My Preschool Music Students Hate This Song

And that makes me happy

Laura Lind
Human Parts
Published in
3 min readJun 13, 2023

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Girl covering her ears and screaming
Mandyme27 | Pixabay

As I sit down at the piano, a few of my preschool music students cover their ears.

“Oh, no!” one of them says.

“I hate this song!” another complains.

Music to my ears.

Choosing songs to teach the children can be a difficult, time-consuming process. Over the years, I have pored through music books, listened to hundreds of CDs and cassette tapes (I’ve been teaching a long time), and watched countless YouTube videos, in search of those songs that have the potential to be hits.

I’ve mostly succeeded. I know I’ve found the perfect song when I finish it and the first word out of the kids’ mouths is “again.” In the infant/toddler classes where the kids are too young to talk, they will often use the American Sign Language sign for “more” when they like a song.

It’s great to get some feedback because, “again” aside, I often have no idea which activities really grab them. Every once in a great while, a parent will kindly tell me that their child sings a certain song at home or talks about an activity they enjoyed. But mostly, I can only gage my success rate by the children’s smiles, eagerness, and willingness to participate.

But when they don’t like something, they’re not shy about letting me know.

That’s the case with this song that they despise. It’s just a downer. In fact, in one of my recent classes, a four-year-old boy sighed, “This is the saddest part of music class.”

Yet I sing this song in every class.

It’s a Woody Guthrie song. I use several of his songs in my classes, because they’re fun and silly and capture the kids’ imagination. But this particular song is neither fun nor silly.

When I sang it recently, a boy lamented, “This is the worstest time of the day.”

So, what is this wretched song?

It’s “So Long, It’s Been Good to See You,” the song I sing at the end of each music class. There’s nothing wrong with Woody Guthrie or the song. When I sing it, it means that our time together is over for the week.

The little boy who complained about it being the “worstest time” continued, “I wish I could stay in music class all day.”

In a job where I often wonder what impact — if any — that I have on these tiny people, I treasure comments like that.

Kids can’t fill out surveys. They often can’t answer questions asking for their opinions. If I ask what song they’d like to sing, I usually get blank stares.

But if I listen — really listen — they will tell me what they think — the good, the bad, and the worstest.

There have been more than a few kids dissing the Woody Guthrie ditty. In fact, I don’t think there’s ever been such a poor response to a song.

It warms my heart that they hate it so much.

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Laura Lind
Human Parts

I write articles about music, pop culture, mindfulness, nature, and animals. I enjoy sharing life lessons, memoir, and photos, too.