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Graduation Music

5 Graduation Music Tips

Music can keep a graduation crowd enthusiastic and raise school spirit. It’s important to organize and plan the graduation music properly. Here are some tips to prepare music for this eventful and momentous day!

graduation music

Choose a DJ or the School Band

The graduation committee handling music selection needs to decide on the source of the event’s music. Will they hire a DJ, enlist the school band or orchestra, or just build a playlist on an iPod and hit play? Some schools may select one or all of the options above, depending on their needs. No matter which option you choose, they can all work out quite nicely.

Choosing the school band or orchestra comes with the greatest chances for error, yet also boost student involvement. This option is also free, which makes it a relatively attractive choice. So is just using an iPod, and it comes with the benefit of fewer chances for human error.

If you decide to have the school band play at the graduation, it is critical you involve the music director. They will need to practice the songs weeks in advance to ensure the students are well prepared.

If you select a DJ, you will need to expend the effort to find one with decent reviews at low cost. Though you may find students or faculty, who are capable of performing this role for free. 


Choose the option that gives you the fewest headaches. If you select modern songs, they may be difficult for a school band to perform. Putting someone in charge of hitting play and pause on an iPod may be your safest and most cost-effective option.

graduation music

Choose The Opening Music

Many consider the starting first music to be synonymous with the processional music. While that may be the case for your school, we do recommend you consider playing light music over the speaker system before that. Playing music while guests are getting seated can help keep everyone patient. Depending on your graduating class size, and thus the length of the ceremony, this may be an excellent idea.

The music you choose will set the mood for this momentous occasion. So set the song, or rather, series of songs, to play in the background while you wait for the processional to start.

Once the processional begins, changing the song can act as a signal or cue for the students to start to walk to their seats. The graduating students can walk proudly down the aisle when they hear the processional song.


Create a playlist to use while everyone is getting seated. Then choose the song to accompany your student’s processional walk. Check out our blog about great graduation songs for ideas.

graduation music

Choose the Music for Receiving Diplomas

Receiving one’s graduation diploma is the highlight of the event. To make the event even more momentous, select a song to make it so. The song you pick should be an instrumental ballad with no lyrics. While you can choose a song with lyrics, it’s best to avoid them. As you call students names, you need them to be able to hear it.


Choose a great yet simple instrumental. Check out this article for music teachers about graduation songs.

graduation music

Choose the Music at the End of the Ceremony

The closing music symbolizes the end of one chapter and the start of another in the life of the students. As the graduates proceed out of the venue and meet their parents and loved ones, the band or DJ should keep on playing the closing music.

It is better if the closing music for the ceremony is also a bit lively to symbolize the joy and celebration of the day.


Choose upbeat, lively music to close out your graduation. A memorable song is best. It’s acceptable to pick a more modern song option.

graduation music

Finalize the Order of the Music

Once the graduation coordinator has chosen the different music, we recommend you list those songs in the commencement program. If you are using a school band, complete the order of the music weeks before the actual event to allow time to practice.

If a DJ will be hired for the ceremony, the list of the music should also be handed over in advance. Organize everything, especially the music, band, DJ, and sound system, to avoid any issues on graduation day.


Remember this event should be fun, and so should your music choices. Make this day as special and memorable as you can!

graduation guide

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Keep a lookout for additional articles if you want to learn more! There will be many articles about graduation planning on our blog in the weeks to come. 

Lescapsgown focuses on creating the perfect graduation ceremony for you.

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