{Guitars & Granola Bars} Episode 47

GGB Episode 47: Gretchen Chardos Benner

I met Gretchen Chardos Benner a couple years ago when we sat down for coffee at the AMTA national conference in Jacksonville, Florida. We talked about private practice, having kids, and life in general — we had a lot in common!

Gretchen gave me great advice back then, as she was a few years into the parenting game already and I was brand new to it. She shares some of that advice and much more in this week’s podcast episode.

Gretchen talks about following in her sister’s footsteps to become the second music therapist in her family, pursuing her masters degree while working full-time, and how she makes music with her family at home in Episode 47 of the Guitars & Granola Bars podcast.

Be sure to check out the show notes page for more information about Gretchen, along with links to the resources she mentions in the episode.

Five Tall Trees

Five Tall Trees

I’ve been on a seasonal counting kick these last few months, which you know full well if you’ve been in a music therapy session or early childhood class at Music Therapy Connections this fall. In September we counted apples, in October we counted pumpkins, and right now we’re counting trees.

In keeping with the theme, we use five laminated “trees” cut of of green construction paper to accompany the song Five Tall Trees, which always brings our helpers to the front of the room during class (my son Parker is usually the first to run up and assist in counting!).

Counting trees during early childhood music class

Each time we take away a tree, we count the remaining trees, so our students get a lot of practice counting up to 5, 4, 3, 2, and then 1. We point to the trees as well as hold up the correct number of fingers, which encourages them to do so as well.

This song template is super simple, but it is a favorite in every session. Time to start planning counting songs — and making the visuals to go with them — for the winter months!

Members of Listen & Learn Plus! have access to this song along with just about everything else in my resource library and collection — come over and join us!

Learn more about Listen & Learn Plus

{Guitars & Granola Bars} Episode 46

GGB Episode 46: Ginny Driscoll

This week’s podcast guest didn’t start out as a music therapy major — or even a music major — in college. She actually began her undergraduate career as an engineering student, but eventually made the switch once she discovered music therapy.

Her math, science and engineering courses would later come in very handy, as you’ll hear in the episode. Ginny Driscoll has one of the coolest jobs of all the music therapists I know.

Ginny talks about her work as a music therapy researcher, pursuing her PhD while raising two girls, and how she includes her daughters in her self-care practices in Episode 46 of the Guitars & Granola Bars podcast.

Be sure to check out the show notes page for more information about Ginny, along with links to the resources she mentions in the episode.

It’s Time for Little Jingles!

Little Jingles

Last December, we offered our very first holiday-themed music class at Music Therapy Connections and it was a such a blast. I mean, what’s better than singing about reindeer and clicking reindeer hooves (a.k.a. castanets) with a bunch of kids?!

So of course we brought back Little Jingles this year, and we have a completely full class starting tomorrow evening. This year, Katey and I kept some favorite songs and activities from last year in the rotation, and we added a few new ones as well. The session is a mix of both familiar and completely original songs with lots of opportunities for singing, dancing, and instrument playing.

Just as we’ve done with many of our other class sessions, we’ve made our Little Jingles package available at Listen & Learn for Leaders, which is a resource we created for therapists, educators and parents.

Little Jingles

This facilitator package includes a guide with a list of instruments, materials and instructions/suggestions for each song, as well as a lyric packet for participants, chords for the facilitator, and collection of mp3s.

You can purchase it as a standalone product, or get it for free when you become a VIP member (more about that here).

We’re super excited about kicking off the month of December with our Little Jingles class, and we invite you to join us in leading it with your own students, clients, and families!