I’ll Play a Rhythm and You Play It Back

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The little chant I came up with this month is one of the many settings I use to incorporate rhythm sticks into my music therapy sessions and early childhood music classes. “Clatter Clatter Clackity Clack” is just a framework for using all of those skills — listening, grasping, reproducing a pattern, and more — while playing the rhythm sticks.

Clatter Clatter Clackity Clack Album Cover

Clatter clatter clackity clack
I’ll play a rhythm and you play it back
So listen close and then you’ll see
That you can tap your sticks like me

My turn first: (play rhythm)
Now your turn: (children repeat rhythm)

Clatter clatter clackity clack
I played a rhythm and you played it back
You listened close and now you see
That you can tap your sticks like me

Today at Listen & Learn Plus, I’m sharing my recorded version of this chant as well as links to downloads of other songs I’ve written specifically for rhythm sticks. Here are a few of those songs, in case you are looking to bulk up your rhythm stick repertoire:

Get immediate access to this, 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!

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Clatter Clatter Clackity Clack

Clatter Clatter Clackity Clack Album Cover

Rhythm sticks are one of those instruments I find myself including in music therapy sessions over and over again, because they can be used to address so many different skills.

For that same reason, they have been a staple in my early childhood music classes throughout the years. And since I use them so often, it should come as no surprise that I have written and adapted LOTS of songs exclusively for rhythm sticks.

My most recent sticks-inspired song is actually a chant (although it could easily be set to a melody, which I may decide to do in the future). It’s short and to the point — the idea is to have children listen to a rhythm I play, and then play that rhythm back.

Just as I did in the recording, I keep my rhythms very brief and uncomplicated since the children I’m working with are very young. But I could also envision using this chant with older students, making the rhythms more difficult. Another idea would be to ask students to take turns being the “leader” and come up with their own rhythms for everyone else to repeat.

Do you rock the rhythm sticks, too? Tomorrow I’ll be sharing some more songs I use to accompany all that clacking and tapping…see you then!

P.S. Did you know that you can gain instant access to a vast collection of over 200 songs (mp3, lead sheet, and instrumental track), videos, tutorials, and visual aides, plus ALL new releases from Listen & Learn Music?

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Friday Fave: BOY or GIRL?

Boy or Girl?

Okay, so this post is a little more personal than usual, but this is my most frequently asked question both personally AND professionally as of late. Everywhere I go, people — my students, their parents, fellow therapists, perfect strangers — want to know: are you having a boy or a girl?

The answer is inside of that envelope, and even I don’t know what it says yet! The only people who know are the sonographer who did my ultrasound this morning and the person who is decorating the cake for our big reveal tonight. In just a few short hours, we’ll know whether to buy pink or blue!

The most IMPORTANT news is that the baby looked perfectly healthy and is developing beautifully, according to my doctor. My husband and I were so thankful to hear that and to get another look at our little Junebug, who is now at the halfway point to being born. Only 20 weeks to go!

If you want to keep up with my pregnancy (and growing baby bump pics!) on a regular basis, check out our family blog, www.TheRambachs.com.

Adapting Popular Songs

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In case you missed it, yesterday I posted a video in honor of music therapy social media advocacy month. Since I wanted to reach out to lots of people — not just music therapists, but those outside of our community as well — I chose to take a really popular song and make it all about music therapy.

Music Therapy Lumineers Cover

I’ve learned over the years that everyone loves a good cover or parody of their favorite songs. Just this past summer, I adapted Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe into a song for my students called “Sit With Me Maybe” which ended up becoming my best-selling song ever.

So this time around, I selected a tune I’ve really been digging and is unavoidable on the radio right now: The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey”. I used what I’ve learned from experience to tailor my version so that it serves my purpose, which is to honor my clients and educate others about music therapy.

Today at Listen & Learn Plus, I’m sharing the lead sheet for my adaptation (titled “You, Me & Music Therapy”) and my Top 10 Tips for Adapting a Popular Song.

Get immediate access to this, 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.

You, Me & Music Therapy

In the music therapy world, January is social media advocacy month. During this time, music therapists all over the country use social media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and so on) to advocate for our field, share our stories, and spread the word about music therapy. The theme this year is CONNECT — which immediately inspired the song in the video above.

It is, without a doubt, through my connection with my clients that I best advocate for music therapy. By providing them with the best services I possibly can, I’m able to improve their lives and therefore, the lives of their loved ones and caretakers. They (the family members, teachers, health professionals, and other team members) become my biggest advocates because they have seen the power of music therapy first hand. It’s amazing how many people can be educated about music therapy because of a single client.

I connect with my clients mainly through the music I write specifically for them based on their interests, needs and goals. Sometimes, though, we write songs together…or my clients write their own songs with just a little guidance from me.

Each of those songs has a specific purpose, and so does the song in the video, which I adapted from one of my current favorites, “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers. It’s a shout-out/love letter/thank you note/ode to my clients — because they are the reason I advocate for music therapy. They are the reason I have the best job on earth.

Want to read more about social media advocacy month, along with blog posts from other music therapists spreading the good word? Check out this page, put together by Kimberly Sena Moore, who does such wonderful work organizing this month-long event every year. And to learn more about music therapy, visit the American Music Therapy Association.

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