Te Kotahitanga
Manu Reo o Aotearoa

Year 7-8 Singing

Singing for wellbeing

  • Some students can be resistant to singing in Year 7-8. Focusing on the wellbeing aspects of singing and keeping sessions short and physical can help, for example, as part of a daily routine. Starting the day with waiata as part of your whanaungatanga can help the students bond, along with ending the day with a waiata or singing activity.

  • Singing can help students with anxiety to relax: using deep, controlled breathing in singing has been proven to decrease cortisol, a stress hormone.

  • At other times of the day, singing can be a quick way to energise students, or to change between activities.

  • "Brain Breaks" during the course of the day, with a focus on having fun in an inclusive and spontaneous way using a mixture of teacher-chosen and student-chosen song in a class playlist (checking that the songs have appropriate lyrics.)

  • Have a "class song," or "Friday afternoon karaoke," is a fun way to end the week - consider creating a shared class song-list (teacher moderated).

Keep it fun

  • Find opportunities for your class to perform their songs.

  • They respond well to moving with music - choreography and actions - or using instruments when they sing

  • Use singing games that keep students challenged. 


Remind students that the classroom is a safe zone, and that you appreciate them taking part

The physical and emotional changes in these year groups can be huge, which will impact on the physiology of the singing voice and also the social act of singing.

Both boys and girls will experience changes in their vocal production, brought about by puberty. Girls' voices can often become quite breathy and lose vocal range. Voice changes are often even more pronounced for boys and can leave them feeling very vulnerable when singing. Boys with unchanged voices may feel self-conscious about still having treble voices, and those with changed voices may feel that their new voice doesn’t fit with the other singers in the class.

Remind students that if their voices are being unpredictable, they don't need to be stressed - it will be there another day. Students will be more inclined to take risks and try new things if there is a well established culture of feeling safe in the classroom and when singing.

Songs for literacy and learning

Students in Year 7 and 8 want more ‘substance’ in what they sing so it's great to keep the songs relatable!

Musical development

  • Use rhythm to engage the students - feeling the beat, using body percussion or simple actions will help take the focus away from the actual singing if students are feeling self-conscious.

  • Students of this age are often very competent musically and respond well to more challenging music – rhythmically and harmonically.

  • Find songs that extend them, or add instruments when they sing and try singing games that keep students challenged.

  • Keep encouraging students to use their singing voices (not shout-singing).

  • it can be helpful to start songs in a lower key and move progressively higher, step by step.

You'll need: 

Backing track videos (without a vocal part if possible), for example, from YouTube, a projector and speaker. Students love singing with live instruments if you can play, for example, ukulele, piano or guitar. If you can teach students how to read sheet music, print copies for them if possible. For further information, see Hear Our Voices by Megan Flint, Mary Cornish and Maria Winder, or get in touch.

Song ideas for Year 7-8

E Tū Tangata - Kath Bee

  • Lyric video
  • multi-layered, with haka, rap and singing
  • ‘Pop’ song character
  • Repetition aids learning
  • Good message

Love as our guide - Sing Up

  • Lyric video and support materials
  • Interesting melody
  • Pop anthem style; spoken chant/layer
  • Repetition aids the learning
  • Good message
  • Good vocal range

Guardians of Papatūānuku in English and te reo Māori - Loopy Tunes

  • Lyric video
  • Lovely melody, lyrical
  • Repetition aids learning
  • Great message

Whakaronga ake au - Hei Waiata Hei Whakakoa

  • Kaea (call) is low but otherwise an easy vocal range for young singers
  • Interesting melody, catchy, easily learnt
  • Repetition aids learning

A tihe mauri ora - Hei Waiata Hei Whakakoa

  • Good vocal range for young singers
  • Interesting melody
  • catchy, easily learnt
  • Good message

Websites for more Year 7-8 songs

Places around NZ (RNZ article)

Wild Dunedin songs (young but fun)

NZ Sign Language songs from MENZA 

Hook Line and Singalong songs

Contemporary songs that work well for intermediate-age voices

Bring It All Back - S Club 7

Reach - S Club 7

Better When I'm Dancin' - Meghan Trainor

Give - Stan Walker

Can't Wait to Be King - Lion King

Que Sera - Justice Crew

Uncle John from Jamaica - Vengaboys

September - Trolls

Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da - Himesh Patel

Can't Stop the Feeling - Justin Timberlake

We Don't Talk about Bruno - Encanto

Bigger - Stan Walker

Count On Me - Bruno Mars

All She Wrote - Six 60

Bad Hair Day - Kiwi Kid Songs

Zip A Dee Doo Dah - Disney Song

We Go Together - Grease

Don't Forget Your Roots - Six 60

Depending on your school, you may like to make playlists using YouTube, Spotify, or make custom backing tracks through apps, like karaoke-version.com