Catching Up

I’m back from the Big Apple and thoroughly ashamed to have neglected Listen & Learn for an entire week!  I honestly can’t remember the last time I went so long between posts, and I feel a bit like a failed blogger :(

The truth is, I was already behind schedule before my trip, and being away for four days didn’t help that situation very much.  I have several projects in the works, as well as new responsibilities both at school and in my private practice, which means I have a LOT of catching up to do.

But before I tackle all of that, let me fill you in on my trip to NYC.  I can pretty much sum it up in one word: amazing.  Just being there is a thrill, and we took full advantage of our short time in the city that never sleeps.  We ate lunch at Pershing Square Cafe, dinner at Basso 56, and ordered deli sandwiches from Rupert (of The Late Show with David Letterman fame).

When we weren’t eating, we were walking around the city – Rockefeller Center, Times Square, and Grand Central Station were just a few stops we made – and seeing a Broadway show!  My wonderful husband waited in line at the TKTS stand long enough to score tickets to Memphis, a new Broadway musical that definitely lived up to all the hype.  We had some of our favorite friends right there with us, including my best friend (and NYC resident) Katie and her fiance, Justin.

On Friday, we packed up our rental car and headed to New Jersey, where we took part in the wedding festivities of our friends Dustin & Kristin.  I don’t have nearly enough time to paint an accurate picture of this beautiful affair, so it’s a good thing I took almost 200 photos!  We returned home late on Sunday night, and I spent my “day off” on Monday working on an exciting project (more later…I promise!).

I have a long list of topics to share with you in the coming days and weeks, so thank you for sticking around!  The emails I received from readers while I was out of town put a big smile on my face, and were a constant reminder for me to get in gear here at Listen & Learn.  So this is me…getting into gear…and telling you to come back tomorrow for a brand-new song.  See you then!

Big Apple Bound!

New York City, that is.  Tomorrow, my husband and I will head east for a few days to attend a friend’s wedding (Zach is a groomsman), but not before spending a couple days as tourists in the city.  My best friend lives there, so we’re going to meet up with her, along with a few other friends who will also be in town for the wedding.  Any suggestions on which Broadway show to see while we’re there?  Should I go with a tried-and-true favorite (like Mamma Mia, Wicked, or Bye Bye Birdie) or something I’ve never seen (like Avenue Q, Billy Elliot, or In the Heights)?  Please advise!

My first trip to NYC was, no joke, to sing at Carnegie Hall.  Granted, it was by no means a solo performance; rather, it was with a huge chorus performing the works of Morten Lauridsen.  That was back in the summer of 2004, and it was an amazing trip.  My mom and I went together, and we hit up all of the hot spots: the Empire State Building, Tavern on the Green, The Today Show, Times Square, two Broadway shows (Thoroughly Modern Millie and Chicago) and lots more.

So needless to say, I am extremely excited about going back to the Big Apple, as well as our friends’ wedding.  I’m taking my computer with me (does that really surprise you?) so hopefully I will even fit in a blog update or two.  In the meantime, have a wonderful Wednesday!

That Yellow Bus

Transitions from one place or activity to another are one of my students’ biggest areas of struggle.  One particularly difficult transition that a majority of children face on a daily basis is getting on and off on the bus.  Student arrival and departure is quite an event at my school, especially for students who ride the bus.  Another therapist (from a different school, but who happens to be a family member!) told me about a student of hers who is having lots of trouble with bus transitions.  She asked me if I had a song dealing with this topic, and I replied that I didn’t yet, but to give me a few days.

The song that resulted is uncomplicated and repetitive.  It covers each and every bus transition: getting on to go to school, getting off at school, getting back on after school is finished, and getting off at home.  Take a listen to “That Yellow Bus” and see what you think:

When it’s time to go to school,
This is what you gotta do:
Get, get, get on the bus!
Once you are inside,
You’re gonna take a ride:
Get, get, get on the bus!
Snap your fingers, tap your feet,
While you’re cruisin’ down the street,
In that yellow bus.

When you get to school,
This is what you gotta do:
Get, get, get off the bus!
To your class is where you’ll go,
This you already know:
Get, get, get off the bus!
Snap your fingers, tap your feet,
Your day is gonna be sweet,
Once you’re off that yellow bus.

When school is through,
This is what you gotta do:
Get, get, get on the bus!
Once you are inside,
You’re gonna take a ride:
Get, get, get on the bus!
Snap your fingers, tap your feet,
While you’re cruisin’ down the street,
In that yellow bus.

When you’re home from school,
This is what you gotta do:
Get, get, get off the bus!
In your house is where you’ll go,
This you already know:
Get, get, get off the bus!
Snap your fingers, tap your feet,
Your afternoon will be sweet,
Once you’re off that yellow bus.

This snappy little ditty is one that I think will come in handy for many of the students at my school and elsewhere. Plus, it’s just fun! The therapist who requested it has two little boys, and she told me last night that they were dancing around the kitchen last night while they listened and sang along. Now that put a big smile on my face :)

Sunday Singalong: What Do You Do?

You can find the original post of this song, including lyrics, here.

Listen & Learn reader Erin Breedlove requested that I feature “What Do You Do?” as today’s Sunday Singalong song, and since that is what I chose, Erin will receive a free album download of her choice.  Congrats, Erin!  Everyone else – send next week’s requests (it could be a Listen & Learn original OR a cover of any song that could be used in a music therapy session) via email, or just leave a comment right here on the blog.

How was your weekend?  Mine has been a good mix of relaxation (Friday Night Lights is our new streaming Netflix fave), work-related stuff (IAMT board meeting and piano festival student applications) and fun (friend’s wedding and out with friends).

Today is a big day in the Rambach household, because as I wrote yesterday, we are celebrating my husband’s 27th birthday.  We are going out to dinner at a local Japanese restaurant, where you can sit at a hibachi grill with up to 16 people.  Tonight all of those seats will be filled with family, and I can’t wait.  Yummy sushi and other Japanese goodies, here I come!

Enjoy your Sunday night, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow for a brand-new song about a certain type of transportation.

Birthday Boy



Somebody is turning 27 around here, and it’s not me!  My husband, Zach, who is a whopping five months older than me, will be celebrating his birthday tomorrow, and the rest of the family and I will be there right along with him.

Although Zach and I have only been married for a year and a half, I’ve been by his side for six birthdays.  He takes the cake for giving the best gifts (birthday, Christmas, or otherwise) but I always tell him that I’m much easier to buy for than he is!  One of the best gifts he’s ever given me (and there are lots from which to choose) was actually for our wedding, when we we were planning the playlist for the souvenir CD that would be given out to all 250+ guests.

We had already decided that the song I wrote for him on Valentine’s Day, Second Chance Dance, would be included, but what I really wanted was to record a song together for the CD.  After lots and lots of coaxing, he finally caved in.  We reworked the lyrics to the song “Anyone Else But You” (the one Ellen Page and Michael Cera sing at the end of the movie Juno).  Zach isn’t a singer, or musical in any way aside from enjoying it, so I was pretty darn proud of the job he did on this song.  Needless to say, his friends and family were more than surprised when they heard it played during the picture slideshow my parents put together for our rehearsal dinner!

I will always treasure this recording, because it’s most likely the only one I’ll ever have of its kind. I couldn’t be luckier to have such a wonderful, funny, supportive husband – he calls himself my #1 fan, though my mom begs to differ – and I hope his 27th year is his best yet!

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