“Back to School” Roundup

by Rachel on August 22, 2014

Back to School Roundup

I’m not sure how it happened, but yet another summer has slipped away and a new school year has begun. My Facebook newsfeed is full of back-to-school photos (which I love, just to be clear…as long as I don’t have to think about my child going off to school anytime soon!) and we’re gearing up for our fall session at Music Therapy Connections.

For most kiddos, the transition into the school year can be challenging: they have to get up early, establish a routine, work hard all day, and spend lots of time making social interactions (which is much harder for some children than others).

Knowing that many of my own students are facing those challenges inspired me to put together a little roundup of all the songs I’ve written on these topics. So without further ado, here are a few of my musical tools for making the back-to-school transition a success.

One of the most common complaints I’ve been hearing from my students is that now they have to get up “sooooo early!”. That alarm clock can be a rude awakening (literally) after a whole summer of sleeping in, which is where this song comes in super handy.

I wrote this song specifically for younger kiddos who are off to school for the very first time, and aren’t sure what to expect. It can be scary and overwhelming, which is why I broke it down in this song.

Not only do children learn to play nicely at school, but they also must learn how to work together in both small and large groups. This can be a foreign concept to some, especially the younger set, and it can seem foreign after doing their own thing all summer long.

My adaptation of the pop song “Call Me Maybe” is all about making friends, which for some children is the hardest aspect of going to school. I know it was for me, since I was on the shy side. This song is a reminder that making new friends can be fun.

Just as wake-up times get earlier at the start of the school year, so do bedtimes. I always dreaded that part of the new school year as a child, since my parents were pretty lax during the summer months. I sing this song to my son as part of our own bedtime routine.

This entire album is a good resource for getting back into the swing of things. My Clothes and My Shoes, That Yellow Bus, Making Friends, Cleanup Time, Time to Say Goodbye — all apply to the average school day.

What songs would you add to this “back to school” roundup? I’m betting most of you have tips for easing into the school year routine, whether as a parent, music therapist, teacher, or anyone else with little ones in their lives. Sharing is caring!


Welcome to the World

by Rachel on August 19, 2014

Welcome to the World Newborn Song

Fun fact: It was my mom, not me, who wrote the first song dedicated to my son Parker after he was born last summer. She would sing it to him every time she came over to see him, and now we all sing “The Parker Song”.

It took a couple of months for the fog to clear my new mom brain, but once it did, I was inspired by Parker to do some serious songwriting. The first song that came out of my creative burst was Welcome to the World, which came at the perfect time since so many of my friends were bringing home new babies.

Ever since, I’ve been recording versions of this song as gifts to parents of newborns. Every baby should have his or her own song, after all! The version on the album below was recorded for my sweet nephew, Alec, when he was born in April. I also included the instrumental track for the new babies coming into the world around you.

By the way, that adorable squishy little baby in the photo is Parker at five days old. Oh, how I miss him being that small! The older he gets, though, the more he inspires me as a songwriter — my own personal muse.

Get immediate access to this download, plus over 100 other songs, lead sheets, visual aides, and valuable resources for only $9.99 per month…learn more about becoming a member or just subscribe below. You won’t be disappointed!

Members, click here to access this post.


Coming Soon: A New Online CMTE Course

by Rachel on August 18, 2014

I’m knee-deep in content creation for my new CMTE course — Early Childhood Programs: Create, Market, Make Music! — and I can’t wait to share it with you in a few weeks. In the meantime, I put together this little promo featuring some of my most recent “students” in our Listen & Learn for Little Ones class.

Early Childhood Programs CMTE

Creating a new group, class or program can be overwhelming, but it can also be extremely rewarding — especially when the end result is helping young children learn and grow through music. This 3-hour CMTE course will guide you through the entire process of designing, launching, and running a successful early childhood program.

Coming Soon!

The course is set to launch in early September, so plug in your name and email below for details and updates…

PLUS receive some musical goodies between now and then.


Be a Part of the Baby Band

by Rachel on August 14, 2014

Baby Band Album Cover

Let’s be honest: it doesn’t get much cuter than a whole bunch of babies playing instruments together. I’ve been a “baby bandleader” for many years now, teaching early childhood music classes, so it’s a little ridiculous that it took me this long to write a song all about my favorite kind of band.

“Baby Band” was written for the summer session of my Listen & Learn for Little Ones class, and I used it during free play time. Unlike most of the other instrument-centered songs I sing with my kiddos, this one doesn’t have any specific directions for playing a certain way. It’s just an opportunity for the little ones to try out different instruments and make music however they want.

I did include some different sounds in the verses for older babies who are starting to verbalize and develop their speech. My own baby just turned 14 months old and is getting to the point where he can repeat most sounds and words, so the fact that he can participate is so much fun :)

Oh, and speaking of baby bands, registration for the fall session of Listen & Learn for Little Ones is now open! We’re offering both morning and evening class options this time around, so if you’re in the Springfield area, I hope you’ll be able to join us.

Get immediate access to this download, plus over 100 other songs, lead sheets, visual aides, and valuable resources for only $9.99 per month…learn more about becoming a member or just subscribe below. You won’t be disappointed!

Members, click here to access this post.


My Last Week Working From Home

August 13, 2014

Tweet This summer, I’ve had lots of people ask me what I do. When I explain that I’m a music therapist with my own private practice/teaching studio, they almost always comment how incredibly lucky I am to work from home. Every time that happens, I think to myself, “Yes, I am incredibly lucky and it […]

If I Were a Music Therapy Student NOW…

August 11, 2014

Tweet If only we could go back in time and do certain things over again, knowing what we know now. Better yet, having the resources we have now. The years I spent in graduate school studying music therapy (2004-2006) seem like ages ago; SO much has changed in our field, in technology, and the world […]

Civil Wars, I’ll Miss You

August 9, 2014

Tweet I fell in love with The Civil Wars’ music the first time I heard their song “20 Years” randomly on Pandora in 2011. I couldn’t get enough of their album Barton Hollow, and my bandmate and I added several of the songs to our set list. When they posted on their Facebook page last […]

Summertime Tune

August 5, 2014

Tweet I’ve been writing this blog for almost 6 years now, and blabbing on and on about how much I love summer for just as long. So August is always a little bittersweet, because that means my favorite season is almost over and fall will be here in a blink. But this year instead of […]

Music Therapy Connections is Moving!

July 28, 2014

Tweet Well, this is a bittersweet post if I’ve ever written one. After 5+ wonderful years providing music therapy services and lessons in my home studio, Music Therapy Connections is moving out. And while I’ll miss the non-existent commute and overall convenience of working at home, the pros of our new location far outweigh the […]

Summer Projects

July 23, 2014

TweetI’ve always been a sucker for a full plate, both in the literal sense (ha!) and when it comes to work-related projects. I wasn’t sure if that would be the case this summer, since last year at this time I was on maternity leave and work was not a high priority. But it turns out […]

{Mama Moment} Being the Parent at Music Class

July 16, 2014

Tweet My son Parker has been attending my early childhood music classes since he was just six months old, which I’ve written about here before. Since I’ve always been the teacher, either my mom or my husband has been with him during class. But this month, I’ve had the opportunity to be “the parent” while […]

Around the World We Go

July 15, 2014

Tweet Love, love, loooove this singable story! Big thanks to my teacher friend (and huge supporter of Listen & Learn) Rene for sending me a copy of this book, which I’d previously never heard of. I’ve been getting lots of use out of it lately, and hopefully you can too. Around the World We Go […]

Let’s All Wave Hello

July 8, 2014

Tweet One of the things I love most about offering classes is that when I plan them, I end up writing a bunch of new songs. My current early childhood class was no exception; I wrote no fewer than 10 new songs for it! So over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing them with […]

{Mama Moment} Coming Full Circle

June 26, 2014

Tweet The following is a guest post by Jennifer Gossett, MT-BC, NICU MT. Jennifer is a Board-Certified Music Therapist based in Charleston, SC. She ventured into the field of music therapy after a 15-year career as a band director in public and private schools, and opened her private practice, Noteworthy Music Therapy, in 2012. Jennifer […]

We All Will Sing Together

June 24, 2014

Tweet I’ve been on a bit of a summer songwriting hiatus this month, so it was nice to sit down and spend some time writing and recording over the weekend. My baby & toddler class starts next week, so I have a lot of work to do! This particular song is actually one that I […]

I’ll See You in the Morning

June 19, 2014

Tweet Turning books into singable stories has been a little hobby of mine since my first music therapy practicum in grad school (almost 10 years ago!). I’ve used dozens and dozens of them in my work as a therapist, and now they are serving double duty in my newest career as a mom. Parker was […]


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