Friday Fave: Italy, Spain and Home Again

You’ve probably noticed that aside from my weekly song posts, the blog has been pretty quiet over the past couple of weeks. I don’t like to go without posting for long, but this time I had a good excuse: I was on vacation in Italy and Spain!

My husband and I had the time of our lives traveling through Rome, Florence, Venice and Barcelona. And while initially I had planned on keeping a daily journal on my personal blog, it turned out that we were way too busy for that. But I did manage to write about the first few days, as well as a final recap of the vacation along with links to all of our photos:

Italy, Spain and Home Again

I’ve only been home for a few days, but I’m finally starting to get over my post-vacation blues and back into the swing of things. I’m looking forward to having a productive Labor Day weekend, followed by the beginning of the fall session here at the studio on Tuesday.

This summer was a blur of hard work (from both myself and my students!) and fun; a European vacation was the perfect ending to my favorite season. How are you spending the final weekend of summer as we know it?

The Lollipop Bop

The Lollipop Bop

Last summer, my nephew Mason came over for a little music-making session with his aunt Rachel. My father-in-law caught some of the action on camera, including the photo above of Mason playing away on the lollipop drum.

I’ve been using this instrument a LOT lately in my music therapy sessions, which inspired me to write The Lollipop Bop. It’s the first lollipop drum-specific tune in my collection, and I’m digging it! Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.


The song has a bit of a retro feel to it, right? It just makes me want to pick up a lollipop drum and bop along to the music. Unfortunately I won’t have a chance to try it out with my students until the fall session begins next week, but I’m already looking forward to doing so!

Off to School!

Off to School

It’s that time again: most of my students are off to school today! So in honor of this momentous occasion, I decided to give one of my older songs a bit of a facelift.

I wrote “Off to School” way back in 2009, and you can read the original blog post here. It’s been a staple at this time of year ever since, and I figured that because I get so much use out of it, many of you probably can too.


Feelings are mixed amongst my students about returning to school. While many of them are excited to see their friends again, some are struggling with academic and social anxiety. These feelings are completely normal, and will hopefully dissipate over the first few days and weeks.

While my kiddos are off to school today, I’m enjoying another beautiful day in Italy! Make sure to stop my by personal blog for a daily recap (with photos) of my travels.

The Goodnight Song

The Goodnight Song

The end of the summer means getting back into the routine not only of waking up for school in the morning, but also of going to sleep on time. I remember being a kid and dreading the earlier bedtime that came along with the start of a new school year, and I know children everywhere are feeling the same right about now.

This is the first “goodnight” song I’ve written, and while I wanted it to be appropriate for bedtime, I didn’t want to go all out lullaby. It has a bit of a groove to it, but the overall vibe is chill. I know it makes me want to do exactly what the little girl in the picture is doing!


I’m not in school anymore (nor do I work in one any longer), but I still find myself going to bed earlier once the end of August hits. I suppose it’s just one way of showing camaraderie with my students :)

Friday Fave: It’s a Wrap!

End of Summer Session

It seems rather impossible, but my summer session here at the Music Therapy Connections studio is over. 9 awesome weeks of music therapy sessions and voice/piano/guitar lessons are in the books, and I won’t see another student until August 30.

The summer session is my favorite, because everyone (including myself!) is just a little more relaxed compared to the school year. Between vacations and summer camps, we might not make as much progress, but my students work hard when they’re in the studio.

I was thrilled to see quite a few goals met in music therapy, several level completions in piano, and LOTS of song recordings by both voice and guitar students over these past two months.

Now that the session is over, I have a few days to work ahead on new Listen & Learn songs for the remainder of the month and complete a couple of other projects before I head to…EUROPE!

My husband has planned a 12-day trip to Italy and Spain, and I could not be more excited :) We leave on Thursday, and I’ll be taking along my computer so that I can post daily photos and travelogues over at my personal blog.

You can expect to see new blog posts and songs posted right here at Listen & Learn as usual, which means I’d better go get to work — those songs aren’t gonna write themselves!

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