Sunday Singalong: 20 Slides, 20 Seconds

For those of you who were hoping for one last Halloween video today…sorry to disappoint! The truth is that after an entire month of Halloween songs, I’m ready for a change.  Today’s video is quite a departure from my usual “Sunday Singalong” fare; I gave this presentation earlier in the week at Springfield’s Pecha Kucha Night.

Enjoy your Halloween!  I’m spending it with my best friend in Chicago, where we’ve been shopping, eating and having a blast all weekend.  Come back tomorrow for a brand-new song to kick off a month of giving thanks and the start of the holiday season.

Friday Fave: Pecha Kucha

pecha-kucha-springfieldPecha whatcha?  That’s what I said when I was first told about this event, which was held for the second time around last night in my city.  Pecha Kucha originated in Toyko back in 2003 and is the Japanese term for “chit chat” — which is basically what the event is all about.

The idea is that each presenter shows and discusses 20 slides for 20 seconds each on any creative topic.  Last night’s presenters included an archaeologist, a “Legomaniac” (my personal favorite), an art gallery employee, a Zumba instructor, and several others…including me!

I had the opportunity to talk about my work as a music therapist, teacher, and singer/songwriter in front of about 200 people.  I was a little intimidated at first by the huge crowd, but it is a very casual and laid-back atmosphere (there was a “beer break” in the middle of the event).  My husband snapped the picture above on his iPhone.

If you are interested in seeing my presentation, come back on Sunday — it will be this week’s “Sunday Singalong” video!  In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend.  I know I will…I’m off to Chicago this afternoon, where I’m meeting up with my best friend for a girls’ weekend :)

Sway Like a Tree

sway-like-a-treeAs much as I enjoy fall — the changing leaves, the cooler temperatures, and the beginning of the holiday season — it always makes me a little nostalgic for summer (my one true love when it comes to seasons).

This song came about as the result of a brainstorming session for new movement activities.  I have these cool ribbon rings that remind me a little bit of palm fronds, so that was the visual I had in mind as I wrote and recorded the song.

Come on and sway like a tree,
So tall and free.
Sway with me, oh sway with me.
Sway like a tree, so tall and free,
Sway, sway along with me.

Come on and flutter like a leaf,
Falling from the tree,
Flutter with me, oh flutter with me.
Flutter like a leaf falling from the tree,
Flutter along with me.

Come on and fly like a bird,
Landing in the tree.
Fly with me, oh fly with me.
Fly like a bird landing in the tree,
Fly, fly along with me.

Come on and wave like a kid,
Sitting under the tree,
Wave with me, oh wave with me.
Wave like a kid sitting under the tree,
Wave, wave along with me.

Come on and sway like a tree,
So tall and free.
Sway with me, oh sway with me.
Sway like a tree, so tall and free,
Sway, sway along with me.

I really got into the breezy island spirit of this song — as you can tell by my voice! I must have been channeling the St. Lucian friends my husband and I made on our honeymoon a couple years ago :)

Singing a duet at our resort's piano bar in St. Lucia

Singing a duet at our resort's piano bar in St. Lucia

Now that I’ve gotten this song out of my system, I think I’m ready to leave summer behind completely. We’ve got lots of Thanksgiving songs to get to next week, but if you still need a last minute Halloween song, browse my collection here!

Orange & Black Are All Around

orange-black-halloween-colors

During this last week leading up to the 31st, I’m squeezing in as many Halloween songs as possible — both here and with my students.  “Orange and Black” is one I wrote recently and have been singing all month.

Since so many of the classrooms are decorated to the nines for Halloween, we play our own version of “I Spy” and add all kinds of orange and black items to the list I’ve got going in each verse.

O-R-A-N-G-E is the color that you see
On Halloween, on Halloween.
Orange is all around,
Left and right and up and down,
On Halloween, on Halloween.
Candy corn, and pumpkins,
Decorations too,
Orange is everywhere on Halloween,
It’s true.
O-R-A-N-G-E is the color that you see
On Halloween, Halloween.

B-L-A-C-K is the color here to stay
On Halloween, on Halloween.
Black is all around,
Left and right and up and down,
On Halloween, on Halloween.
Witches’ hats, cats and bats,
Spiders too,
Black is everywhere on Halloween,
It’s true.
B-L-A-C-K is the color here to stay
On Halloween, Halloween.

O-R-A-N-G-E spells orange.
B-L-A-C-K spells black.
Orange and black are the colors that you see
On Halloween.

We also look for orange and black in some of my favorite Halloween books for kids, including Ten Timid Ghosts, Skeleton Hiccups, Dem Bones, and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat. (I’m a huge fan of the “Old Lady” books, and already looking forward to pulling out this one next month!)

What kinds of Halloween songs, books, and activities do you have up your sleeve this week?  I’m already working on my list for next year, so please share!

Sunday Singalong: I Like Halloween

The title of this post is a bit deceiving, because as I’ve stated — oh, a thousand times or so — I don’t really like Halloween at all!  But I put on a happy face for my students this time of year, and sing “I Like Halloween” with plenty of (believable) enthusiasm.

Lisa Casciola, MT-BC (owner of Kids Sing Studio) is my former internship supervisor who turned me on to this song and Cathy Bollinger’s music in general.  Cathy was a huge inspiration to me as I began songwriting, and even responded to an email I sent her a couple of years ago asking for some advice.  Her words of encouragement went a long way, and now my music is listed right alongside hers on Songs For Teaching.  Pretty amazing!

Anyway, getting back to this song.  I love its versatility, not to mention that it’s short, memorable, and catchy.  A nice one to have in your bag of tricks, for sure.  I’ve learned all kinds of new things about my students through this song, and I now know what each of them are planning to dress up as for Halloween and what kind of candy they are hoping to receive.  So much Halloween fun, so little time…only one more week until we move on to Thanksgiving.  Thank goodness!

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