1) I'm usually embarrassed by the type of music I listen to. While I may love "The Roadhouse" on XM in all its 70's-80's country glory, I doubt my students would. I can hear the conversation now.
Parent: "Umm... Teacher?"
Parent: "Little Johnny came home saying he now only likes songs about mama, or trains, or trucks, or prison, or..."
2) I refuse to listen to anything affiliated with Disney. Enough said.
3) You want to play music that sets a calm tone. This pretty much rules out anything the students will actually like.
I have found a few cd's that have worked well. I'm going to share these with you because I think they are great options if you're not completely sick of them like I am.
Say what you will about Enya, but she can calm even the rowdiest of 11 year olds. They laugh and make fun of it, but as time goes on you will hear your loudest critics singing "Carribean Blue" under their breaths. During my student teaching I would hear Enya streaming from down the hall every morning. I came to realize that the person playing it was the fabulous Jennifer Criss, fifth grade teacher extraordinaire. I was lucky enough to get a long term sub position in her room later that year and I kept the morning Enya tradition alive. I think this put both the students and me at ease because we felt Mrs. Criss was there in some small way.
Jack Johnson, Curious George soundtrack. Fun, kid-friendly, and not terrible. Too bad I'm really tired of listening to it.
Finally, Nickel Creek's first cd. The cover of the cd is just too cheesy to be included here. This is a great cd to put on while everyone is working. There's always the guy running off the edge of the lighthouse issue, but I think fifth graders are mature enough for that, don't you?
I have been searching for some new tunes for quite a while now, and I just can't find anything that feels right. I would love to hear any ideas!