Start the year with some school related tunes

Spare the RockThis summer our family started listening to a podcast called “Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child.”  It’s a radio program that features music for kids (that parents can stomach too).

Their last show featured several school themed songs to celebrate the new year. Chuck Berry’s “School Days” starts the series of school songs 53 minutes and 56 seconds into the program.

Berry’s famous hit is followed by:

  • Steve Blunt and Friends – Back to School
  • The Hipwaders – Educated Kid
  • Monty Harper – Dog Books
  • Mr. Billy – The Dog Ate My Homework
  • Stephen Fite – Cool To Be In School
  • Twink – Alphabent
  • Aaron Fowler – Room Mom
  • Bill Harley – I Wanna Play
  • Imagination Movers – Field Trip
  • Milkshake – School
  • Barry Louis Polisar – I Don’t Wanna Go to School
  • John Hadfield – The Principal’s Office
  • Trout Fishing in America – Why I Pack My Lunch
  • Asylum Street Spankers – You Only Love Me for My Lunchbox

Perfect music to play in the background as your students enter class.
Give “Spare the Rock” a listen at their site or via iTunes

My apologies to all of you who have already started school. We start late in Wisconsin.

No More @$!%# in Pandora

noswearsI’ve talked about Pandora in the past. It is a great site for discovering music and it’s an easy way to play some tunes in the classroom.
One drawback to Pandora was that naughty words popped up in some of the songs. Fortunately, Pandora has a fix to this little problem.
Click “Settings” in the upper right corner to see an option to enable an explicit lyrics filter.
Now I can play my “White Stripes” station without worrying about the words my grandma doesn’t like.

You need to fight for Pandora and NPR

nopandora A few weeks back I wrote about streaming music in your classroom. I left out the fact that Internet radio (like Pandora) is in jeopardy due to a possible royalty hike brought on by the RIAA. explains:

The future of Internet radio is in immediate danger. Royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a recent ruling and are due to go into effect on July 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006!). If the increased rates remain unchanged, the majority of webcasters will go bankrupt and silent on this date.

Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora, explained in a recent interview that this would cost Pandora millions of dollars. It would very likely end their business. It’s not just going to affect Pandora. Thousands of internet radio sites and even NPR will be subject to the increase.

Everyone understands that paying royalties is a fact of life but these prices are unreasonable. They are much higher than satellite radio. Traditional broadcast radio doesn’t pay any royalties to record companies or recording artists!

Visit to join the fight for the preservation of Internet radio. There is a bill in congress, The Internet Radio Equity Act (H.R. 2060), that would fix this. Call your congressperson to ask them to co-sponsor this bill. Tell your friends to do the same.

Music in the Classroom

If you like to play music in the classroom, consider these sites.

Pandora: Enter a song (or artist) that you like; Pandora will create a radio station that plays music similar to the song you entered. You can tweak the profile by giving a thumbs up or down for each song.


Musicovery: Pick a mood, decade, or genre; Musicovery will play songs that match what you’re looking for.

Both sites are a great way to discover new artists. Enjoy!