Now that the new year is upon us, many people are making resolutions for the new year…myself included. Last year, I resolved to grow as a professional, and I think it’s safe to say I did that!
Last year, my work was featured on a local TV segment, I completed four more classes towards my graduate degree in music therapy, and I started working for L&L. 2018 was kind to me, but I want to grow even more in 2019!
This year, I’ve challenged myself to learn or write a new song every week of the year. If I can accomplish it, I will have 52 more songs in my repertoire!
Fortunately, Listen & Learn Music has almost 250 songs, and even if I learned 52 of them this year, it would take me 4 years to learn them all. FOUR!
So out of all the songs in the massive L&L catalog, I will highlight a few that are a great addition to any music therapist’s or music teacher’s repertoire.
Some of the goals addressed in these songs:
- Improve critical listening
- Increase directional awareness
- Improve fine and gross motor skills
- Increase ability to discriminate between soft and loud voices
- Increase ability to count up to 10
- Encourage verbalization
- Improve ability to utilize pincer grasp
I’m always looking for new parachute songs, and “Here We Go Looby-Loo” is such a fun one, I just had to learn it! Not only is the melody catchy, but the song also has strong musical cues that alert clients and students of the direction the parachute should go, either up high or down low.
Not only does “Here We Go Looby-Loo” require that clients and students listen carefully to the lyrics and the music, but with some additional lyrics, impulse control can be targeted as well. I like to add in lyrics about shaking the parachute fast or slow, which is very often a challenge.
“Here We Go Looby-Loo” is a straightforward parachute song with a familiar tune that’s hard to forget; incorporating it into my music therapy sessions and classes is always motivating and challenging for my clients and students.
Many of the children I work with struggle to appropriately modulate their voices, so the song “Say Something (Loudly & Quietly)” has become a staple in my repertoire. This song outlines the appropriate situations in which to use a soft or loud voice, as well as provides opportunities to practice using both a soft or loud voice.
Additionally, “Say Something (Loudly & Quietly)” presents an opportunity to count up to 10, but the number can be increased or decreased depending on your students’ or clients’ needs. I’ve also written new verses with my clients to describe situations in their own lives where they might need to use a soft, loud, or even medium volume voice. Alternatively, percussion instruments can be used instead of singing and counting to practice the different volumes in a more tactile way.
“Click Like This, Clack Like That” has been a staple in my repertoire for a couple of years, and it was the first song I learned for utilizing castanets in my music therapy sessions and music classes. This fun tune also has strong musical cues to indicate which direction clients and students should play their castanets, whether up high or down low.
I like to add verses for playing to the side, like an airplane, or criss-cross, like an x, for an added challenge, as I find both moves are challenging for many young children. Lyrics can be added for playing to the left or the right as well. And sometimes, to really mix things up, I have my kiddos march around while playing their castanets. Practicing that pincer grasp is so important, but with the added skill of following directions and locating different directions, “Click Like This, Clack Like That” can address so many skills at once.
It’s important to me that I always have fresh material to bring into my music therapy sessions and music classes, and utilizing the Listen & Learn Music catalog is the best and easiest way to do that. With a song for almost everything, I have no doubt that I’ll be able to learn 52 new ones, or even be inspired to write a few of my own!
Tell me in the comments: what songs do you want to learn this year?
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 this song as needed to best serve your students and/or clients.