Music in PE and playlist idea

I’ve found that playing music adds a wonderful dimension to a PE class. I can use it to energize or calm down a class, or just add some fun. I love it when just the right song comes on and all the kids are singing along as they work on their skill or play a game. I often see, or get asked for requests, for song ideas for a PE playlist, so here are some ideas:

Current Disney or other movie hits are always great with little ones (K-2). Especially if there is a current movie out with a really great soundtrack. Frozen is a good example of this. When that movie came out, I could put the soundtrack on and the whole class would be singing along. It was adorable. (Now I get groans for Frozen songs so there is a definite time table)

Write down songs you hear at sporting events in your area. Chances are you have students that are attending those events and they will get excited to hear those songs.

Ask your older students for ideas. You’ll need to carefully screen and I scratch a lot (because I’m the one that hears them all day), but I do get a few good ones.

Make separate playlists for holidays and other special events. For example I have a playlist that has songs I only play for certain activities like Star Wars songs, Mission Impossible, swamp music, etc. I also have a Christmas playlist, Halloween playlist, and a tabata playlist that I use for warm-ups.

Here is my current (and always changing) PE playlist:

High Hopes/Panic at the Disco

Natural/Imagine Dragons

Life Changes/Thomas Rhett

Better When I’m Dancin’/Megan Trainor

Only Wanna Be With You/Hootie and the Blowfish

Connection/One Republic

Hall of Fame/The Script

Wake Me Up/Avicli

Glad You Came/The Wanted

Maps/Maroon 5


Lift Me Up/One Republic

Out of My League/Fitz and The Tantrums

Baby Shark/Pinkfong

Immigrant Song/Led Zepplin

Dynamite/China Anne McClain

Pump Up the Jam/Crazy Frog

Fireflies/Owl City

La La La/Shakira

Can’t Stop The Feeling/Justin Timberlake

Keep Your Head Up/Andy Grammar

Different Colors/Walk The Moon

Hula Hoop/OMI

Whatever It Takes/Imagine Dragons

Mom/Meghan Trainor

Old Town Road/Lil Nas X (student request and favorite)


Zero/Imagine Dragons

Have It All/Jason Mraz

One Minute More/Capital Cities

Play That Song/Train

Wasted Time/Keith Urban

Walk Me Home/Pink

Rescue Me/One Republic (current favorite)

Shine/Collective Soul

Welcome to The Jungle/Guns N Roses

Hey, Soul Sister/Train

Grenade/Bruno Mars (student request)

Cake By The Ocean/DNCE (clean version)

Heaven/One Republic

Fine By Me/Andy Grammar

Try Everything/Shakira

Wonders/The Script

One Less Day/Rob Thomas

Take On Me/A-ha

Best Day of My Life/American Authors

Believer/American Authors

Superheroes/The Script

Brave/Sara Bareilles


Because We Can/Bon Jovi

It’s Time/Imagine Dragons

Good Time/Owl City & Carly Rae Jeppson

The Middle/Jimmy Eats World

On Top of The World/Imagine Dragons

Funkytown/Lipps, Inc

Cool Kids/Echosmith

Viva La Vida/Coldplay

I Lived/One Republic

Sugar/Maroon 5

Don’t Stop/5 Seconds of Summer

Animal/Neon Trees

You’re My Best Friend/Queen

Life Is A Highway/Rascal Flatts

Ho Hey/Lumineers

Centuries/Fall Out Boy

Don’t Stop Believin’/Journey

House of Gold/Twenty One Pilots

Kernkraft 400/Zombie Nation (radio edit)

Rise/ Katy Perry

Luck/American Authors

I Like To Move It/Madagascar 5

One Thing/One Direction

Eye of The Tiger (many versions)

I Was Born/Hanson

Something Just Like This/Chainsmokers and Coldplay

Hopefully, this list will give some ideas of music that might be right for your class. Comment with your favorites because I always need new songs to keep things fresh!