During the academic year there are lots of different styles of themed music that can be used with your school or choir. The style of music you choose to use very much depends on the type of school that you‚Äôre working in. Some schools resist the more modern style of music and prefer to stick with a religious theme in the form of hymns, while others choose to embrace all genres and eras. There are of course the obvious concerns with some music that the children would like to sing; many of today‚Äôs chart/pop songs include text that may not be deemed appropriate for school use and the story behind the songs may not send out the correct messages to the children. When starting at a school it is certainly worth having a discussion with someone on the leadership team or the head teacher to find out which styles of music you are permitted to sing.
A good place to start would be the Singup website. This offers lots of different songs that are re-written for children. It is a service that the school or an individual subscribes to with a small fee, but it is often updated and the quality of the recordings is very good. Youtube is a fantastic resource; not only can you listen to music but with a little bit of searching a variety of good quality karaoke tracks can also be found.
If you are working in any form of faith school there may well be a requirement for some of the songs learnt to have a religious link. Not only does this share the chosen faith, it also acts as a form of worship. This song choice can be important and attempting to fit a piece with the nearest religious festival or celebration is good practice. There is an online Religious festival calendar that can be found on the RE:Online page. It lists religious events that take place each month; these could be used to provide ideas for hymns and themed songs. I have had experience of using the Karaoke Assembly DVD and Karaoke Assembly DVD 2. This resource covers many different hymns and festivals and includes backing tracks and scrolling lyrics. These can be a beneficial starting point, however it may not be the best on the market as there are many different versions and manufacturers that do similar.