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:

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.

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?

Love, Love, Love (My Family)

Love, Love, Love (My Family)

Choosing this week’s song topic was sort of a no-brainer, thanks to a certain holiday coming up tomorrow. I’ve written plenty of songs about love, including The Feelings in My Heart (follow the link to get a free visual aide download) and You Are Loved.

But this time I wanted to focus on a very specific kind of love: the kind you feel for your family.

I love the way this song turned out…so much so that I couldn’t wait until today to share it with at least a few people. Any guesses as to which people I sent it to? My FAMILY, of course!

I know there have been many songs written about family love, but there’s always room for one more when it comes to such a wonderful topic. What are your favorite songs about L-O-V-E, either the family kind or just in general?

Friday Fave: The Best Lyrics Site on the Web

Best Lyrics Site on the Web

Like many other music therapists, teachers, and musicians, I spend a lot of time making song sheets for my students and myself. While in some cases I’ll need the actual sheet music for a song (in which case I head over to MusicNotes), sometimes I just need the lyrics.

If you do a Google search for just about any song, you’ll come up with at least a dozen lyrics sites…but most of them are garbage. Either the lyrics are incorrect, or there are pop-up ads all over the place, or the biggest annoyance of all — the site won’t let you copy and paste.

But I’ve found one site where the lyrics are consistently accurate, there are few to no pop-ups, and I’m able to copy and paste from it every single time: Sing365.

It’s a pretty cheesy looking site, but I could care less how it looks because it has been such a great resource for me. Whether I’m just curious about the lyrics to a song or need to create a lead sheet for a student or myself, it’s my go-to place.

If I’m looking for the lyrics to the song “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele, I type this into my Google search bar:

Adele Rolling in the Deep Lyrics Sing365

And I’ll tell you what, I get exactly what I’m looking for just about every single time. No more clicking on link after link in search of usable lyrics. So that’s my quick little tip for you on this lovely Friday. I hope Sing365 saves you as much time as it has for me!