I’m pretty darn excited about this song. I mentioned last week that I get lots of my ideas from my mother-in-law, who is a special education teacher; well, the other person I can always count on for unique and creative song topics is Rene, who is an elementary teacher and frequent custom song customer.
Her latest commission might very well be my favorite so far. Rene’s classroom adopts a bat every year from Bat World Sanctuary in Mineral Wells, Texas. The bat they adopted this year, Mr. Kitty, has an interesting story — one that she thought would make for a great song.
Rene will also be using this song to work on other state educational standards such as listening and retelling, identifying problem/solution, characters, retelling a story in sequence, decoding words, word families, and short vowel sounds. She and I think alike in that way…we strive to get as much use out of a song as possible :)
There was one more request from Rene: that I use the melody from one of her favorite childhood songs, “Senor Don Gato”. I was unfamiliar with this tune, but quickly learned it and used it as a template for writing my lyrics. I haven’t been able to get the tune out of my head since recording my version, which you can hear below:
And this might be a stretch, but “The Ballad of Miss Kitty” is even a little Halloween-ish…right? After all, it’s about a cat and a bat. But if you like your Halloween songs a little more orange, spooky, and pumpkin-y, you can check out the rest of my collection here. Happy (haunted) listening!
When I’m in need of new song topic ideas, my go-to person is my mother-in-law. She teaches in a special education classroom and incorporates music (mostly mine!) into as many lesson plans as possible.
Since I’m in the middle of a huge project — I’ll share the details soon — my brain has been a little fried, so this was a week where I needed Libby’s help. I called her up and asked her what kind of song she could use in her classroom right now, and she wasted no time sharing her suggestions.
One such suggestion was a song about working together on different classroom tasks throughout the day, so I took that idea and ran with it. Oh, and the melody may have been a teensy bit inspired by the song I sang with my church choir over the weekend (I told you my brain was fried!).
I wanted to keep writing additional verses for this song, but reminded myself that all of you wonderful music therapists, educators and parents will adapt the song for your kiddos as needed! I always consider my recording to be just a jumping off point.
With Halloween a mere two weeks away, I couldn’t resist writing a new song to add to my already quite full bag o’ spooky day tricks. While it is definitely NOT my most favorite day of the year, all the imagery related to Halloween makes it very easy to write about. Not to mention that many of my kiddos are big fans!
Trick or Treat is all about — no surprises here — trick or treating. The verses detail how it’s done, including the basic rules (only go to houses with porch lights on, don’t eat unwrapped candy, etc.) while the chorus emphasizes the fun of this yearly ritual.
Since the lyrics aren’t necessarily spooky, I Halloween’d it up a bit by going into a minor key for the chorus. Ya know, just to give it that extra kick. Very rarely do I write entire songs in minor keys, but I take advantage of my opportunities to do so.
You can check out the rest of my Halloween song collection here. What spooky (or not-so-spooky) songs will you be dusting the cobwebs off of to use throughout the next two weeks?
Last week, a music therapist sent a Facebook message inquiring if I had a song about saying “thank you”. Although I did write a song about saying please a few months back, I realized that I didn’t yet have a song about the OTHER magic words.
First, I recommended that she check out Laurie Berkner’s song, Mahalo — which I have used frequently over the years. Then I got to work writing and recording, and now I can share with her my brand-new song, Thank You.
Laurie Berkner’s “Mahalo” actually inspired the bridge section of my song…and since my husband and I are heading to Maui in December, I thought it would be appropriate to include the Hawaiian way of saying thank you :)
Sometimes I really have to wrack my brain for new song topics…and other times, I find myself humming a kicked-up version of “The Alphabet Song” for which the lyrics come spilling out.
That is exactly what happened last week as I was working on a completely unrelated project, so I immediately switched gears and took advantage of this inspired moment. What emerged is an alphabet song that supplements the original with info-packed verses (plus a drum beat and kalimba to boot).
I wanted to maintain the essence of the alphabet song that everyone already knows, which is why the chorus begins with the same melody and I include the original in its entirety at the end.
Since this is an educational concept that every child needs to learn at some point, I’m all for exposing them to lots of different teaching tools (another is one of my favorite singable stories, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom).
Another reason I wrote this song? Well, this one is purely selfish; I’m just a little tired of singing the same old song I learned as a toddler. I include that old standby in my weekly early childhood music class, so perhaps soon I’ll switch to the new one for a breath of fresh air. I’m sure the parents won’t mind, either!