We have searched high and low for the perfect letter sound songs to accurately teach the letter sounds. Correctly learning the letter sounds is a critical step into the world of pre-reading, and learning through music makes the process fun and memorable! For more awesome and educational songs, don’t miss our compilation of the best songs for kids.
Letter Sound Songs
One thing is for sure – letter names, sounds, and formation are an essential part of a preschooler’s day. Teaching the letter sounds accurately is so important to get right the first time! Otherwise, you’re accidentally setting yourself, and your kids, up for a world of frustration and re-training. Using high-quality letter sound songs to teach makes this even more engaging and fun!
Before we get into the songs, let’s briefly go through some of the most common letter sound mistakes.
Common Letter Sound Mistakes
1. Adding the Schwa Sound
A common mistake that many make when teaching letter sounds to preschoolers is adding the schwa sound (an unstressed vowel sound) to the end of the sound – think /l/ prounounced as /luh/, or /m/ pronounced as /muh/.
It may seem like that extra vowel sound added on to the end is really not all that consequential. But that extra vowel can make things really confusing for kids! You might not even notice a problem until they come to the next stage of reading: blending and segmenting sounds.
When young children are learning their letter sounds, adding those vowel sounds to the end can really hinder their ability to blend sounds together. For example, if a child has correctly learned all their letter sounds, they are on the path to blending three-letter CVC words such as tag, mop, and pig.
However, if they learn that /t/ says ‘tuh’ and /g/ says ‘guh’, suddenly blending the word tag goes from /t/ /a/ /g/ to /tuh/ /a/ /guh/. Young children would hear those incorrect sounds being blended and feel frustrated that the word doesn’t sound the way it is spelled and make reading feel very confusing and unpredictable.
2. Not Prounouncing the Letter Sounds Correctly
There are FOUR different letter-sound categories:
- STOP SOUNDS: B, C, D, G, H, J, K, P, and T
These are the quick and quiet sounds of the alphabet. They make a fast, short sound that does not continue on. These sounds can be especially tricky and are often subjected to the unwanted schwa at the end (like /buh/ or /puh/ instead of the hard /b/ and /p/.
2. CONTINOUS SOUNDS: F, L, M, N, R, S, V, Z
These sounds are the most fun and generally some of the first letter sounds to be taught. These sounds are one long fluid sound. The letter sound /s/ is a great one to start with since it makes the all-familiar snake sound and it’s an easy sound for students to replicate.
3. COMBINATION/TRICKY SOUNDS: H, Q, W, X, Y
These sounds can be tricky because they may contain a combination of continuous and stop sounds. For example, the letter sound /h/ should sign like a dog panting. So the sound is a stop sound but we would model it continuously, /h/ /h/ /h/. When pronouncing the letter sounds /w/ and /y/, you need to be especially careful not to add the /uh/ (schwa sound) to the end but rather clip or stop the sounds at the /w/ and the /y/.
4. VOWEL SOUNDS: A, E, I, O, U
These tricky vowels are often the HARDEST for kids because the vowel sounds have such similar sounds. Focusing on the shape of the mouth and the tongue’s position is very helpful in teaching correct vowel pronunciation. Plus, we know that each vowel has two sounds – the short and the long sound.
How Do You Say the Sounds of Letters?
Luckily, our music education friends are here to help teach letter sounds accurately with fun and catchy songs! All of these songs have been carefully chosen because they teach the accurate letter sounds – no pesky schwa sound here.
We’ve split the songs into three categories – songs that teach the letter sounds, letter sound songs with movement, and letter sound songs with sign language.
Learning Letter Sounds | Jack Hartmann
We could fill this whole post with Jack Hartmann songs!! When it comes to phonics songs for kids, there’s no one who provides nearly as many ACCURATE and FUN resources!
Let’s start with learning letter sounds! In this tropical video, he shows each letter, demonstrates the sound it makes, and then uses a picture as a real-life example of that beginning sound. This video is a perfect resource to help you teach letter sounds.
Alphabet Chant by BPSPathways-Bloomington Public Schools
This alphabet chant is a fun way for kids to hear the letter, hear the beginning sound, as well as see the example of the beginning sound. The three together will really help kids learn and know the ABCs and beginning sounds!
ABC Phonics Song with Sounds for Children | Rock N Learn
This phonics song gets extra points for creativity!! They give two words for each letter sound, then show a silly way that the two words can combine! It makes for some very fun graphics, like a pig in a pool. They also repeat the sound the word makes several times, which I appreciate.
These colorful alphabet posters are a great way to always have the alphabet in front of your students! They can be used for a variety of activities, including reinforcing the correct letter sound as you sing along to the songs. There is also an included card game, perfect for a literacy center! Check them out in our store.
Phonics Songs with Movement
Workout to the Letter Sounds | Jack Hartmann
For this letter sound song, you stretch and workout to each letter sound as you practice them. He still shows each letter, demonstrates the sound it makes, and then this one uses a cute illustration of the beginning sound.
Phonercise | Dr. Jean
This song is a great example of combining music and movement! This can help kids get wiggles out while practicing phonics.
Tell Me What Sounds Letters Make | Mister B
Turn learning the alphabet into a fun dance with this Reggae mix of the alphabet! Even parents and teachers might be caught grooving to this one.
Phonics Songs with Sign Language
We love incorporating sign language at home and in the classroom!! There are a ton of benefits of teaching sign language – plus, kids just enjoy it and find it fun!
To help you on your sign language journey, I’d love to give you a FREE ASL Alphabet poster. This is my gift to my email subscribers! Just fill in the box below to grab your copy from me.
See It, Say It, Sign It | Jack Hartmann
This song shows the uppercase and lowercase versions of each letter, a live example of how to sign it, and some illustrated examples of words that begin with that letter.
Rap it, Read it, Say it, Sign It | Jack Hartmann
Rap along with Jack as he models the uppercase and lowercase versions of each letter, the ASL sign for each letter, pronunciation of the letter sound, and multiple illustrated examples of words that begin with that letter sound.
We hope you loved these letter sound songs and will find them super useful in your preschool!