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Summer Playlist 2024

While I don’t get to listen to much music outside of researching songs for students and songs about unicorns and other various animals for my toddlers at home…I wanted to share a few summer favorites in case you want to add something new to your summer listening! 


Pop songs


A Safe Place to Land by Sara Bareilles and John Legend. 

When Girls 5 Eva Came out on Netflix I took a deep dive back into the songs of one of my favorite artists Sara Bareilles. While I didn’t particularly love the show, I am still blown away by Bareilles’s ability to express human emotions beautifully. I do not have a way with words, Bareilles does, and is an amazing artist all around. 


Light on by Maggie Rodgers

I heard this on a random show I was watching and used my phone to identify the song. I think I liked it because she sounded a bit like Sara Bareilles in this particular song, but I also enjoyed the message. 


Curses by The Crane Wives

A student brought this song in and said that the band was popular with a specific gaming community…don’t ask me which, because I misheard her and though she said the hermit crab community. We had a good laugh about that and then worked on the song. I love the jazzy feel and harmonies. 


Sort of by Ingrid Michaelson

I have been taking some classes with Tom Burke this past year and this was a song he used as an example in his Twang Farm series. I have been a fan of Ingrid Michaelson’s since my college days and her expressive performance in this particular recording is so touching. 


Reckless Driving by Lizzy McAlpine featuring Ben Kessler

I learned about Lizzy McAlpine from a voice teacher group I belong to and listened to a bunch of her songs on one of my drives home. This song is just so catchy and I really like the way the duet comes together at the end. 


Musical Theatre


Some Things Fall Away from Alice by Heart 

I learned about this musical from a friend who teaches at Columbia College in Chicago. If you are a fan of Spring Awakening you will love this score and the plot is a mash-up of Alice and Wonderland and WWII refugees trying to make it through the war. 


My Days from The Notebook

As someone who was in high school when the movie The Notebook came out,  I am excited about the musical version, and as I mentioned above I am an Ingrid Michaelson fan, so with her on the team, the entire show is sure to be fantastic. I had a student want to work on a section of this song that has blown up on TikTok and it is so fun. Joy Woods is a powerhouse singer and sings this song fabulously! 


Kids Songs

As mentioned I have two toddlers, so I had to share some current favorites in our house!


The Goldfish by Laurie Berkner

Laurie Berkner is one of the most fantastic children’s artists out there. She has a great voice, most of her songs allow for movement, and they are all FUN! My girls love to act out this song and I hope yours will as well!


If you want the feel of House Music/Electronic music but kid-friendly, then you need to check out Parry Grip. All of their songs are delightful and silly and sure to get you and your kiddos bouncing to the beat. 



This blog is by Dr. Jessica Saunders, co-owner and voice instructor at Dynamic Music Studios in Coralville, IA. Photos of DMS students from The Young Footliters Production of The Wizard of Oz this month.

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