April showers bring May flowers, along with lots of opportunities to sing about the rain! Although I am not a big fan of rain showers, I do love singing about them. One of my favorite memories from elementary school was when the whole school created the sound of a rainstorm with body percussion.
Those kind of memories remind me of the power of music, and why I love being a music therapist! I can bring musical experiences like a body percussion rainstorm into my music therapy sessions and music classes, and with a little adaptation, they are perfectly suitable for children of all abilities.
Some of the goals addressed in these songs:
- Increase directional awareness
- Improve fine and gross motor skills
- Increase verbalization
- Improve auditory discrimination skills
- Increase ability to utilize palmar grasp
- Increase impulse control
By far, my favorite rain-themed song is “Thunder & Raindrops”! This song features the use of rhythm sticks, and requires participants to listen closely to the lyrics in order to determine whether they should play like thunder or raindrops.
I’ve been able to utilize this song with a wide range of clients and students. The minor key gives the song a more mature sound, which is great for older elementary students and middle school students, and intrigues younger children.
I created thunder and rain visuals to create a greater distinction between the two. For some participants, switching between playing like thunder to playing like raindrops might be challenging. I’ve found that participants are able to change if there are visuals to support the lyrics.
“Shakin’ in the Rain” combines some of the most beloved songs about rain into one fun mash-up with egg shakers. One of the perks of being a music therapist or music teacher is sharing classic songs with clients and students when they might not otherwise be exposed to them.
Those older songs that many adults know not only engage caregivers and parents during music therapy sessions or music classes, but also create social connections through shared experiences with music.
“Shakin’ in the Rain” has so many lyrics that contain the word “rain”, it is the ideal vehicle to practice the “R” sound and encourage clients and students to verbalize. I created a raindrop visual, and hold it up whenever it is time to sing “rain”. It has turned into a fun game during my sessions and classes, and has really motivated clients to focus and verbalize the “R” sound and the word “rain”.
These two rain-themed songs and several others are all included in the Spring Song Pack, which has helped me create a cohesive spring repertoire for my music therapy sessions and music classes. Although sometimes rain can make us feel a little blue, these two rain-themed songs will surely keep your kiddos engaged and motivated on rainy days.
I’d love to hear from you: how has rain inspired your music therapy sessions or music classes?
You can listen to all of these songs in their entirety right here. Lyrics, chords, mp3, and instrumental track for these original songs are available for download. As is the case for all Listen & Learn Music creations, we invite you to adapt these songs as needed to best serve your students and/or clients.