A Song for Halloween Day

Greetings, and happy Halloween! Because it is a special day, Friday Faves has been postponed until next week (sorry!). You probably know by now that this isn’t exactly my favorite “holiday,” but that hasn’t stopped me yet from writing and sharing my collection of sometimes spooky but mostly silly Halloween songs. Today’s song leans a little bit more towards the spooky side, but don’t worry – it is appropriate for all ages and stages of development.

Do you know about a day
That’s not so very far away
Everywhere there’s orange and black
And chills are running up your back.

Jack-o-lanterns and ghosts and bats,
Witches and goblins and big black cats
Spooky spooks come out to play
On the thirty-first, Halloween Day.

Let’s pick a costume we can wear
And all the neighbors, we will scare
When at their door we trick or treat
And they will give us something sweet.

Jack-o-lanterns and ghosts and bats,
Witches and goblins and big black cats
Spooky spooks come out to play
On the thirty-first, Halloween Day.

Today is a super busy day at school, but in between trick-or-treating throughout the building, visiting the “haunted hallway” complete with a “graveyard”, and celebrating at a huge party in the gym this afternoon, we’ll find some time to squeeze in music therapy.

Though my feelings toward Halloween are lukewarm at best, I am trying my best to get into the spirit for the sake of those who enjoy this spooktacular day. Tonight, Zach (my husband) and I are going to attend a Halloween party dressed as a certain singing duo…any guesses?? (Hint: if only I had an autoharp, my costume would be perfect.)

I hope you enjoyed today’s installment of Listen & Learn Music. Have a great day, and I’ll see you this weekend as we kick off November in style.

Witch’s Brew

One of the songs I very distinctly remember singing in elementary school was called “Witch’s Brew.” It had movements and everything, and it was a class favorite that we looked forward to every year. Even as an adult more than fifteen years later, I still remember all the words and movements, and imagine my surprise and excitement when I came across the song on the internet! I’m almost positive that this recording (by Hap Palmer) is the same we listened to in school.

I thought that since I enjoyed this song so much as a child, my students would too, so I designed an activity based upon it. I decided to make it visual, so out came the construction paper, Microsoft clip art, and scissors, with which I created this:

I replaced the items that the song mentions with more innocuous, every day items that my students would better recognize, and made a picture card displaying each item. These include a cat, bat, bear, broomstick, car, french fries, and a fly among others (15 in total, so 3 items in each of 5 verses). I laminated them and put velcro on the backs, and then constructed a “cauldron” of two laminated pieces of black construction paper bound together, folder-style (you could also just use a black folder). I then attached enough velcro so that each picture would have a place.

I changed the lyrics to reflect my new items, and as I sing each item (very slowly, of course), the student finds the corresponding picture from the pile and puts it in the “witch’s brew” (i.e. the black folder). Many of my students also like to do the motions, such as “stirring” with their arms and “casting a spell” with their hands.

You can choose your own items for your “witch’s brew” and if you do, please share the finished product with me! I know it’s a little late for this Halloween, but hey, there’s always next year :)

See you tomorrow for a final Halloween song before we move on to a whole new batch of November songs!

Custom Listen & Learn CDs

You’ve probably noticed by now that all of the albums here at Listen & Learn are available for download. But what if you want to pick and choose which songs you’d like to purchase? The answer is a Custom Listen & Learn CD!

Any of the songs I post on Listen & Learn are up for grabs, and if you have something in mind but can’t find it here, just ask. Chances are I’ve got something like it that just hasn’t made it online yet. I’ll even personalize Hello, Birthday, and Goodbye songs for you or your child (or student, or class, whatever the case may be).

Here’s how it works:

1. Choose up to 10 songs you’d like on your CD.
2. Send me an email listing those songs along with any special instructions.
3. Pay securely through PayPal by clicking here.

Once I receive your order, I will get to work on your custom CD and have it in the mail no more than a week later. Any questions? Ask away.

Ugga Bugga Boo!

Halloween is on Friday, so I have just a few days to share a couple last minute songs with you. Today’s song can actually be used year-round, but it’s great at Halloween because of it’s title and lyrics – Ugga Bugga Boo! The phrase is silly and fun, and so is the song itself. It addresses simple movement and following directions such as clapping hands, tapping feets, and clicking the tongue (a sound that kids love to make once they learn how).

Ugga. Ugga Bugga. Ugga Bugga Boo boo boo!
Ugga. Ugga Bugga. Ugga Bugga me and you!
Get into the beat and clap your hands, out loud, out loud.
Get into the beat and clap your hands out loud!

Ugga. Ugga Bugga. Ugga Bugga Boo boo boo!
Ugga. Ugga Bugga. Ugga Bugga me and you!
Get into the beat and tap your feet, out loud, out loud.
Get into the beat and tap your feet out loud!

Ugga. Ugga Bugga. Ugga Bugga Boo boo boo!
Ugga. Ugga Bugga. Ugga Bugga me and you!
Get into the beat and click your tongue, out loud, out loud.
Get into the beat and click your tongue out loud!

Ugga. Ugga Bugga. Ugga Bugga Boo boo boo!
Ugga. Ugga Bugga. Ugga Bugga me and you!
Ugga Bugga Bugga Bugga Bugga Bugga boo boo boo –
And we’re through!

Up Close and Personal

I tried my best not to seem distracted this week, but the truth is, I was busy preparing for my first non-theatre/non-classical/non-children’s music (that’s a lot of non’s!) performance ever. My audience was a little different than what I’m used to on a daily basis…in fact, since I performed in a bar, my students wouldn’t have even been allowed to attend :)

Because music is such a huge part of my job, it’s easy to forget that it is also a personal hobby and something that I’ve done for fun almost all my life. I’ve been spending a lot of time writing and playing for myself lately, so having the opportunity to perform in front of an audience was a big thrill. Here is one of my original songs, “Second Chance Dance,” which I wrote for my husband last Valentine’s Day (and is based on the story of us):

If you’d like to hear more of my non-children’s songs, and read more about my foray into the world of singer-songwriters at www.rachelrambach.com.

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