Looking for music resources for children?
You’re in the right place. I know first-hand how overwhelming it can be, constantly searching for and creating new music materials for your work with children. When I became a board-certified music therapist in 2007, I felt completely lost as I got started planning my sessions and classes.
That’s why I started writing my own music therapy songs — my other options were extremely limited. I began sharing them in the hopes that it would help other people like me, and that’s how Listen & Learn Music came to be.
Ready to expand your collection of children’s songs?
Over the last ten years, I’ve written and shared over 200 songs. My music has been used in early childhood settings, music therapy sessions, classrooms, and homes all over the world. As an actively practicing music therapist and early childhood music leader, I’m constantly writing new songs for my own students and clients, so it would be nearly impossible to run out of material to share here :)
More than 300 members have joined Listen & Learn Plus, my VIP membership which provides total access to the entire collection. I invite you to take a look around, and hope that this site becomes a valuable resource for you, too!
Time to explore!
The best place to start is by grabbing a free download of my “Weather Songs for Kids” album. Enter your name and email below, and then check your inbox for your songs.
Last but not least, please consider getting the MOST out of Listen & Learn Music by becoming a VIP member, which gives you full access to the ENTIRE resource collection.
Recent Blog Posts
Last month when I was brainstorming new songs to write for my early childhood music classes, I had the idea to adapt the song “Havana” to use with fruit shakers. I couldn’t stop singing the original version, so I figured it would make a catchy and effective song for my students…and so far, that has been the case!
I introduced “Banana, Ooh Na Na” a few weeks ago in our early childhood and preschool classes, and have also been using it in some of my music therapy sessions. It gets plenty of play at home, too, since my own children request it nearly every day.
Over the past year, I have gotten into a super flowy groove when it comes to creating new songs. Up until that point, I would write and record them sporadically, and each time, it felt like an uphill battle (as much as I love the process once I get going).
But now I have a routine, and it works beautifully. So I wanted to share my process for those of you who are interested in the behind-the-scenes here at Listen & Learn, and hopefully this will help if you’ve found yourself in a creative rut lately.
Directionally challenged: that pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling when it comes to this space lately.
I’m coming up on 10 years (!?!?) of writing here, and in that time span, a LOT has happened. I’ve grown from being a brand new professional to a relatively experienced music therapist, worked for 4 years as an employee and then left to expand my business, had two children, expanded my business some more, completely overhauled my workload…and those are just the BIG ones.
In the beginning, I didn’t overthink things. I just wrote about whatever I felt like, from my work, to my personal life, to the songs I was writing. But as my audience has grown, I’ve felt myself being tugged in many different directions…yet I’m afraid that going too far down one or more of those paths will alienate the people who are here for other reasons.
I left you hanging in my last blog post, which told the story of what happens when an introvert (me) stops practicing self-care. To summarize: I buried myself in my work, and while I was going through the motions of self-care activities, I wasn’t truly caring for my mind, body and soul. The outcome: I found myself headed down a scary path towards burnout.
Thankfully, I realized where I was headed before I actually got there, and I took action to correct course. Turning around at that point was no easy feat, but I knew that if I didn’t, all areas of my life would suffer even more than they already had.
I took a holistic approach to self-care, and I took it seriously. Here are the things I did to get back to a healthy place mentally, physically, and emotionally.
To tell this story, I need to take you back in time to last summer. I had just taken a HUGE step in my self-care journey by deciding to no longer teach lessons, so it seemed like I was on the right track. Add to that the mornings I dedicated to biking (my preferred choice of exercise) plus the personal development podcasts I listened to regularly, and I felt like a master of self-care.
I also felt like there was no better time to tackle one of my big goals: creating a course about how introverts can thrive in an extroverted career like music therapy. I sat down and created an editorial calendar — one that I thought was extremely reasonable and also allowed time for other pursuits.
As I dove into course creation mode, I realized just how big of an undertaking it really was. Since I was so passionate about the subject matter, I wanted to put 100% into every aspect of the course. Creating the outlines and writing the chapters were the most stressful tasks, though I loved every minute.
What I didn’t realize was the extent to which creating this course was taking priority over everything else in my life. I’ve let this happen in the past, so you’d think I would have noticed the signs…but I didn’t. I was going through the motions of riding my bike, taking care of my children, and attending to other work responsibilities, but my heart wasn’t in it. I wasn’t letting all of those things do what they should have done for me, which was to nourish my body and soul.
Tap-tap-clap, tap-tap-clap…that’s the body rhythm pattern that accompanies the verses of this catchy winter song. We change things up during the chorus, rubbing our hands together to create that swishy swimming sound as the polar bear glides through the sea.
Here’s a little-known fact: when I set out to become a music therapist, I had no intention of working with children. My heart was with older adults, after witnessing the power of music with my grandma, who had Alzheimer’s Disease. My first practicum experience in a nursing home during graduate school only further solidified my plans.
But as I gained more experience working with children, I had a change of heart. Helping them achieve their goals through music is what brought me the most joy, so I pursued an internship that served mainly children. From that point on, it was clear that I had found my dream population.
Fast forward a little over 10 years to this past December, when my private practice was contacted by a memory care center in a nearby city. They wanted to offer music therapy services to their residents as soon as possible, and I surprised myself by offering to personally take on the contract for the time being.
Last week as I was finishing up some new songs for my early childhood classes, I realized that I’ve written and recorded a ridiculous number of songs about winter. The irony in this is that winter is my LEAST favorite of all the seasons, as I’ve told you many times before.
Nonetheless, winter is a very real thing here in the Midwest, and for some reason, seems to last longer than any other season. So all of my winter songs get LOTS of use in my classes, groups, and music therapy sessions.
I know I’m not the only one in this boat, which is exactly why I decided to bundle up my favorites into one nice little package. Although all of the songs are based around the theme of winter, they also address a variety of goals, objectives, and skills.
Just a few include simple sign language, counting, speech goals, instrument play, academic concepts, body part identification, sequencing, and gross motor movement.
I dubbed this Winter Song Week, because all week long, I’ve shared a video featuring one of the songs from the pack. You can learn more about them as well as listen in the videos below!
For the full list of songs included in my Winter Song Pack, and to grab them for yourself, click here.
While winter definitely is not my favorite topic, singing about it is much better than complaining ;) Oh, and if you live in a place where ice and snow isn’t an issue, consider me a tad bit jealous!
Happy New Year! I wanted to start 2018 with a little zen, so I snuck off to yoga class first thing this morning. Little did I know that my kids would be eagerly waiting for me to get home so that we could have our own living room yoga session.