Ten and Back

I know I just posted a counting song yesterday, but you can never have too many…right? This one focuses on counting to ten and back. Many of my students don’t have much difficulty with the first part, but most of them struggle when it comes to counting backwards.

It’s time for a ten and back counting song
And I’d love it if you’d help me sing along.
It’s easy and fun, beginning with one,
Now let’s all give it a try:

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine,
Ten is the end – let’s go backwards, my friend,
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one,
We’ve counted to ten and back so now we’re done.

It’s time for a ten and back counting song
And I’d love it if you’d help me sing along.
It’s easy and fun, beginning with one,
Now let’s give it another try:

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine,
Ten is the end – let’s go backwards, my friend,
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one,
We’ve counted to ten and back so now we’re done.

There’s nothing like a new counting song to kick off a Monday morning :) I’m feeling a little groggy on this particular one, despite an early workout and a cup of coffee sitting next to me. Hopefully I’ll feel a little more awake by the time my first student arrives. Have a great day!

Count by Five Jive

As I was going through my computer files this weekend – I’m running out of room on my hard drive and need to do some purging – I came across a folder of songs I wrote during my internship. I couldn’t believe I’d let these songs go unused for the past two years, so I immediately rescued, reworked, and recorded them.

The first song I’m going to share is called “Count by Five Jive”. I remember using this song with a little boy named Alex who was working on this particular skill at the time. It goes like this:

When you want to count by five,
Just sing the words to this jazzy jive.
Start at five instead of one
Count to one-hundred, and then your done.

Five, Ten, Fifteen, Twenty,
Twenty-five, Thirty, Thirty-five, Forty,
Forty-five, Fifty, Fifty-five, Sixty,
Sixty-five, Seventy, Seventy-five, Eighty,
Eighty-five, Ninety, Ninety-five, One-hundred.

It’s not so hard to count by five
When you know this jazzy jive.
Now we’ll end our clever rhyme
By counting by five just one more time.

I found several counting songs, actually, and I’ll be sharing them over the next few days. Another fun file I came across in my internship folder was the journal I kept for the entire nine months. It was so interesting to read the first few entries, which really brought back memories of how nervous and excited I was to be actually practicing music therapy.

The funny thing is that even now, three years later, I still get that nervous and excited feeling with each new client. Every child is different and presents his or her own unique challenges. I love that this job constantly keeps me on my toes and forces the creative juices to flow 24/7.

Friday Fave: GarageBand

As much as I write about my iPhone, Macbook, and other gadgets, you might think I work for Apple (or at least get paid to promote their products). Well neither is the case; I just happen to really, really love these pieces of technology. Even harder to believe is that up until two years ago, I was a total PC person. My husband made the switch in 2006, and I followed him after listening to a year’s worth of gloating about his superior machine.

Now I don’t know what I’d do without my Mac (and more recently, my iPhone). I do all of my recording using GarageBand, a music editing program that comes with every Apple computer. It allows me to record several different tracks either via a microphone or MIDI source, and then edit them to my heart’s content. It is integrated with iTunes so that once my recording is finished, I can import it into my iTunes library and then either burn it to a CD or post it to my blog. How convenient!

Today my mom and I recorded a song that we wrote for my grandma’s 80th birthday, and of course, we used GarageBand. She was amazed that I could easily add strings and other instruments, manipulate each track to make it perfect, and then email it off to her once it was completed.

I remember the first time my husband showed me the program; my exact words were “what would I ever do with this?”. Now I can’t imagine my life without it, since so much of it is spent writing and recording music for work and for fun. My newest GarageBand project? Creating custom ringtones using songs in my iTunes library for my iPhone…even Zach has joined in this action :)

I could probably go on and on all afternoon about the wonders of GarageBand, but I’ll stop here. Enjoy the rest of your Friday, and hopefully I’ll be back over the weekend with a new song or two.

Help Me, Help Them

This is a song I wrote about my Kickstarter project:

Hi there, I’m Rachel,
Thanks for stopping by.
I wrote this song and made this video
To explain the reasons why
You should make a pledge and be a part
Of this project that I hope to start
It’s called Listen & Learn and its for
A different kind of audience who needs more

Autism presents itself
In more than one way,
It’s a disorder that affects how children learn,
And communicate and play.
But music is a bridge that can reach inside
It lets a child connect instead of hide
And that’s why I do what I do,
Why I’m asking support from you.

Help me, help them
Give my gift of song.
Even if you pledge one dollar
You’ll move this project along.
I write the songs but I need a hand,
To follow through with my grander plan
Which is recording a CD
Just for them, and sung by me.

I wanted to reach out,
So I started a blog to share
My music and thoughts with the people
Who could benefit out there.
They said my songs were part of the solution
So I want to make a bigger contribution
So please, if you feel inclined,
I hope that you will find that you can.

For more information, simply click here. As always, thanks for your support of Listen & Learn Music!

Cabasa is Boss

I’ve been neglecting this little beauty, otherwise known as the cabasa, since I purchased it back in early June. I really wanted to use it; I just never got around to it. Well I decided this week that it is time to put my newest instrument to good use, and I figured I may as well write a song about it, too.

Twist, twist, use your wrist,
That’s how you play the cabasa.
Twist, twist, use your wrist,
And play the cabasa for the whole wide world to hear.

The cabasa was born in Africa
Before it came to the USA
The cabasa’s a percussion instrument
And you’re playing it today.
Now pass it to your neighbor, that’s the way!


I’m going to try out this song this afternoon with one of my music therapy groups. The kids will sit in a circle, and I’ll have them take turns playing the cabasa and then pass it to their neighbor as indicated in the song. This is a great instrument not only because it sounds cool, but because it is visually and tactilely interesting. I am looking forward to seeing my students’ reactions today, because as far I know, they’ve never seen, heard or played a cabasa before. We’ll see how it goes!

Oh, one more thing. I want to give you an update on my Kickstarter project, which you can learn more about by reading my previous post.

In the first three days since launching my project, I’ve had five people pledge a total of $141, which is 7% of my $2,000 goal. Thank you to those of you who have pledged…and I’d like to invite everyone else to get on board, too. Listen & Learn Music has grown because of you, but it hasn’t reached its full potential yet. Let’s make it happen!

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