Songs for End of the Year Slideshows

young woman listening to music on headphones on colorful background

This post may contain affiliate links that allow us to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

It is hard to believe, but the end of the dance and school year is quickly approaching. The search for the perfect music to go along with pictures and videos from the past year is on.  Looking for songs for end of the year slideshows?  Listed below are a variety of songs that will allow you to define the tone of your slideshow – upbeat and happy, slightly sad and reflective, or a mix of both. 

End of Year Slideshow Songs

Updated:  10/15/20

Slideshow Song List

Scroll down to listen to the Spotify Playlist…

A Friend Like You – The Fresh Beat Band

Always No. 1 – Alistair Griffin

Baby I’m a Star – Prince

Back Home – Andy Grammer

Best Days – Graham Colton

Celebration – Kool The Gang

Count On Me – Bruno Mars

Don’t Blink – Kenny Chesney

Dream Big – Ryan Shupe & The Rubberband

Dynamite – Taio Cruz

Find Your Wings – Mark Harris

For Good – Idina Menzel & Kristin Chenoweth

Forever Young – Lisbeth Scott

Forever Young – Rod Stewart

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Miley Cyrus

Glad You Came – The Wanted

Gold – Owl City

Good Life – OneRepublic

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Green Day

Graduation (Friends Forever) – Vitamin C

Great Day – The Fresh Beat Band

Hall of Fame – The Script,

Have It All – Jason Mraz

Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles

History – One Direction

Home – Phillip Phillips

How To Say Goodbye – Michael W. Smith

I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas

I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston

It’s Our Time – Marty Casey

Just Dance – Lady Gaga & Colby O’Donis

Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars

Lean On Me – Club Nouveau

Let Them Be Little – Billy Dean

Let’s Get Loud – Jennifer Lopez

Little Wonders – Meet the Robinsons (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)

My Wish – Rascal Flatts

Never Grow Up – Taylor Swift

No Boundaries – Kris Allen

On the Floor (CCW Radio Mix)  [feat. Pitbull] – Jennifer Lopez

On My Way – Phil Collins

Party Rock Anthem (feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock) – LMFAO

Run the World (Girls) – Beyonce

Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root

Shooting Star – Owl City

Slow Down – Nichole Nordeman

Smile – Uncle Kracker

Something to Dance For – Zendaya

So Long – Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward

Sunrise Sunset – Sex and the City 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

The One Who Knows – Dar Williams

The Time (Dirty Bit) – Black Eyed Peas

The Time of My Life – David Cook

The World’s Greatest – R. Kelly

This Is the Time – Billy Joel

Time of Our Lives – Tyrone Wells

Tiny Dancer – Elton John

Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield

We Are Family – Sister Sledge

We Are Family – Rhino Hi-Five

We Go Together – Grease (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)

We Will Not Grow Old – Lenka

What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

Whenever You Remember – Carrie Underwood

You’re Gonna Miss This – Trace Adkins

You’ve Got a Friend – James Taylor


  1. I would also highly suggest “Time of Our Lives” by Tyrone Wells if you’re looking for something emotional. I used it for a soccer video and everyone wanted to know what the song was so they could use it for other projects. It’s available through itunes and for purchase.

    • Thank you for your recommendation – what a beautiful song. I have added it to the list! Thanks again.

  2. I also would suggest Akon’s “One Day” to add on.

    • Thank you Theresa! I will check it out.

  3. Thanks for all the great suggestions. I make a slide show for all my first grade parents at the end of the year. I end with “From This Moment”. Emotional but leaving first grade is….

    • You are welcome! Love that song and yes, my youngest is going into second grade – each year is a new journey! Thanks for stopping by.

    • I lillarety jumped out of my chair and danced after reading this!

    • Jodi L Brandsma

      We are not able to do our traditional Preschool graduation this year. I am looking at doing a slideshow. Can you share with me the program you use?

  4. Great list! My favorite songs to put on my end of the year DVD include: My Wish by Rascal Flatts, Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole or Jason Castro, I Wish Everyday Could Be Like Christmas by Bon Jovi, I Hope You Dance by Martina McBride, Let Them Be Little by Rascal Flatts, Walking On Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves, You’ve Got a Friend in Me by Randy Newman, It’s a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.

    • Angie, thank you for stopping by and for sharing your favorites!

  5. I always end with “The Graduation Song” by Vitamin C and I teach my students the chores! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for sharing Barb – I have heard that song quite a bit for end of the year events!

    • Arletcis like this are an example of quick, helpful answers.

  6. Two I used for our elementary slide show were We’re Going to Be Friends and My Own Two Hands by Jack Johnson from the Curious George soundtrack. They were great!

    • Love both of those songs – and you can never go wrong with Jack Johnson! Thank you for stopping by!

  7. Great list!!!! One of my all time favorite songs even when I graduated a LONG time ago was “Friends” ( friends are friends forever) by Steven Curtis Chapman. Makes me cry and smile all at the same time! I know it’s old but it’s such a great song!

    • Thanks Allison! I am not familiar with that song. I will definitely check it out!

    • It is actually by Michael W. Smith. Definitely a tear jerker

  8. I really like the song “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts for end of year slideshows.

      • This is an arilcte that makes you think “never thought of that!”

  9. I used “Great Day” and “A Friend Like You” both by The Fresh Beat Band (Nick Jr) for my end of the school year slideshow for my Kindergarten students. πŸ™‚ It worked really well for what we made. πŸ™‚

  10. I reccomend “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day, also the theme song from F.R.I.E.N.D.S would be a great one to use!

    • Yes, Good Riddance is a good one. I will have to listen to the theme song from F.R.I.E.N.D.S – it has been a while since I have heard it. Thank you for your suggestions!

  11. A couple other great ones are “Lean on Me”(Kid Rock and Cheryl Crow version) and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (Toy Story)…

    • Thank you Anne for your suggestions! I had not thought about Lean On Me – such a good song!

  12. I love the ideas, but aren’t there copyright problems if you use the songs in a DVD to give to parents at the end of the year?

    • Thanks for stopping by. Copyright is a very important issue. If you are asking about copyright for school classrooms, consult the staff at your school for information on this. I have read a bit tonight and it appears music played in the classroom for educational purposes is exempt from copyright, but putting together a slideshow and distributing cd’s to the class would not be. Again, check with your schools administrators for details on this. I would imagine if you put a slideshow together for the end of the year and tied it in with an end of the year lesson, it could work.

      As for dance teachers, they purchase licenses so they may play music. There is a wonderful article detailing how this works at The Dance Buzz.

  13. Great list! Here are some others I’ve used:
    The Climb-Miley Cyrus
    No Boundaries- Kris Allen
    Home-Phillip Phillips
    Unwritten- Natasha Beddingfield

    • Thank you! I imagine Home will become even more popular from all of the air play it has received on the Olympics. Such a great song.

  14. I have one more to add…Rod Stewart singing “Forever Young”. All my kids had that played at pre-K to K graduation….cried, cried, cried

    • Love that song Jackie. There is also another song called Forever Young by Lisbeth Scott that is really sweet. I am adding the link above. Thank you for stopping by!

      • Blake Shelton’s version is great as well

  15. Count On Me by Bruno Mars. Great SONG!

    • That is a great song! I will definitely have to add it. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. Heavenly Day by Patty Griffin. She will change your life.

    • Thank you for your suggestion! I will check it out.

  17. I also love Remember Me This Way by Jordan Hill.

  18. …also Count on Me by Cee Cee Wynans and Whitney Houston.

  19. My daughter’s kindergarten teacher used “The World’s Greatest” by R. Kelly. I get goosebumps when I hear it now πŸ™‚

    • what a wonderful song! thank you!

      • You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

  20. Another vote for Unwritten- Natasha Beddingfield

    • Thanks for stopping by Bobbi! That is a great song.

  21. This is so great!! I have a few that I like, but our teck department says we can’t make copies for our parents without owner permission (copywrite laws). Do you make copies for parents? If you do how do you handle copywrite?


    • Hi Judi!

      I am not a teacher so I am not in the situation to distribute CDs to a class, but one year, my daughter’s teacher made an adorable slideshow for the class with music. The parents and children got to watch it at an end of year celebration. Each family received a cd with the pictures from the slideshow, but without music. It was still a great keepsake. She had captured so many wonderful moments that most parents don’t get to see. Hope this helps!

    • Great song Susie! Thank you so much for sharing. It’s always great to find new music and new (at least to me) artists to support. I will get the song added to the list. πŸ™‚

  22. I just made one for my Girl Scout Troop last year and added “We Can Change the World” by Bridgit Mendler from Disney’s Friends for Change.

  23. Last year, I heard a senior sing “You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Adkins at our final show choir concert, and I almost cried. Also, “Seasons of Love” from Rent is a song we use every year to say goodbye to the seniors.

  24. Do you know of any songs in Spanish that would be appropriate for a kindergarten program slide show?

  25. (Part of your) History by Blue Merle
    Once you hear this song, you will use it in every slide show ever
    OR from Pictures and Sound “Forever to Reach”

    • Thank you for stopping by Kathy. Looking forward to checking out that song. That is a new one to me. Thank you for sharing.

  26. My daughter’s kindergarten teacher used “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston. I still get tearful every time I hear it ! ( 13 years later! Lol.)

  27. The Rainbow Connection by Weezer

  28. Here’s the playlist for our slideshow:
    Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
    I’m On My Way – The Proclaimers
    Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & the Waves
    Home – Phillip Phillips
    Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Green Day
    What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
    Send Me on My Way – Rusted Root

    It makes me smile, tear up, and smile again.

    • Do you use all those songs? I am trying to decide how long our slide show should be.

  29. Definitely “We are going to be friends” by Jack Johnson (PERFECT for elementary kids)! Also, “Somewhere over the rainbow”!

  30. “Giant Sized Butterflies” by Justin Roberts is a great song

  31. Can you please tell me where to get music from if I don’t want to purchase the cd? I made a picture cd for my students two years ago and purchased the music from iTunes, but when I went to play the cd with music for the kids the music wouldn’t play. I called iTunes and they said that the music would only play on the device that I downloaded the music on. I was so upset after spending all of the time to make the CDs for the kids that I haven’t tried it the past couple of years. Thanks for any guidance you can provide. :*}

  32. I love Reach for the Stars by S club 7. Cheesy but apt!

  33. Corey Smith’s- I’m not gonna cry
    The Weepies- Can’t go back now

    • Thank you Brandy! I will check them out.

  34. My kids love “I Believe” by Yolanda Adams. We used it in our graduation slideshow, and they still sing it all the time

  35. “Happy” by Pharrell . Fun and “happy” song.

  36. How about These are the Days by Natalie Merchant?

  37. Gabrielle St-Louis

    I highly recommend
    Good Riddances – Green Day
    See you again- Carrie Underwood
    Glad you came- The Wanted
    This is what makes us girls (for girls) – Lana Del Ray
    Hey Brother- Avicii

  38. Sorry, this list just isn’t complete without Nickelback’s Photograph! Truly their best song, it’s like it was made for nostalgic slideshows. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Anna. Great suggestion! I will have to add that one this week. πŸ™‚

  39. great list! Many that I hadn’t thought of and I’m working on my fourth slideshow now. Another favorite of mine to use is I’m Not Gonna Cry by Corey Smith.

  40. Not sure if this has been suggested but I feel it’s perfect for finally reaching the end of the year. ‘I Lived’ by OneRepublic <3

    • I always use this one! It’s perfect for the part of the slideshow that shows our ELC trip photos (they do a high ropes course, and a lot of other brave and unifying things).

  41. I teach preschool and have used “When You Wish Upon a Star”, Zippy-Dee-Do-Dah”, “Sing” (the Carpenters), I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”, in addition to some of the ones others have mentioned.

  42. I love “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts but it was a little too country for a slideshow I was doing for my niece. I used the version from the Katinas which is great as well!

  43. The song When I Grow Up from Matilda the musical is such a cute song that I put in my preschool graduation video!

  44. How do you handle copyright laws? Do you pass the slideshows out to the students or do you use them for just classroom use? I haven’t done one before but I wanted the kids to have it too because I’m not going to be able to do a book like I usually do. Just wondering. Thanks!

  45. Great list! I always use β€œThank You for Loving Me” by Bon Jovi

  46. Mallory Bingham

    I need a song for a slideshow but am worried about compyright? Could I post it on Facebook?

  47. I love In the Eyes of a Child by Air Supply. Sweet song

  48. I’d add “Have it All” by Jason Mraz.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here