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Tuesday, February 21, 2023

MIOSM® Bracket Song Lists

I love doing a March Madness- style bracket of songs each March for Music In Our Schools Month! It's a lot of fun, but the hardest part is coming up with a list of songs that are all school-appropriate for even the youngest students (I have students as young as preschool participating) while still being cool enough for the older ones (my oldest are 6th graders), and represent a broad spectrum of styles, artists, cultures, and genres. Here are all the lists of songs I've used over the years so you can easily implement it in your school too!

If you aren't familiar with the concept, the idea of the song bracket is to have students listen to 2 songs each day and vote on their favorite, and then have the winning songs go against each other in a March Madness-style bracket until a final winning song is selected at the end of the month. It's a great way to get the whole school listening to music every day, and it's the perfect opportunity to incorporate a broad range of styles, artists, genres, and time periods that students (and the rest of the school community) may not normally listen to. 

I've been doing this since 2019 and each year I have chosen a theme for my song list tied to the theme that NAfME puts out for Music In Our Schools Month® that year. But you certainly don't need to feel tied to a particular year's theme, and to be honest many of them could easily connect to any broad theme from NAfME anyway! Here are all of the song lists I've done (and I plan to continue adding to this post in future years so bookmark this page) so you can find the one you want to use (or get inspiration to make your own!):

2019 bracket tied to the NAfME theme "All Music. All People", focusing on diverse cultures/ genres:

2021 bracket tied to the NAfME theme "Sound of My Heart", using songs with the word "love" in the title:

2022 bracket tied to the NAfME theme "Sound of My Heart", using instrumental pieces that portray different emotions:

2023 bracket tied to the NAfME theme "Music Is All of Us", using songs with the theme of friendship/ unity/ togetherness:

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below- I'm always happy to help! I do a lot of different activities in music class beyond the annual song bracket to celebrate Music In Our Schools Month®- check out all of my previous posts here with lots of ideas that are easy to implement and fun for the whole school community.

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