The Magic Word

The Magic Word

We all heard it as children, and most likely even say it now: “What’s the magic word?” It’s probably the most frequently used method for reminding a child to say “please” — so I wrote a song about it.

The idea for The Magic Word came to me as I was brainstorming language and social skills topics last week. I was surprised to realize that I hadn’t touched on this particular topic in all my years of songwriting! But now I have, and here is the finished product:

The Magic Word

As I was writing the song, I wanted to include specific examples of the “magic word” in use. What I like about the verses is that you can easily replace those examples with your own sentences and questions, targeted to the specific child or group with whom you are working. Or better yet, let them come up with their own!

To check out the entire Listen & Learn song collection, click here. And remember, I’m always up for song topic suggestions, so feel free to share your ideas with me.

Friday Fave: Online CMTEs at MT Pro!

Online CMTEs at MT Pro!

A little over two years ago, Michelle Erfurt, Kimberly Sena Moore and I launched The Music Therapy Round Table podcast. Then last August, we expanded by adding our membership site, Music Therapy Pro. And since doing so, we’ve been secretly plotting yet another addition: online CMTE courses!

I became a CBMT-approved provider (#P-103) last spring in preparation for our leap into the online CMTE arena, and now we’re less than a week away from offering our first course to Music Therapy Pro members. The coolest part is that there is no additional cost to receive CMTE credit; it is simply included in the cost of membership.

Here’s the nutshell version of Music Therapy Pro:

Music Therapy Pro offers valuable, “outside the therapy room” information on technology, communication, time management, self-care, organization, and more! It’s the brain-child of the creators behind the Music Therapy Round Table podcast, Kimberly Sena Moore, Michelle Erfurt and Rachel Rambach. They share their combined 19 years of professional experience exclusively with Pro community members, who have exclusive access to the Pro videos, podcasts, and the vibrant Pro Facebook forum, a place for discussion, support, and celebration. And if that weren’t enough, starting in March, Music Therapy Pro will be offering free continued education classes for community members. Earn CMTE credits at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home.

The cost to join Music Therapy Pro is currently $17/month. However, on March 1, that rate will increase. So if you’re interested in professional development, clinical resources, an active and supportive community, and continuing education credit, take advantage of this opportunity to become a member and lock in the current rate for the span of your membership.

Upon payment completion, you will be redirected back to the registration page. You can cancel your subscription at any time. Come on in and check out the new podcast episodes, videos, and other great content that’s waiting for you!

Music Therapy Pro

February Sponsor Shout-Outs!

It’s time once again to give you the run-down of all of the wonderful Listen & Learn sponsors. I’m extremely proud to feature all of the following resources here on the blog — please take a few minutes to check them out below:

Songbird Serenade

Some exciting news from Emily Sevcik of  Songbird Serenade: “This past month I have been participating in Kat Fulton’s Online Zennn course so I am excited to launch an entirely new look soon. I have also thought long and hard, and I have decided to absorb Songbird Serenade under my private practice name of Milestone Music Therapy. These changes should hopefully take place in the next couple weeks.”

A Perfect Lullaby

A Perfect Lullaby is a CD that helps moms and dads sing to their babies. Research shows that singing to infants has many benefits for babies AND parents. Make sure to visit the website for educational resources including podcasts and articles, and to hear the music. A Perfect Lullaby will be for sale at the Midwest Regional Music Therapy Conference in Iowa City, as well as on CD Baby and iTunes soon!

Mundana Music Therapy

Kimberly Thompson and Megan Resig are the fabulous music therapists who run this private practice in Portland, OR and manage the popular blog by the same name. Check out their Wellness Wednesday column, join them on Facebook, and follow Kimberly and Megan on Twitter.

Miss Leslie’s latest product is My latest product is her book/video package Nurturing Your Newborn with Music, which includes songs and gentle activities that will help your baby begin to understand steady beat and melody; soothe your baby and help her to sleep; get lots of eye contact, touching, and face time that is so important in bonding; and show you how to have fun with your newborn and meet his special needs. The package includes 15 downloadable MP4 videos of songs & activities and a 28-page e-book that traces the development of your baby for the first two months and is loaded with activities & songs that you can do with your baby to help her grow and develop. The e-book includes suggested plans for each week of the first two months, lyric sheets for songs & activities, and sheet music for all of the songs.

Opus Music Education offers a searchable database of music teachers in California and affordable private music lessons in virtually every instrument. Every first music lesson is always free. Opus also offers Opus Music Worksheets, a database of high quality, free printable music education resources, including free music theory worksheets, free music flashcards, free music business forms, and many other free music learning resources for music teachers, music students, and parents.

OnlinePianist has added a new feature to the player. From now on, every new song on the site will include beginner & intermediate version for it. The user is now able to move between the version from within the player based on his progress. Visit OnlinePianist for fun virtual piano lessons!

Theta Music Trainer has been doing a lot of work lately to make the site faster and easier to use. Members should now notice a considerable improvement in response and loading time, even when there is heavy traffic on the site. Additionally, the option to use solfege syllables instead of numbers for some of the games is available. It is also much easier for teachers to send assignments to students now, and students can click on a link in the mail to go directly to the assigned game and level.

Music Therapy Tunes

Margie La Bella, a music therapist and educator, manages Music Therapy Tunes and is considering a new format making it easier to blog and foster discussions.  She’s also working on a new video called “15 Goodbye songs” to complement the “15 Hello Songs!”  Her Valentine’s day song “Love Grows” also makes an incredible Graduation song for end of year ceremonies. It is available on Margie’s music page as a free download. If you’re still looking for good winter activities, there are videos called “The Wolf” and “The Polar Bear” song on YouTube.

Make Me Musical

Do you nurture children through the arts? Make Me Musical is a resource site with musical play, songs and downloads, dramatic play, instrument exploration ideas, dance and creative movement ideas for your studio and classroom. Stop by for a visit!

More With Music

More With Music is a song resource website where parents, teachers, and therapists can find songs to help teach the students in their lives. Amanda Ellis manages More With Music and works as a full-time music therapist in a public school setting with students ages 5-22. Songs posted on More with Music can be purchased online for 99 cents each and song sheets (complete with guitar chords and lyrics), are free by request. Do you need a song to help teach a skill or accomplish a specific goal? Amanda also takes requests and can write songs for specific goals and skills by request. It all starts with an email to

Stefanie Anderson Eckert, MM, MT-BC is the owner of A-Z Music Therapy Services, which provides services to individuals with disabilities in San Antonio and South Central Texas. Stefanie works in many different settings, including schools for children with autism and assisted living facilities. Her website offers additional resources and contact information for individuals interested in her services.

Music Therapy Maven Shout-Out

Kimberly Sena Moore, the Music Therapy Maven also co-manages Music Therapy Pro and is in the second semester of her doctoral studies at UMKC! Join Kimberly’s newsletter and “like” her Facebook page to keep up with the latest music therapy happenings, musings, and much more!

Rhythm Ring

Rhythm Ring has some exciting news to share. They’ve got a new logo they’re preparing to release, as well as a black ring. They’re working on a new web presence, too. Rhythm Ring has recently entered into a promotional marketing market where they’ve placed other’s logos on their rings. They have actually approached some music therapists who facilitate corporate team building events to partner with Rhythm Ring. They offer discount wholesale pricing with this. Very cool!

Music Therapy Tween

Check out the Music Therapy Tween and see what Michelle Erfurt, the tween herself, is up to. Also, be sure to take a look at Michelle’s specialty: Boom Totes! These boomwacker bags were a huge hit at the national music therapy conference in November, and are still selling like hotcakes. Order yours today.

Interested in becoming a Listen & Learn sponsor?

You can get the full scoop on sponsorship, including all the perks, right here. Sign up now and get your first shout-out in March!

Numbers With a “1”

Numbers With a 1 Counting Song

I’ve most definitely written my fair share of songs about numbers. And while it’s not my FAVORITE topic in the world, I do have a bit of a soft spot for it…after all, I was president of the math club in high school (a fact my family will never let me live down).

So when one of my Listen & Learn Plus! members came to me in need of some fresh ideas for teaching the numbers 11-19, I was game. I wrote the song Numbers With a 1 with the idea that when it’s used, the music therapist/educator/parent will have visuals of each number in order to match the name with the number. You’ll understand what I mean after listening:

I made sure to keep the tempo nice and slow, and hopefully the song is interesting enough to keep a child’s attention — especially considering the topic isn’t the most fun! Do you know any other songs for teaching the numbers 11-19?

Friday Fave: Mechanical Licenses Made Easy

Limelight Easy Mechanical Licenses

Earlier this week, my newsletter went out and included a free song download. (They all do….have you subscribed yet?) Several of the emails I received in response prompted this week’s post on a topic I’ve written about before at Listen & Learn Plus, but never here: mechanical licenses.

The emails I received asked if  the free download, A Bushel and a Peck, is in the public domain — meaning it is not protected by copyright or the copyright has expired — and the answer is no. Just like I do with any other cover song (including this one), I went straight to Limelight to purchase a mechanical license.

A mechanical license allows musicians to create, distribute and sell recordings of compositions owned and controlled by another publisher. Even though I was giving my download away for free, I still needed a mechanical license in order to distribute it to others, since I don’t own the rights to the song.

Limelight makes this process quick and easy. You simply enter a few details about the song (title, artist, type and volume of distribution or sale, etc.) and then pay the fee that is determined by that information. My license for “A Bushel and a Peck” cost just $25. You can pay either by credit card or PayPal.

If you want more information, here’s a great article on this topic. Have you had any experience with licensing cover songs? And if so, did you use Limelight or another similar service?

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