Motivational Songs are good for the mind, body and spirit in kids of all ages. If you are like me, a kid staring at 40, listening to motivational songs gives me that much needed pick-me-up in the middle of the day transforming my entire mood, bringing me to my feet, and inviting me to dance. And more importantly, for my own kids, motivational songs teach valuable life lessons that will conjure up powerful memories for many years to come.
A song is motivational if it has a positive and encouraging message. For example, lyrics like “You can get it if you really want, but you must try,” suggest ideas of determination and hard work. However, some songs might have an upbeat rhythm that frees the mind and moves the body…like in the theme song from the Rocky series “Gonna Fly Now”. That invigorating horn arrangement, along with that rock guitar solo, oh and that string movement are so powerful it gives you that little push, the extra energy to get up and go.
Even school teachers find that the right music helps facilitate learning by creating a desirable atmosphere and energizes activities for children. It can also help them to increase their attention, improve their memory, release tension, and so much more. How cool is that?
As a mother of 2 small children, I also find that motivational songs give them positive sayings that you won’t be embarrassed to hear them repeat or sing along to. Subsequently, for parents, motivational lyrics become words of wisdom to use when teaching kids about the “trials and tribulations” of life that Princess Tiana sings about in “Almost There” (SEE BELOW). Basically, they work just like inspirational quotes do. But, since they have the ability to get stuck in the listener’s head and repeat into oblivion, motivational songs are that much more powerful!
Fortunately, motivational songs can be found in all genres and from an array of artists old and new, popular and not so popular. Although there are so many to choose from, here are just a few I have introduced my children to. These are in no particular order.
1. “Accentuate the Positive” sung by Dr. John, is a highly stylized version of the old standard that was featured in the movie The Mighty Ducks. This one leaves them singing along to some very good words of wisdom that were originally written by Harold Arlen who was reported to have been inspired by a church sermon he had heard with the same title.
2. “You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly!” is a beloved Disney classic tune from Peter Pan. Its charismatic “old school” charm is still refreshing after all of these years.
3. “We Did It!” from Dora the Explorer series is simply a celebration of achievement. It has an undeniably infectious beat and always brings you to your feet to dance.
4. “Walking Tall” by Ziggy Marley and featuring Paul Simon, is a new catchy tune written in the tradition of his father’s positive lyricism. There is an important lesson being taught here, and is done in such a cute way that it is destined to become a hit!
5. “Tomorrow” sung by Alicia Morton from the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Annie. I can recall those lyrics being there for me growing up, and hope other children find them as equally encouraging.
6. Although “Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah” sung by James Baskett isn’t a favorite yet amongst my kiddies, Grandma loves it and every time we are in the car, that is her first request. Maybe I should have picked the Miley Cyrus version…which leads me to…
7. “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus is the one the 3-year-old loves best. There is a great message in this one, too. But, I don’t even think she cares! It’s Hannah Montana!
8. “All Star” by Smash Mouth is a late nineties classic with a great message so wholesome it has already been featured in countless movies, commercials, and “best of” compilations and never gets old. Not only does it bring you to your feet, but it fills your kids’ mouths with some great words that can boost self-esteem and inner confidence.
9. “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley is a reggae classic that also hits home for so many people…”Don’t worry ’bout a thing…every little thing’s gonna be alright.” Who doesn’t need to here that from time to time? It’s a great song for kids and certainly has lyrics to live by.
10. “My Favorite Things” by Julie Andrews is first and foremost always a great vocal workout! She hits those notes and holds them as long as only she can. But in her rendition of this popular standard, she clearly delivers a great solution to anyone feeling down in the dumps…Make a list of your favorite things. Pull them out when you need them, and let it work miracles on your mood. Great idea!
11. “Almost There” by Anika Noni Rose from Disney’s new The Princess and the Frog film is so good it was nominated for an Academy Award this year. It’s so easy to sing along to, all the while relaying an important message about determination. How many times have you needed a tune like this to help you stay motivated when nearing the finish line?
The important thing to remember is that by taking the time to do a little picking and choosing of what they listen to, just like they monitor what they watch, parents can regain some power to control the ideas and images that penetrate their children’s minds. Furthermore, by feeding them with positive ideas and images through music, parents can program their children to become stronger, more independent, and successful individuals. Pretty cool, huh?
And, did I mention CHEAP? Amazon not only lists “Walk Tall” by Ziggy Marley as FREE, but each download is only .99 cents a piece. And, for a collection of 11 songs, that totals out to about $9.90. Now that’s a bargain! You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home. It downloads instantly and you can unveil it to your kids within minutes.
Simply put, motivational songs are a fun, easy, and cheap way to teach your children about hard work, discipline, determination, respect for others and more. And as parents, this is the most important work we can do and motivational songs allow us to do it “in the most delightful way!”