Songs with good beats.

Songs with good beats.

Used in moderation, popular songs with steady beats may be excellent thanks to building experience with steady beat, motivate students, and build relationships. Here are 11 popular songs I prefer to use:: 
  • Uptown Funk – KidzBop
  • Happy
  • Best Day Of My Life
  • Ho Hey
  • Roar
  • Stronger
  • Stereo Hearts
  • Good Feeling
  • Can’t Stop The Feeling
  • Believer
  • I’m Still Standing

Read on for more details and explanations about using popular songs with a strong steady beat. 

songs with good beats

What Is A Steady Beat In Music?

A steady beat is that the pulse of the music. The rhythm fits into the steady beat.

When we speak about “steady” beat versus just a beat, we’re talking about a couple of beats whose pulse is even and doesn’t change.

A physical example would be someone walking at an identical speed for an entire song. The person walking wouldn’t speed up or block.

Steady beat is often fast or slow, but it stays even within itself (allow at special points it should change to a specific degree). this is often called tempo, or speed of the beat.

Musician playing drums on stage near guitar

Note: Beat isn't typically stated the drum patterns being played under a song. this can be often called a drum beat, but the steady beat actually refers to the heartbeat keeping the drumbeat together.

Why Teach Steady Beat? 

In music, most songs will exist gradually. Understanding the upper elements of rhythm and melody is vastly harder without the flexibility to stay and feel a gentle beat.

On a private note, having the ability to perform a gradual beat will facilitate your dance better to any music, clap, and chant together at sporting events, and rock your children after they don’t feel well or have to visit sleep.

From below of modern electronic shiny guitar against drum kit and speakers in music studio

One of my favorite steady beat resources is that the First Steps In Music curriculum.

I love how it focuses on helping master singing in tune, keeping a beat, and expressing emotion.

Check it out at the link (affiliate, we may earn a commission at no cost to you).

The set will get you thru multiple years, easily.

When To Use Popular Songs

Popular songs are a tough thing to incorporate in your music classroom. There are pros and cons to using them. Pros:

  • Get more student engagement
  • Students are more at home with them already
  • Makes learning more applicable to their real world


  • Often use inappropriate words or topics
  • Go in and out of recognition rapidly
  • Poor quality musical expression
  • Can encourage damaging singing technique
  • So, the question remains of when to use popular songs in your classroom.

Demonstrate a learned concept 

When I’ve used folk song and pieces to show and practice concepts like steady beat, rhythm, or pitch already, I'll give a well-liked song which also demonstrates the thought.

I don’t want them to simply enjoy the music, but i would like them to attach their new learning with music today.

Dj with mixer controller in night club

As a reward

My student teachers always inquire from me about classroom management. While i think management is 99% engagement, I’m not above the occasional bribery.

Usually, I bribe with instruments or silly music-related videos, but sometimes you'll be able to motivate your hard-to-reach students by playing their favorite school-appropriate popular songs.

To build relationships

We all have that student that won’t provide you with the time of day, regardless of what quantity we attempt to relate to them. But we all know the ability of music.

Asking them about their favorite artists then looking for a faculty appropriate choice can surprise them and help build that relationship which can lead to more participation from the scholar.

The Verdict

What do I recommend? Use popular songs sparingly, maybe once every 3-5 music class betting on how often you see them.

I heard a good analogy at a conference about music genre. If music is sort of a healthy diet, popular songs are like dessert.

It’s great fun to incorporate, but an excessive amount of will spoil your appetite and cause poorer health.

Black and Gray Roland Drum

When students inquire from me about this philosophy, I take advantage of another analogy with them:

Student: Why don’t we do more real music, like on the radio? 

Me: Why doesn’t your fourth grade teacher practice the alphabet with you anymore? 

Student: Umm… ‘cause that’s Kindergarten stuff. 

Me: Wait? You’re saying you don’t want to do that because you already know it? 

Student: Yeah…(eye roll possible)

Me: So, a teacher’s job isn’t to teach you things you already know, right? 

Student: Right. (about 60% still won’t see where you’re going, so you’ll probably have to spell it out). 

Me: So, while I love some of this music too, I have to teach with things you don’t know. But we’ll more with this stuff another day. 

Student: OK, Mr. V. You’re the coolest music teacher ever! (I may be stretching it at this point.)

1o Popular Songs With Strong Steady Beat

In this section, I’ve included 11 popular songs I prefer to use that teach steady beat. I’ve included songs with driving steady beats and links to their YouTube videos in our playlist.

#1 Uptown Funk – KidzBop

This song has still taken the planet by storm, and a large part of that's its strong steady beat. you are doing have to ensure you employ the KidzBop or edited version of the song. Appropriate Rating: 9/10 if KidzBop, 1/10 if original

Beat Rating: 10/10

Student Approval: 9/10

#2 Happy

From the Despicable Me 2 movie, this song could be a blast to sing and dance with. to seek out|searching for} popular songs during a kid’s movies may be a good place to find school-appropriate ones.

Appropriate Rating: 10/10 

Beat Rating: 10/10

Student Approval: 9/10

#3 Best Day Of My Life

This catchy tune is all about positivity. It’s still fairly modern too. 

Appropriate Rating: 9/10

Beat Rating: 8/10

Student Approval: 8/10

#4 Ho Hey

This Lumineers song is fun to sing with, the sole slight problem is that the phrase “bleeding’ out.” But even which will be glossed over without much problem.

Appropriate Rating: 7/10

Beat Rating: 8/10

Student Approval: 8/10

#5 Roar

Katy Perry’s uplifting anthems contain a powerful message and beat.

Appropriate Rating: 10/10

Beat Rating: 9/10

Student Approval: 8/10

#6 Stronger

Kelly Clarkson’s anthem may have written some years back now, but many still prefer it. The message and beat are strong.

Appropriate Rating: 10/10 

Beat Rating: 9/10

Student Approval: 7/10

#7 Stereo Hearts

This Gym Class Heroes/Adam Levine collaboration includes school-appropriate rapping together with an excellent hook to sing with.

Appropriate Rating: 9/10

Beat Rating: 10/10

Student Approval: 9/10

#8 Good Feeling

Flo Rida doesn’t have lots of faculty appropriate songs, but this one incorporates a killer beat and an excellent message about not forgoing on yourself.

Appropriate Rating: 10/10

Beat Rating: 10/10

Student Approval: 10/10

#9 Can’t Stop The Feeling

Justin Timeberlake’s song for the Trolls movie is fun to sing with and encourages you to bounce.

Appropriate Rating: 10/10

Beat Rating: 10/10

Student Approval: 9/10

#10 Believer

If I’m being honest, I like Imagine Dragons, and children do too. Unfortunately, most of their songs drop the word “hell” a minimum of once, but this one doesn’t. While the lyrics aren’t bad, they are not positive. But music isn’t always positive either. 

Appropriate Rating: 7/10 

Beat Rating: 8/10

Student Approval: 12/10

4 Quick Steady Beat Activities

Here are 4 quick steady beat activities you'll do along with your students while taking note of these songs.

Mirror Move – Students move to match the teacher. you must change the motions when the phrase changes; this reinforces the sensation of phrases naturally.

Follow The Leader – employing a special item of your choice, whoever holds the special item gets to form the beat motion to the song, and also the class follows them.

This also helps you to assess the leader’s ability to regulate the steady beat.

Macro vs. Micro Concentration – Students alternate between macrobeat on the ground and microbeat on their laps. The sign to change is after you strike a triangle.

Folk Dance Confusion – preferred songs use the identical 8-16 measure phrases folk dances do. you may try and call out a folk dance they already know to the beat and phrase of 1 of the foremost popular songs.

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