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10 Showtunes for Surviving School

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You made it to the end of the holidays! Here are our top ten songs from musical theatre to help you and your little ones survive the school rollercoaster again.


1. ‘Do-Re-Mi’ from The Sound of Music

Let’s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with “A-B-C”
When you sing you begin with “Do-Re-Mi”

Always a popular number at our concerts, there’s no better mantra for a little one who is new to school. Why can’t all teachers be like Maria von Trapp?

2. ‘When I Grow Up’ from Matilda

And when I grow up
I will eat sweets everyday on the way to work and I will go to bed late every night
And I will wake up when the sun comes up and I will watch cartoons until my eyes go square
And I won’t care because I’ll be all grown up
When I grow up

Matilda has now been running in the West End for almost 6 years, and looks set to stay for much longer. Tim Minchin’s show is full to the brim of catchy tunes and witty lyrics – this song stands out for it’s beautiful simplicity. What do you want to be when you grow up?

3. ‘Back To School’ from Grease 2

Woe, is me, all summer long, I was happy and free
Save my soul, the board of education took away my parole
I gotta go back, back, back to school again
You won’t find me ’til the clock strikes three

Because Grease 2 doesn’t get enough love. One for the parents who grew up in the 80s – the ultimate song for a new term!

4. ‘Mamma I’m A Big Girl Now’ from Hairspray

Once upon a time I was a shy young thing
Could barely walk and talk so much as dance and sing
But let me hit that stage, I wanna take my bow
‘Cause mama, I’m a big girl now

Do you have a three-nager who keeps yelling ‘I want to do it MYSELF!!’? This is the song for them.

5. ‘My Shot’ from Hamilton

I am not throwing away my shot!
I am not throwing away my shot!
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot!

No current list could be complete without a track from Broadway and-soon-to-be-West End-hit Hamilton – it’s the musical of the moment. Want your little one to seize every moment at school and in the big wide world? This one will rev them up to never miss an opportunity.

6. ‘Getting To Know You’ from The King and I

It’s a very ancient saying 
But a true and honest thought 
That if you become a teacher 
By your pupils you’ll be taught

Going to school means lots of new faces, new friends and lots of ‘getting to know you’. This King and I classic reminds us that however much there is for our little ones to learn once they go back to school – we can usually learn an important thing or two from them too.

You can hear this performed live at our October and November concerts!

7. ‘Heigh-Ho’ from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho
It’s off to work we go
Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho

On a wet, grey British day it’s easy to feel a little sluggish on the nursery/school run. With a chorus that even the littlest children can join in on, this classic from Disney’s Snow White will perk you up and get you there in no time.

8. ‘You’re In The Band’ from School of Rock

If you play the piano, you can play the keys
So just loosen it up and strut your expertise
Take a look at this music and let your mind expand – you’re in the band

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest hit (currently playing at the New London Theatre) shows us that no education is complete without the teaching of music and the arts – and who said it had to be all recorders, clarinets and flutes?

9. ‘A Little More Homework’ from 13

I’m trying to follow
I’m trying to lead
I’m trying to find what is true
But if you’re going to stand with me
Then you have to concede
That we all have a little more homework to do

13 thirteen-year olds take to the stage in Jason Robert Brown’s musical 13. After learning a tough lesson or two about growing up they realise they’ve got a little bit more life homework to do! Extra bonus points if you can spot a 12-year-old Arianna Grande, making her professional Broadway debut, giving some fierce backing vocals.

10. ‘Naughty’ from Matilda

But nobody else is gonna put it right for me
Nobody but me is gonna change my story
Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty

School rules are great…. but sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty! No-one does naughty better than the kids in Matilda.


 – with thanks to Richard Jones for this post @richtomjones