50 School Appropriate Songs for Students to Enjoy

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Written By Will Fenton

Founder of MidderMusic. From numerous bands to stints working in music shops, read more about me on the 'Here's My Story' page!

Music can be a great tool for engaging students and creating a positive learning environment.

It’s also a great way for students to relax, unwind, and have fun during their free time.

Whether they are listening to music during lunch, on the bus, or in their bedroom, these songs offer a diverse range of music genres and styles that are suitable for all ages.

It’s important to choose music that is appropriate for the classroom setting.

Here is a list of 50 school appropriate songs that students can enjoy, covering a variety of genres and eras.

These songs are free of explicit language or themes, making them suitable for a wide range of ages.

From pop hits to classic rock, there’s something on this list for every student to enjoy.

Table of Contents

1. “Jolly Roger” by Adam & The Ants

Like peanut butter and jelly, kids and pirates go together well.

“Jolly Roger” is a song by Adam & The Ants, a British new wave band that was active in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The song was released as a single in 1979 and appeared on the band’s debut album, Dirk Wears White Sox.

The song is known for its upbeat, catchy melody and Adam Ant’s energetic and distinctive vocals.

The lyrics of the song describe a pirate who sets sail in search of adventure and treasure on the high seas.

The song has become a fan favorite and has been included in numerous Adam & The Ants compilation albums.

2. “Riptide” by Vance Joy

Riptide” is a song by Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy.

It was released in 2013 as the lead single from his debut EP “God Loves You When You’re Dancing” and later appeared on his debut studio album Dream Your Life Away in 2014.

The song has a folk-pop sound and features Joy singing about a tumultuous relationship that he compares to a riptide, a strong and unpredictable current in the ocean.

It has been praised for its catchy melody and Joy’s emotive vocals.

3. “Title Holder” by The Interrupters

“Title Holder” is a song by the American punk rock band The Interrupters.

The song was released as a single in 2018 and is featured on the band’s third studio album, Fight the Good Fight.

The Interrupters are known for their energetic and catchy punk rock sound, and “Title Holder” is no exception.

The song features fast-paced guitar riffs, driving drums, and infectious vocals, and it’s sure to get you moving.

The lyrics talk about the importance of standing up for what you believe in and not backing down, even when faced with adversity.

4. “All Star” by Smash Mouth

“All Star” is a song by American rock band Smash Mouth, released in 1999.

The song became a massive commercial success, reaching the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming one of the biggest hits of the year.

Since it was initially featured in the Shrek movie in the early 2000s, this song has been a staple of kids’ musical playlists.

It has since become one of the most popular and well-known songs in the world and has been used in numerous movies, television shows, and commercials.

The song’s catchy, upbeat melody and memorable chorus have made it a classic of pop and rock music.

5. “Colors” by Black Pumas

“Colors” is a song by the American band Black Pumas, released as the lead single from their self-titled debut studio album in 2019.

The song was written by band members Eric Burton and Adrian Quesada, and it features Burton’s soulful vocals and Quesada’s bluesy guitar work.

“Colors” has been praised for its upbeat and catchy melody as well as its positive message of unity and acceptance.

It has become a popular choice for commercial use and also one of the best school-appropriate songs, and it has received widespread radio airplay.

6. “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley & The Wailers

“Three Little Birds” is a song by Bob Marley & The Wailers, released on the album Exodus in 1977.

The reggae song is known for its upbeat, positive message and catchy melody.

The lyrics tell the story of a person who is feeling down or troubled but is reassured and uplifted by the words of three little birds singing to them.

7. “Take On Me” by A-Ha

“Take On Me” is a song by the Norwegian pop-rock band A-Ha. It was released in 1984 and was the band’s first international hit.

It features a memorable synth-pop sound and Harket’s distinctive falsetto vocals.

The song’s distinctive music video, which features the band members being drawn into a comic book, was also popular, which is why it is listed among the top school-appropriate songs and helped boost the song’s popularity.

“Take On Me” reached the top of the charts in several countries and has become one of the most iconic songs of the 1980s.

8. “Levitating” by Dua Lipa gt. DaBaby

“Levitating” is a song by English singer Dua Lipa, featuring American rapper DaBaby.

The song is an upbeat, dance-pop track with a catchy chorus and a beat that will get you moving.

In the song, Lipa sings about feeling a strong connection with someone and wanting to spend her time with them, while DaBaby raps about feeling on top of the world when he’s with his love interest.

9. “Cha-Cha Slide” by Mr. C The Slide Man

“Cha-Cha Slide” is a song and dance routine created and performed by Mr. C (also known as Casper), a DJ and dance instructor from Chicago, Illinois.

The song was released in 1998 and became a popular party anthem, often played at weddings, school dances, and other events.

The song’s lyrics instruct listeners on how to perform the Cha-Cha Slide, a simple and energetic line dance that involves shuffling and sliding your feet in time to the music.

10. “Can’t Stop The Feeling” by Justin Timberlake

“Can’t Stop the Feeling” is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake for the soundtrack to the kid’s film Trolls (2016).

It received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media.

The song’s upbeat, catchy melody and upbeat lyrics about feeling good and enjoying life have made it popular for use in commercials, movies, and television shows.

11. “My Universe” by Coldplay X BTS

“My Universe” is a song by the English band Coldplay and South Korean group BTS, released in 2021.

It is a collaboration between the two groups, combining Coldplay’s signature sound with BTS’s energetic and powerful vocals.

The song is upbeat and catchy, with a message of hope and positivity.

It was released as part of Coldplay’s eighth studio album, Music of the Spheres, and has gained widespread popularity among fans of both groups.

12. “I Want Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay

“I Want Something Just Like This” is a song by American electronic music duo The Chainsmokers and British rock band Coldplay.

The song features a catchy, upbeat pop melody and lyrics that express a desire for something special and unique in a relationship.

It received positive reviews from critics and was a commercial success, reaching the top 10 in numerous countries.

It also became one of The Chainsmokers’ most successful singles, reaching the top five on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

13. “A-Punk” by Vampire Weekend

“A-Punk” is a song by the American indie rock band Vampire Weekend.

It was released as the second single from their self-titled debut album in 2008.

The song features a fast tempo and upbeat melody, and its lyrics reference various cultural and literary references.

It has become one of the band’s most popular and recognizable songs and has been featured in numerous television shows, movies, and commercials.

It is also among the best school-appropriate songs.

14. “Africa” by TOTO

Africa” is a song by the American rock band Toto.

It was released as a single in 1982 and became a huge commercial success, reaching the top of the charts in several countries around the world and becoming one of the band’s most popular and enduring hits.

The lyrics of “Africa” are about a person’s longing to return to the continent of Africa and the sense of connection that the person feels to the land and its people.

The song has been covered by several artists and has appeared in numerous movies, television shows, and video games.

15. “Pompeii” by Bastille

“Pompeii” is a song by the British band Bastille, released as a single in 2013.

The song became a commercial success, reaching the top 5 in several countries and becoming one of Bastille’s biggest hits.

The song’s lyrics draw inspiration from the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, which was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 79 AD.

The lyrics describe a person who feels trapped and unable to escape a difficult situation, similar to the way the people of Pompeii were trapped by the volcanic eruption.

16. “Save Your Tears” by The Weeknd & Ariana Grande

“Save Your Tears” is a song by Canadian singer The Weeknd and American singer Ariana Grande.

It was released as a single in 2021 and appeared on The Weeknd’s album After Hours.

“Save Your Tears” is a pop and R&B song with a catchy and upbeat instrumental.

The lyrics of the song explore the theme of heartbreak and the idea of moving on from a past relationship.

17. “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga

“Born This Way” is a song by American singer Lady Gaga, released as the title track and lead single from her second studio album of the same name.

“Born This Way” is a dance-pop and electropop song with a positive and empowering message.

The lyrics of the song encourage self-acceptance and embrace of one’s true identity, regardless of their race, sexual orientation, or other characteristics.

18. “Treat People With Kindness” by Harry Styles

“Treat People With Kindness” is a song by English singer and songwriter Harry Styles, released as a single in 2020.

It is a perfect song for schoolchildren.

“Treat People With Kindness” is a pop and soul-influenced song with a catchy and upbeat sound.

The lyrics of the song encourage listeners to be kind and compassionate towards others and to treat people with kindness and respect, regardless of their differences.

19. “Alphabet Aerobics” by Blackalicious

“Alphabet Aerobics” is a song by the hip-hop duo Blackalicious, released on their 1999 album Nia.

The song is known for its fast-paced and complex lyrics, which consist of all 26 letters of the alphabet being recited in rapid succession.

It has been widely praised for its clever wordplay and technical proficiency and has become a popular choice for lip-syncing and karaoke performances.

It has also been used in numerous media and advertising projects, including a commercial for Google’s Android operating system.

20. “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is a song written and first recorded in 1979 by American musician Robert Hazard.

However, it is most famously known as a song by American singer Cyndi Lauper, whose version was released in 1983.

The lyrics of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” describe the desire of women to enjoy themselves and have a good time, free from the constraints of everyday life.

It has been widely praised for its catchy hook and empowering message and has become a classic of 1980s pop music.

21. “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire

“September” is a song by the American band Earth, Wind & Fire, written by Maurice White, Al McKay, and Allee Willis, and released as a single in 1978.

The song’s lyrics celebrate the end of summer and the start of the fall season, and its upbeat, danceable melody and catchy horns have made it a popular choice for weddings, schools, and other events.

The ideal song to welcome your pupils back to class is this one.

22. “Together” by Sia

“Together” is a song recorded by Australian singer-songwriter Sia for the soundtrack of the 2020 animated film “The One and Only Ivan.”

The lyrics of “Together” are about finding hope and strength in unity and being there for each other.

23. “Respect” by Aretha Franklin

“Respect” is a song written and originally recorded by Otis Redding in 1965.

However, it is perhaps most famous for the cover version recorded by Aretha Franklin in 1967, which became a massive hit and one of Franklin’s signature songs.

Franklin’s version of “Respect” is a soulful, powerful anthem that celebrates self-esteem and demands respect for women.

The song’s message of self-respect and equality has made it an enduring classic, and it has been covered by numerous artists over the years.

24. “Better When I’m Dancin’” by Meghan Trainor

“Better When I’m Dancin'” is a song by American singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor.

It was released as a single in 2015 and appeared on the soundtrack for the animated film “The Peanuts Movie.”

The lyrics of “Better When I’m Dancin'” encourage listeners to embrace their individuality and to find joy in movement and self-expression through dancing.

25. “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

“Don’t Stop Me Now” is a song by the British rock band Queen, written by lead vocalist Freddie Mercury.

It was released as a single in 1979 and appeared on the band’s album Jazz.

It has become one of Queen’s most popular and enduring songs and has been used in numerous movies, TV shows, school dances, and other media.

In “Don’t Stop Me Now,” Mercury sings about feeling on top of the world and not wanting to let anyone or anything get in his way.

The song’s message of confidence and empowerment has made it a fan favorite and a classic of rock music.

26. “What A Wonderful World” by Joey Ramone

The Ramones might not be the first band that comes to mind when you think of classroom music.

However, we assure you that you’ll enjoy this one.

“What a Wonderful World” is a song written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss and made famous by Louis Armstrong, who recorded and released it as a single in 1967.

While Joey Ramone, the lead singer of the American punk rock band the Ramones, did not write or record the song, he did cover it and release his version as a single in 2002, after his death in 2001.

The song has since become associated with Joey Ramone and has been covered by numerous other artists.

27. “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus

“Old Town Road” is a song by American rapper and singer Lil Nas X, featuring American country singer Billy Ray Cyrus.

It was released as a single in 2019 and quickly became a viral hit, eventually reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming one of the biggest songs of the year.

Students can undoubtedly perform one of the choreographed dances that go with the song.

28. “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift

The song has an upbeat, energetic pop sound with a catchy chorus and a fun, danceable beat.

The lyrics of “Shake It Off” encourage listeners to embrace their individuality and not let others bring them down, encouraging them to “shake off” negativity and criticism.

29. “Malibu” by Miley Cyrus

This song is a winner, even though not all of Cyrus’s songs would pass school censorship.

The lyrics of “Malibu” describe Cyrus’s love for the city of Malibu and her fond memories of spending time there with her former partner.

The song has received positive reviews from critics and has become a popular choice for parties, school dances, and other events.

30. “The Sound Of Sunshine” by Michael Franti & Spearhead

The song has an upbeat, positive sound with a catchy, upbeat melody and lyrics that encourage listeners to embrace the joy and beauty of life.

In “The Sound of Sunshine,” Franti sings about the power of music to lift spirits and bring people together and encourages listeners to embrace the positive aspects of life and find their own “sound of sunshine.”

31. “Best Song Ever” by One Direction

“Best Song Ever” is a song by the English-Irish boy band One Direction.

It was released as a single in 2013 and appeared on the album Midnight Memories.

The lyrics of “Best Song Ever” describe a love that is the best the narrator has ever known and encourage listeners to embrace the joy and excitement of falling in love.

One Direction’s energetic and catchy performance of the song has also made it a fan favorite.

32. “Run Run Rudolph” by Kelly Clarkson

“Run, Run, Rudolph” is a Christmas song written by Johnny Marks, based on the character Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

It was first recorded by Chuck Berry in 1958 and has since been covered by numerous artists.

One of our favorite Christmas songs is Kelly’s version of “Run, Run, Rudolph,” which is ideal for any winter classroom playlist.

33. “Telepath” by Conan Gray

“Telepath” is a song by Conan Gray, an American singer, and songwriter.

“Telepath” is a pop and synth-pop track that explores the theme of unrequited love and the desire to connect with someone on a deeper level.

The lyrics describe the feeling of wanting to be able to read someone’s thoughts and understand their feelings and the frustration of not being able to do so.

34. “Señorita” by Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello

“Señorita” is a song by Canadian singer Shawn Mendes and Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello.

The song is a Latin-infused pop and R&B track that tells the story of a steamy summer romance between two young people.

The catchy and infectious chorus, which features the line “I love it when you call me señorita,” has helped the song become a global hit, reaching the top of the charts in several countries.

35. “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush

“Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush is one of the best school-appropriate songs for students to enjoy.

The song is a synth-pop and art rock track that explores themes of love, longing, and the desire to overcome obstacles to be together.

The lyrics of the song have been interpreted in various ways, but many people see it as a metaphor for the challenges that can arise in a relationship, and the effort required to overcome them.

36. “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” by R.E.M.

“It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” is a song by the American rock band R.E.M.

The song was written by the band’s lead singer, Michael Stipe, and the music was composed by the band.

The song’s lyrics contain numerous cultural and literary references, and its fast-paced, upbeat tempo and memorable chorus have made it a popular choice for use in media and as a sing-along at live performances.

37. “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic

The song was written by Ryan Tedder, the band’s lead vocalist, and produced by Tedder and Noel Zancanella.

It has become one of the band’s most successful songs, reaching the top 10 in multiple countries and being certified multi-platinum in several.

The song’s lyrics talk about the struggles of working-class people trying to make ends meet and achieve their dreams.

The song’s catchy, upbeat melody and Tedder’s distinctive vocal style have helped make it a fan favorite.

38. “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s

“Hey There Delilah” is a song by the American rock band Plain White T’s.

It was released in 2006 as the group’s third single from its third studio album, All That We Needed.

The song was written by Tom Higgenson and is about a long-distance relationship.

The song has been covered by many artists and has been used in various media, including television shows and movies.

39. “Thriller” by Michael Jackson

“Thriller” is a song by American musician Michael Jackson, released as the seventh and final single from his sixth studio album of the same name.

It was released on January 23, 1984, and became a worldwide hit, reaching number one in several countries.

“Thriller” is known for its innovative music video, which features Jackson in a horror-themed performance, complete with elaborate choreography and special effects.

The song has been covered by numerous artists and has been used in numerous movies, school dances, and television shows.

40. “Jump” by Van Halen

Van Halen’s “Jump” is one of the popular school-appropriate songs for students to dance to.

“Jump” was an immediate commercial success, reaching the top 10 in several countries and becoming the band’s only number-one single in the United States.

It has been described as one of Van Halen’s most popular and recognizable songs, and it is often played at sporting events, dance competitions, and parties.

The song features a distinctive keyboard intro played by Eddie Van Halen, as well as a guitar solo that has been widely praised as one of the best in rock music.

41. “Permission To Dance” by BTS

BTS, a boy band from South Korea, has a song called “Permission to Dance.”

The song, which is the group’s third English-language single, was also featured on the CD edition of their previous single, Butter.

BTS has been at the forefront of K-pop mania, and your students will sing along to this, one of BTS’s biggest singles.

42. “Fireflies” by Owl City

“Fireflies” is a song by American electronica project Owl City, released as the lead single from their album Ocean Eyes in 2009.

The song was written and produced by Owl City’s Adam Young and became a hit, reaching the top 10 in several countries.

The song’s lyrics describe a person’s desire to capture and hold on to the fleeting beauty of fireflies, using them as a metaphor for the fleeting nature of life.

The song’s electronic sound, catchy melodies, and positive lyrics made it a popular choice for use in commercials and television shows.

43. “OK OK” by HOKO

“OK OK” is a song by British singer-songwriter HOKO.

It was released as a single in 2018 and gained popularity in the United Kingdom and beyond.

The song features catchy, upbeat pop melodies and lyrics that address themes of self-acceptance and self-love.

It has been described as a “feel-good anthem” and has received praise for its positive message and upbeat sound.

44. “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida

“Good Feeling” is a song by American rapper Flo Rida, released as the lead single from his 2012 album Wild Ones.

The song features a sample of “Levels” by Avicii and Etta James’ 1961 song “Something’s Got a Hold on Me.”

“Good Feeling” received positive reviews from critics and was a commercial success, reaching the top five in several countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

45. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams

“Happy” by Pharrell Williams is one of the top school-appropriate songs for students to enjoy.

The song features upbeat, energetic music and lyrics that encourage listeners to find happiness in their lives.

It has a catchy, upbeat melody and a memorable chorus that includes the line, “Because I’m happy, clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.”

The song has been used in numerous advertisements, movies, and TV shows and has become a modern pop culture classic.

46. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” is a song by American singer Whitney Houston.

It was released in 1987 as the first single from her second studio album,Whitney.

It is an uptempo dance-pop song that features Houston singing about wanting to find a partner to dance with.

The song became one of Houston’s biggest hits, reaching the top of the charts in several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

47. “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey

“Don’t Stop Believin'” is a song by the American rock band Journey, written by Steve Perry, Neal Schon, and Jonathan Cain.

The song has a powerful and uplifting message, encouraging listeners to hold onto their dreams and never give up.

It features a memorable guitar riff and memorable chorus and has been covered by several artists over the years.

It has also been featured in numerous movies, school dances, TV shows, and commercials and has become a popular karaoke choice.

48. “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon

“Shut Up and Dance” is a song by the American rock band Walk the Moon.

It was released as the lead single from their third studio album, Talking Is Hard, in 2014.

The song’s lyrics tell the story of a young man who is encouraged to “shut up and dance” with a woman at a party, despite his reservations.

The music video for the song features the band performing the song at a party, with the lead singer, Nicholas Petricca, dancing and singing along.

49. “Kick, Push” by Lupe Fiasco

“Kick, Push” is a song by American rapper Lupe Fiasco, released as the lead single from his debut studio album, Food & Liquor, in 2006.

The song tells the story of a young skateboarder who is trying to find his place in the world.

The song’s title refers to the motion of pushing off on a skateboard and then kicking the board to gain momentum.

The song’s lyrics discuss themes of self-discovery, perseverance, and the struggles of growing up.

50. “Mean” by Taylor Swift

“Mean” is a song by Taylor Swift that was released on her third studio album, Speak Now.

In the song, Swift sings about someone being cruel and unkind to her.

The lyrics explore the hurt and anger that she feels as a result of this treatment, and she expresses her determination to stand up for herself and not let the other person’s meanness bring her down.

The song has an upbeat, country-pop sound with a catchy melody and clever lyrics.

School Appropriate Songs – Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the 50 school-appropriate songs for students to enjoy provides a diverse range of music that is suitable for a school setting.

From pop and rock to hip-hop and R&B, these songs offer something for every student to enjoy.

They are all age-appropriate and have positive messages, making them ideal for use in the classroom or during school events.

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