Songs for Graduation Slideshows - 16 Festive Playlists (2023)

Check out lists of music for senior videos by genre, mood & institution

Songs for Graduation Slideshows - 16 Festive Playlists (1)

Whatever institution your kid is graduating from, it is a big moment in their life that should be properly celebrated. A sweet way to do that is to make a graduation slideshow chronicling their evolution from first class to senior year. However, such a video wouldn’t be complete without a proper musical accommodation. So a question arises: what soundtrack should you use?

To make the search easier for you, we have included some tips you could use while choosing songs for a graduation slideshow. You will also find lists of our top soundtracks for 2023 grad ceremonies by category: mood, institution, genre. There will be thrilling, sentimental, and sad music; classic, pop, country, and Christian graduation video songs; soundtracks for kindergarten, mid-school, high school, and college graduation. Let’s dive in.

How to Pick Perfect Graduation Songs for Slideshows

Graduation is an emotional event. To some, it means saying goodbye to a friend or a child who is moving out to study at college. To others, it is all about new opportunities and adventures. If you want your video to accurately convey what your child’s, friend’s, or students’ graduation means to you in particular, you need to choose the slideshow song wisely. Below, we have pointed out the key things you should consider when searching for graduation slideshow songs.

  • Don’t rely solely on your personal taste. If you are making a graduation video for someone else, try choosing a song that corresponds with their music taste. If you are a teacher who wants to make a graduation surprise clip for their class, use a soundtrack that reminds you of your students - the song your class sang or danced to together.
  • Read the lyrics first. Make sure you choose a soundtrack that is appropriate for the occasion. Songs might have a nice tune, but be completely unsuitable for formal events lyrics-wise. Thus, we recommend that you read the lyrics of the song before you add it to your clip.
  • Consider your relationship with the graduate. Who are you making your slideshow for? Your students, teachers, child, friend? Once again, read the lyrics of the song carefully and make sure it matches your relationship with the slideshow recipient.
  • Keep in mind the duration of your slideshow. Graduation slideshows are usually about 3 minutes long. This is the standard for most songs for senior videos as well. If your slideshow is significantly longer, we suggest you either go with several songs of similar mood or use a longer instrumental track.
  • Learn what it takes to make a graduation slideshow. Before you dive into choosing the perfect song, you should be familiar with the process of creating a graduation slideshow. Many programs can help you create cool clips. However, not all will allow you to accompany your video with your own music, and the creative process is different for each one. Thus, do your research on the perfect software in advance.

Haven’t come up with a concept for a graduation video yet? Have a look at a beautiful clip made for a high school graduation to get your creative juices flowing and help brainstorm new ideas.

Songs for Graduation Slideshows - 16 Festive Playlists (2)

This video clip was designed in SmartSHOW 3D, an automatic slideshow maker. The program is equipped with tons of themed templates and artistic effects. Such a package will help make celebrative videos in no time. Besides, the software has a library of 200+ royalty-free soundtracks. Want to add your own music for graduation videos? In SmartSHOW 3D, you can do that as well. Once your surprise clip is complete, use one of the program’s 30+ export options to save it in the best quality. Download the free trial of this powerful program and get a glimpse of its capabilities.

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Songs for Graduation Slideshows - 16 Festive Playlists (4) For Windows 11, 10, 8, 7

Settled down with SmartSHOW 3D? It is time to choose the perfect soundtrack for your video. Below, you will find playlists of songs for senior slideshows by genre, mood, and institution the slideshow recipient is graduating from. You may either skip to the needed category right away or check out all the playlists to discover new melodies and artists.

Best Songs for Graduation Videos - All Popular Genres

Is there a particular genre of music you want to use in your slideshow? In this section, you will find the best songs of every popular genre for your graduation video - from the good old classics to less formal tracks.

Best Graduation Songs of All Time

If you are having a hard time choosing a song for your senior slideshow, then it would be best for you to go with one of the widely known soundtracks. These have rung at thousands of graduation ceremonies worldwide and have celebrated millions of graduates. So the chances that you have heard them at least once are pretty high.

  • Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’
  • Vitamin C – Graduation (Friends Forever)
  • Tom Cochrane – Life Is A Highway
  • The Beach Boys – Graduation Day
  • Queen - We Are The Champions

Pop Songs for Senior Videos

Accompany your slideshow with a popular song so everyone can sing along and enjoy themselves. In this section, you will find graduation music that is on the tips of everyone’s tongs.

  • Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth - See You Again
  • Nico & Vinz - Am I Wrong
  • Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten
  • Katy Perry - Firework
  • Flo Rida - Good Feeling

Songs for Graduation Slideshows - 16 Festive Playlists (5)

Best Classical Music for Grad Clips

Prefer to accompany your graduation slideshow with classical instrumental masterpieces? Then you will find some great option among the magnificent soundtracks by famous composers below.

  • Walton - Crown Imperial (Coronation March)
  • Edward Elgar - 5 Pomp and Circumstance Marches, Op. 39: No. 4 in G Major
  • Giuseppe Verdi - Aida: Grand March (Triumphal March)
  • Handel - Music for the Royal Fireworks: Suite HWV 351 - 4

Christian Songs for Senior Slideshows

Are you making a graduation slideshow for a Christian school or is your family very serious about their faith? Check out our selection of the best songs to celebrate the graduate and praise God.

  • Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway
  • Michael W Smith - Place In This World
  • Brandon Heath - Wait and See
  • Third Day - Ready
  • Michael W. Smith - Friends are Friends Forever

Songs for Graduation Slideshows - 16 Festive Playlists (6)

Modern Soundtracks for Graduation Videos

This playlist is for those who want to make their graduation videos youthful and fill them with excitement. The songs below are perfect if you are making a surprise slideshow for your peer, friend, or high school sweetheart.

  • Coldplay – Adventure of a Lifetime
  • One Direction – History
  • Taylor Swift - A Place In This World
  • Jason Mraz - Have It All

Country Music for Senior Slideshows

In case you want to make your slideshow feel free-spirited and touching, try going with a country song. Such music is associated with deep feelings, sincerity, and freedom of the soul.

  • Kenny Chesney - Don't Blink
  • Trace Adkins - You're Gonna Miss This
  • Rascal Flatts - My Wish
  • Brad Paisley - Letter To Me

Still deciding what editor to use for your graduation video? Create an engaging clip with photos in a feature-packed slideshow maker. Try the program for free!

Good Graduation Slideshow Songs by Institution

Want the slideshow song to be appropriate for the institution your child is graduating from? Here you will find our suggestions of soundtracks your child will truly enjoy by graduation type.

Songs for Preschool Graduation Slideshow

Going to preschool is the first “big-kid” thing a child does in their life. Thus, their preschool graduation is a very meaningful event that should be celebrated properly. The preschool graduation songs below will help you do that.

  • Patty Shukla - Thank You
  • The Orchard Enterprises - We’re Moving up to Kindergarten
  • Randy Newman - You've Got a Friend in Me
  • Dr. Jean - May There Always Be Sunshine

Kindergarten Graduation Video Soundtracks

The transition from kindergarten to school is a big step. That is why your kindergarten graduation video could use some motivational spirit to inspire the little graduate to take it. The kindergarten graduation slideshow songs from popular cartoons will do the trick.

  • Sesame Street with - What I Am
  • Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott - A Whole New World
  • Roger Bart - Go the Distance
  • Phil Collins - You’ll Be in My Heart
  • Phil Collins - On My Way

Songs for Graduation Slideshows - 16 Festive Playlists (7)

Music for Middle School Senior Clips

Graduating from middle school means becoming a young adult since there are so many important choices that are awaiting ahead. But this doesn’t have to be stressful. Here is a list of good songs for your graduation slideshow for middle schoolers to make the show exciting.

  • Lee Ann Womack - I Hope You Dance
  • Avril Lavigne - Fly
  • Taylor Swift - Never Grow Up
  • The Greatest Showman Cast - A Million Dreams

High School Graduation Video Songs

To many, high school graduation means leaving the college entrance exams behind, saying goodbye to friends and classmates, leaving home for college, and entering adulthood. Make your farewell remarkable with the songs for the high school graduation slideshow from our playlist.

  • Vitamin C - Graduation (Friends Forever)
  • Green Day - Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
  • Imagine Dragons - It’s Time
  • Shawn Mendes - Something Big
  • Ornella Barberio - Coronavirus School Year

Soundtracks for College Grad Slideshows

College graduation opens a door to adult life as it is - career, traveling, relationships, kids. Students become professionals in their field after years of studies. Let’s celebrate all the effort put in to reach this day with a college graduation song.

  • Nickelback - Photograph
  • Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen)
  • Eve 6 - Here's To The Night
  • Billy Joel - Vienna
  • Macklemore feat Kesha - Good Old Days

Need to make a graduation video for showing on a big screen at the ceremony? Check out a helpful tutorial on how to create an HD slideshow to make sure your video looks good when projected.

Music for Graduation Videos by Mood and Vibe

A good song plays a big role in setting the mood of the slideshow. Depending on the vibe of the upcoming graduation ceremony or your own emotions and preferences, you can choose a perfect soundtrack that will convey the needed message. Check out our playlists of senior slideshow songs for any possible direction you might want to go with your slideshow.

Upbeat Songs for Graduation Videos

Want the ceremony to be nothing but optimistic and reviving? See our selection of graduation video songs that will empower the graduates for new deeds at the new stages of their lives.

  • Jason Mraz - Have It All
  • Wiz Khalifa - When I Grow Up
  • American Authors - Best Day Of My Life
  • Bon Jovi - It’s My Life
  • The Script - Hall of Fame

Happy Graduation Songs for Your Slideshow

Want to make your graduation clip funny and engaging? Accompany it with a song from our list to correspond to your or the graduate’s natural feelings about the occasion or to make the slideshow even more humorous.

  • Pharrell Williams - Happy
  • Jennifer Lopez - Let's Get Loud
  • Pentatonix - Sing
  • Alice Cooper - School's Out

Songs for Graduation Slideshows - 16 Festive Playlists (8)

Motivational Soundtracks for Graduation Slideshows

Want to emphasize the meaningfulness of your kid’s graduation? One of the inspirational songs for a graduation slideshow from our playlist will help you accomplish that. Each one of them has a deep meaning and a true life story to it.

  • Miley Cyrus - The Climb
  • My Chemical Romance - Sing
  • Selena Gomez & The Scene - Who Says
  • Lady Antebellum - Compass
  • Shakira - Try Everything

Want everything about your surprise graduation video to be perfect but have never created one before? Learn how to make a slideshow on your computer - the 4 best ways that will suit people of all skill levels.

Sad Music for a Graduation Slideshow

Feel a bit sorrowful that your little one is not that little anymore? While graduation is a positive occasion, it never hurts to spice it up with some true feelings. A beautiful song from our list will help convey the feelings that you haven’t found the words to explain yet.

  • The Beach Boys – Graduation Day
  • Sarah McLachlan - I Will Remember You
  • Rihanna - Farewell
  • Jhené Aiko - Eternal Sunshine
  • Paramore - Future

Sentimental Graduation Video Songs

Plan to make an emotional video for the graduating class to make them realize what a wonderful time of their lives they have lived through? A sentimental song will add up to the effect of your video and make the graduates feel more connected.

  • Jim Croce - Time In A Bottle
  • Amy Grant - I Will Remember You
  • Justin Bieber - Purpose
  • Jonathan Larson (RENT Film) - Seasons of Love
  • Bruno Mars - Count on Me

Now that you are through our list of best songs for a graduation slideshow, you have 70+ musical options to choose from. Use the advice we have given as you decide which graduation theme to go with for your slideshow. If it’s your first time making a senior video and you don’t feel too confident about your capabilities, equip yourself with SmartSHOW 3D. Its Video Wizard will take you through the whole creative process in no time. Anyway, we hope that your graduation slideshow will be something to remember.


What is the most used graduation song? ›

"Graduation (Friends Forever)" by Vitamin C

You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. There's a reason this song has been played at graduations everywhere since it was released in 1999.

How do I make a graduation playlist? ›

36 Graduation Party Jams for the Ultimate Celebration Playlist
  1. This is How We Do it- Montell Jordan.
  2. Lean on Me – Club Nouveau.
  3. Celebration – Kool & the Gang.
  4. Get the Party Started – Pink.
  5. Best Day of My Life – American Authors.
  6. Count on Me- Bruno Mars.
  7. We Are the Champions – Queen.
  8. Summertime- DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

What is the 1 song of all time? ›

The Weeknd's 'Blinding Lights' Is the New No. 1 Song of All Time – Billboard.

What is the most hit song of all time? ›

Top 10 songs of all time (1958–2021)
  • "The Twist" 1960, 1961 ( re ) ...
  • "Smooth" 1999. ...
  • "Mack the Knife" 1959. ...
  • "Uptown Funk" 2015. ...
  • "How Do I Live" 1997. LeAnn Rimes. ...
  • "Party Rock Anthem" 2011. LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock. ...
  • "I Gotta Feeling" 2009. The Black Eyed Peas. ...
  • "Macarena (Bayside Boys mix)" 1996. Los Del Rio.

How long should a slideshow be for a graduation? ›

How long should a graduation slideshow be? 10 to 15 minutes is the norm. That's enough to fit 100-150 photos, 4 to 5 seconds per photo plus 1-2 seconds for the transition effect. Top it up with 3 or 4 songs, and you'll get a well-paced video that will keep the audience engaged.

What do you put on a graduation slideshow? ›

Tips on creating a standout graduation slideshow for your grad
  1. Pick a theme. ...
  2. Juice it all up with a background music. ...
  3. Collect and arrange pictures in chronological order. ...
  4. Go with the right slideshow making platform. ...
  5. Share your grad's achievements. ...
  6. Include some videos. ...
  7. Add texts and play with your words.
Jun 14, 2023

Who should speak at graduation? ›

Greetings – Introductions from the principal, the board, and a class representative to formally kick off the event. Speakers – Inspirational speeches from the student speaker (usually the class president), guest speaker, and a former student.

Who speaks during graduation? ›

The term is an Anglicised derivation of the Latin vale dicere ("to say farewell"), historically rooted in the valedictorian's traditional role as the final speaker at the graduation ceremony commencement before the students receive their diplomas.

What song is graduation from? ›

"Graduation" is a song by American music producer and DJ Benny Blanco and American rapper and singer Juice Wrld. The song is based on Vitamin C's 2000 hit "Graduation (Friends Forever)".

Who made the original graduation song? ›

The song was composed by Sir Edward Elgar in 1901 and was the first of five “Pomp and Circumstance” marches. The title of the song comes from a name you may be more familiar with: William Shakespeare.

Is the song played at most graduation ceremonies when students receive their diplomas? ›

'Pomp and Circumstance'

The instantly recognizable tune, played during the processional march as graduates arrive to collect their degrees, was composed in 1901 and originally performed in 1902 to honor the coronation of King Edward VII of Great Britain.

What was the graduation song in 2000? ›

Vitamin C, “Graduation (Friends Forever)”

The song peaked on the charts in May 2000, just in time for graduation.

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