 

Mulberry Bush for Motor Movements: The melody of Mulberry Bush can easily be adapted to practice motor movements for communication skills of low-functioning children.

Telling Time by the Hour: This activity uses the song "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and His Comets to identify the hours on a clock. Make sure you have the visuals ready to go. When first introducing the song point to the associated visual while you sing. Depending on ability level, only introduce a few numbers at a time. After modeling, sing the song again but stop the song and have students identify the correct hour(s) that goes with the lyrics before continuing. Again, depending on ability level, only introduce a few hour visuals at a time. Use chaining to work up to all twelve hours. Increase the difficulty by rearranging the visuals. 

ResourcesEdit publishes thousands of children's songs, lyrics, sound clips, and teaching suggestions.


Further ReadingEdit


James E. Riley, MT-BC

Elisa Aven, MT-BC

Jenn Manno

Megan Hoffer, MT-BC

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