Transitions and Cutting Music with GarageBand- An Easy Cheesy Tutorial

A while back, I did a post about using music for transitions in my classroom. Lots of us do this and it's simply brilliant. Whenever my mom comes into my classroom, she says my kids are "trained like dogs" because they respond so well to the music.

Well, I used to have all of the songs on my iPod that was hooked up to the speakers on the SMART board. Anytime I needed a song to play, I would have to get up (from wherever I was in the classroom) and put the song on (because I didn't want my kiddo's grimy little hands touching my personal iPod). This was not very convenient for me, but it worked. So, you can imagine my excitement when I had this serious lightbulb moment thanks to Pinterest!!!

                                                                       Source: via Sandy on Pinterest

Mrs. Lirette at Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives is a genius! 
Embed all the songs in a SMART board file!!! Duh!!!! Now I can have it up all day, the KIDS can press the song we need (when I tell them to of course!!!) and I'm not having to worry about my iPod all day!!! 

So, I got to work and started to create my SMART board file.
(I am obsessed with this background!!! It's from Maree Truelove!) 

You just press the star to play the song! But the songs I've been using (for the last five years) are starting to get on my nerves... So I picked some new songs from iTunes- some of my favorites:

Pink Panther
Austin Powers
I Like to Move it


Problem: The songs were too long. I'm sorry but the kids don't need 3 minutes and 47 seconds to line up.

Enter GarageBand.

I created this tutorial (this is my FIRST tutorial!!! Ever! I hope it turned out okay!) to show you how to cut the songs down in GarageBand and embed them into a SMART board file. It's super easy. And if I can do it, you can too! Trust me!!!

What songs do you use for transitions??? Any fun ones?!? Like, I said, my old ones are driving me nuts and I need new ones! 


Hope this helps you! 


  1. Brilliant! I use music all the time in my classroom, but I've never used specific songs for certain things. Is Garageband a Mac specific program? It would be great to cut down the songs. You're right... they do not need 3+ minutes to line up. :)

    The Teaching Thief

  2. Great tutorial! I'd love to hear what other people use are transition songs - especially in the intermediate grades.

  3. Hi Sandy!! What a great tutorial!! I don't have a SMART board (I wish!), but I love playing music in my classroom and this was really neat to see! I really need to experiment more with Garageband and all the stuff it can do!!

    Lessons with Laughter

  4. Great tutorial, Sandy! This has been on my to do list for awhile :) Thanks for sharing!

    EduKate and Inspire

  5. Thank you sooooo much for your great idea and tutorial Sandy! I love using music in the classroom but you are right, we only need a minute or so, so the Garage Band idea is awesome! Here are four of my favorite songs for transitions in the classroom. This year I will definitely have the songs used for a particular purpose!

    "All the Way Around the World" by Katherine Dines "Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Music for Growing Families"

    "Slip into Spring" by Bill Whelan "Riverdance"

    "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo "Alone in Iz World"

    "Menuetto, Divertimento Serenade", by Mozart
    "The Mozart Effect"

    A Little Tech

  6. Thanks for this information. I am creating a SmartBoard file right now. It is so easy!
    Love ALL the information on your blog!

  7. Hi Sandy, thanks for the tutorial I am going to try it! I also use music to transition but I do not have specific songs for specific activities. I will also try that but for now I use my Ipod and choose a song according to how my kiddos are reacting. If I want them excited and ready to work I play Miley Cirus Party in the USA or Justin Beiber song etc. However if they are off the wall and I need them to calm down I play a slow song Taylor Swift The Hunger Games. My students know to transition and they are allowed to talk but when I lower the music it is their signal to be ready and quiet by the time the music stops. This gives me the option of how long to transition. It works like a charm.

    Thanks for sharing,

  8. Oops, forgot to mention I have an FM system so I place my microphone next to my Ipod to increase volume.


  9. I LOVE this!!! Thank you! i've been using my Promethean Board to play a video of me singing our clean up song. This will be SO much better!!! Can't wait to try it out!