Bringing Fall Into Your Music Therapy Sessions & Classes

Pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, apple picking, the crisp air and the crunchy leaves……yup, I’m dreaming of fall! Here in New England I can already feel the season changing, which means fall is coming soon and it’s time to prepare some goal-oriented fall-themed songs.

The three songs I’m highlighting today are so diverse; they’re all centered around the theme of fall while each targeting different goals.

Some of the goals addressed in these songs:

  •     Improve auditory discrimination
  •     Improve impulse control
  •     Increase ability to count to five
  •     Increase ability to add and subtract
  •     Improve color identification
  •     Improve fine and gross motor skills

“The Leaves on the Trees” is a kinesthetic learning experience perfect for autumn. We all know how it goes: those leaves fall pretty slowly at first and gradually they fall faster and at a higher volume. Eventually the leaves taper off and finally stop falling, and that’s exactly how the song goes! It starts off nice and slow, gradually speeds up, and then slows down before coming to an end.

The Leaves on the Trees Album Cover

With a song like “The Leaves on the Trees”, childen are challenged to listen and maintain their focus on the music. This song can be used with instruments, which presents an opportunity for choice making and requesting, or the lyrics can be paired with movements. Motions can mimic leaves falling and trees swaying in the breeze, and even better, children can brainstorm and create their own movements.

“Little Red Apples” is a fun and catchy song that addresses simple math skills. I created cute red apple visuals for my clients that have different facial expressions on them, similar to these:

I can use the visuals to request that my students pick up one “apple”, a specific “apple” (i.e. “pick up the grumpy one, crunch crunch crunch!”), or have the student select one and then tell me what the apple’s facial expression shows (i.e. “is the apple sad or happy?”).

Little Red Apples Album Cover

When a child has mastered counting the apples, I’ll mix things up and add one or two apples back into the mix, or even take a few extras away. Some children may be able to add or subtract without counting the individual apple visuals, but fortunately, we can always assist our students and even pair their counting with appropriate musical cues, such as not returning to the tonic chord until our client has correctly counted all of the apples!

“Fall Colors” has to be one of my favorite Listen & Learn songs ever because it is so calming and beautiful. It details all the colors of fall, such as red, green, brown, orange, and yellow. This song can be used with colored scarves or silk leaves.

Fall Colors Album Cover

My favorite adaptation for this song is to make a big pile of scarves and call out or rewrite a lyric to be all about one color (i.e. “red is the color to be found”). My students will have to look into the pile and even occasionally dig around to find the color detailed in the verse. To make it even more challenging, I will display a visual of the color and let the clients sing the color they see and then find it in the pile.

These three songs will infuse your session with reminders of fall while also maintaining the most important part of any early childhood music experience: learning and growing! Let me know in the comments below: What are some ways you’ll be bringing fall into your classes and sessions?

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.