Student Spotlight: Cydney Sings “At Last”

Etta James At Last

When Cydney returned to lessons after winter break, she informed me that her cousin had asked her to sing several songs at her wedding reception. (If I was Cydney’s cousin, I would have done the same…she has an amazing voice!)

Her cousin had picked out ‘The Only Exception” by Paramore, “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele, and “At Last” by Etta James. Cydney already had a good handle on the first two, so we concentrated on the Etta James classic.

Etta James passed away the week following Cydney’s performance at the wedding reception, so as a little tribute, we recorded her rendition of the song.

This girl’s voice gives me chills! “At Last” is not an easy song to sing, but I think she definitely did it justice…especially considering her age (she’s 17). I love that my students are willing to tackle big challenges like this — they make me proud!

I Like to Clap to the Beat

I Like to Clap

This weekend as I was brainstorming ideas for today’s new song, I thought back to a lesson I helped a teacher at my former job teach to his students. The topic was clapping at appropriate times, which may seem very basic to most, but for students with developmental and behavioral issues, it wasn’t so simple.

I don’t remember exactly which songs I wrote or used in that particular case, but the lesson was my inspiration for I Like to Clap — the latest song here at Listen & Learn.

The song touches upon several different occasions on which clapping is appropriate and encouraged, and of course, includes hand claps and applause (at the very end).

Hopefully this is one that your kiddos can have lots of fun with, and learn from as well. I’m looking forward to singing it with my students this week!

Friday Fave: Smash

NBC's Smash

I’m a sucker for Broadway musicals, so it comes as no surprise that I’m a fan of a show all about the behind-the-scenes drama of creating and producing a Broadway musical.

Katharine McPhee, who was an American Idol finalist back when I still watched that show, stars as an actress auditioning for the lead role in a new musical about Marilyn Monroe. The rest of the cast is pretty impressive and includes Debra Messing, Megan Hilty, and Anjelica Huston among others.

I watched the pilot of Smash last week, and can’t wait for the series to start on Monday. Have you watched the pilot yet, and if so, are you as excited as I am?

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