Halloween Video-Palooza

Halloween Music Videos

Happy Halloween! It’s a brisk but beautiful October day where I live — perfect trick-or-treating weather, for sure. I had a chance to see lots of cute kiddos in their costumes over the weekend, and can’t wait for all the Facebook pics to start appearing on my news feed this evening.

I’ve written lots of Halloween posts throughout the years here at Listen & Learn, and also made quite a few videos featuring Halloween tunes. So I thought a fun way to celebrate would be to round up all those videos and share them with you right here.

My adaptation of a Hap Palmer classic!

One of my (surprisingly) most-watched videos ever.

Just one of the many ways I’ve adapted this great Cathy Bollinger tune.

A recent video of one of my oldest songs. Still a fave :)

I sang this song over the weekend with some kids in extremely creative costumes.

Ukulele + classic tune = Happy Halloween!

Did you make it through all the videos? If so, WOW! (And my apologies for the morning distraction.) Whatever your plans may be for this Halloween day, I hope it is a spook-tacular one. See you back here in November!

Sunday Singalong: The St. Louis Swingers

Just as the World Series started to heat up, I received this blog comment from Rene, a member of Listen & Learn Plus! and teacher extraordinaire:

Will you still be my music therapist when the Rangers beat the Cards in the World Series? How about a friendly “deal.” If the Rangers win, you sing “The Claw” on your Sunday Sing Along; if the Cards win you sing….do the Cardinals have a song? Ok, better yet…if the Rangers win you sing “The Texas Pledge Song” and if the Cardinals win AND if they don’t have a song…you write one and sing it? Have a super great day from your biggest fan in Texas.

I woke up on Saturday morning, still giddy from the Cardinals’ win and having all but forgotten about our little deal. And then I saw yet another comment from Rene:

Bravo, Cardinals and Cardinal fans. Though I am sad my Texas Rangers lost, the silver lining is we get to hear Rachel’s Cardinal song! Woo hoo.

Of course, she hadn’t forgotten! I wasn’t off the hook…so I whipped up “The St. Louis Swingers” and actually was pretty happy with the result. Thanks, Rene, for giving me such a fun topic to write about!

And congratulations on your team’s showing in the World Series; although they didn’t win, they played very well and gave the Cards a good run for their money. As my husband (an extremely avid Cubs fan) is used to saying, “there’s always next year”.

Friday Fave: Sensory-Friendly Trick-or-Treating

Sensory-Friendly Trick-or-Treating

Earlier this month, I was lamenting how much I would miss seeing my former students all dressed up for Halloween. I was also feeling a little bummed over not being able to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters, because I’d be providing music therapy and lessons on the evening of Halloween.

However, I’m feeling much better now — because I’ll get my costume and trick-or-treating fix this Saturday. I was asked by a new therapy clinic here in Springfield to provide music activities at their open house, which means I’ll get to put all my Halloween songs to even more use.

The event sounds like a lot of fun, and is a great opportunity for little ones who aren’t as well suited to traditional trick-or-treating. The treats are gluten free/casein free, and the atmosphere will be much more friendly than spooky.

I’m off to brush up on my Halloween repertoire and choose what to wear…do I go with a costume, or just a Halloween-themed shirt? Decisions, decisions!

A Little DIY Recording Session

DIY Recording

I’m a little sleepy this morning after a late night of recording…but I’m not complaining, because it’s one of my favorite things to do! So much so that I’m giving a presentation at AMTA National Conference in Atlanta next month called The DIY Approach to Recording.

One of the questions I receive most often through this blog is along the lines of, “What equipment do you use to record your songs?” I have two different methods for recording; the pictures above are from a live session with another musician. I use my Fender Passport sound system to record everything at once as a WAV file, which is saved to a USB flash drive.

I have another process and separate equipment for tracking, which is the method I use most often to record my Listen & Learn songs. I wrote a detailed post about that previously, which you can read here.

Music therapists, if you are interested in learning more about my recording methods, I’d love for you to attend my presentation at conference! It’s early (Sunday, November 20 at 8:00 am) but I promise I’ll make it worth your while.

What the Glif?

Glif Tripod Attachment for iPhone

Sunday was a very sad day here at Listen & Learn headquarters: after two years of trusty service, my Flip Ultra HD camcorder died. Luckily, my new camera takes HD video and came to the rescue for last week’s “Sunday Singalong” video, but using that camera as a camcorder eats up the battery almost immediately. I knew I needed an alternative solution.

So where did I turn for advice? Facebook, of course! I asked my friends for HD camcorder recommendations, and the first I received was this:

My brother-in-law reminded me that I already have an excellent HD camcorder, which I knew but hadn’t thought about using as a replacement for my Flip. He sent me this link, which further convinced me that maybe I didn’t need to go out and spend the money on a new camcorder, after all.

And then I remembered a particularly memorable Kickstarter (the crowd-sourcing website I used to raise money for my studio album) project that showed up in my inbox several months ago: the glif.


The glif is “an iPhone 4/4S accessory with two primary functions: mounting your iPhone onto a tripod and propping up your iPhone at various angles” — exactly what I needed to turn my new phone into a legit camcorder. It’s a little pricy for a small piece of plastic, but compared to purchasing a brand new camcorder? I was happy to shell out the $20.

I’m going to miss the ‘ol Flipster, but I’m excited to try out my glif/iPhone combo when I record Sunday’s video. I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts, and you’ll get to see the results first-hand this weekend!

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