Whenever It Rains

Whenever It Rains

The timing of this song is a little ironic, since we haven’t had rain here in central Illinois for what seems like weeks now. But I wrote the lyrics a couple of months ago and felt inspired to finish the song over the weekend, so maybe if I sing it a whole lot, we’ll actually get some sprinkles? Wishful thinking, I know ;)

The lyrics came to me in the midst of a huge thunderstorm, during which it thundered so hard my whole house shook. I like a good rain from time to time, so it didn’t bother me, but the storm got me thinking about how bad weather affects people — adults and kids alike.

I wanted to put a positive spin on the weather by acknowledging that it can make us feel blue, but we can look to those we love to make us feel better. This is especially true for little ones who need some comforting during scary storms.

Now, if only I had a reason to share this song with my students. Come on, rain!

Friday Fave: ABC Music Therapy Ideas

Now is a better time than ever to be a music therapist, I tell ya! The blogosphere is chock-full of amazing music therapists who are willing to share their ideas and resources with the rest of us.

Last week I told you about Amy Kalas and her wonderful e-book, Tuneful Teens, and this week I have another great resource to fill you in on. Rachel Smith is a music therapist in Texas who has a private practice, Music Therapy Services of Austin. I’m always impressed by her blog, and am loving her latest series: ABC Music Therapy Ideas.

Each post in this series is based on a letter of the alphabet and related in some way to music therapy. Topics so far have included Advocacy, “B” songs, CMTEs, Drumming, Explore Music Therapy, Facebook, Guitar, Horseback Rider and Hula Hoop, iPad, “Jump in the Line”, Kickstarter, and Loopz. Phew! There’s so much information and so many great ideas for the practicing music therapist, it will definitely take you a while to get through them all.

In addition to her blog series, Rachel also offers musical e-books, inspiration kits, and freebies. This is definitely a site to bookmark and come back to again and again. Thanks, Rachel, for offering such an array of useful tools for the rest of us!

To the Bathroom I Go

To the Bathroom I Go (Instructional Song for Children)

It didn’t take long for me to learn that as a music therapist working with children who have special needs, one goal area I’d be addressing often is bathroom routines.

Handwashing, teeth brushing, bath taking…those are the easy ones. But toileting is a little more tricky, not to mention a little less fun. However, it’s a goal I’ve been working on with students since my  first day on the job, and I’m still at it five years later.

The key to a good “potty” song is that it must be detailed yet tasteful enough so that parents, teachers and others feel comfortable singing it. To the Bathroom I Go is repetitive and the melody is simple, as you’ll hear below.

This is a reworking of the original potty song I wrote years and years ago, and since it’s proven to be effective many times, I didn’t make too many changes. While some of the lyrics may induce a giggle or blush, I think they strike the balance I mentioned earlier.

Plus, it’s a catchy little song that — like it or not — you’ll probably be singing all day long. What are your favorite songs on this unavoidable topic?

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