Tap-tap-clap, tap-tap-clap…that’s the body rhythm pattern that accompanies the verses of this catchy winter song. We change things up during the chorus, rubbing our hands together to create that swishy swimming sound as the polar bear glides through the sea.
Here’s a little-known fact: when I set out to become a music therapist, I had no intention of working with children. My heart was with older adults, after witnessing the power of music with my grandma, who had Alzheimer’s Disease. My first practicum experience in a nursing home during graduate school only further solidified my plans.
But as I gained more experience working with children, I had a change of heart. Helping them achieve their goals through music is what brought me the most joy, so I pursued an internship that served mainly children. From that point on, it was clear that I had found my dream population.
Fast forward a little over 10 years to this past December, when my private practice was contacted by a memory care center in a nearby city. They wanted to offer music therapy services to their residents as soon as possible, and I surprised myself by offering to personally take on the contract for the time being.
It’s that time again! Thanksgiving songs just might be my favorite out of all the holidays, so I am excited to share with you the songs from my collection that are perfect for this season.
There are many tunes I’ve written and collected over the years, but these are the 6 that I continue to pull out and use with my students every single November. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Psst…right now, you can become a VIP Listen & Learn Plus member and get all of these songs (plus hundreds more music resources for children) with a biannual payment plan. I only offer this once a year, and it ends soon! Click here for details.
Never did I ever think I would shell out almost $50 for a water bottle. Crazy talk, right!? BUT, I am not a water drinker, and that is not a good thing. I even ended up in the hospital during my last pregnancy due to dehydration. So while I’ve tried to do better ever since that scary event, I was still slacking.
The only way I knew for sure that I would actually drink the amount of water my body needs was to become financially invested. I had heard about the Hydro Flask on a podcast I love, and after that, I just kept spotting it everywhere. Obviously it was a sign — I was meant to have this water bottle!
Well, this cartoon basically sums up my entire professional life. Every single day, I push outside of my comfort zone in order to be the best music therapist and business owner that I can be, even when I’m feeling completely spent.
If your work day is anything like mine, it probably includes facilitating sessions, teaching classes, leading groups, interacting with client families, speaking with colleagues, networking with other professionals, and attending work-related events. Add to all those face-to-face interactions the inevitable emails, social media exchanges, and phone calls, and I’m 100% “peopled out” by the end of the day (if not sooner).
I absolutely love my career, and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. But I will admit that it’s been a steep learning curve, becoming good at my job, given the fact that I am a total introvert. I’ve had to challenge myself with uncomfortable and sometimes downright scary situations in order to grow as a music therapist, and after 10 years, I finally feel like I have insight to offer fellow introverts who also experience similar professional challenges.
Rhythm sticks are a go-to instrument in our music therapy sessions and classes. They’re not colorful and interesting-looking like some of our other instruments, but they are super versatile and can address so many important skills.
Another benefit of rhythm sticks is that they’re inexpensive, so we always have enough on hand to that everyone can play at the same time, no matter how big our group. We buy these in bulk.
Since we use our rhythm sticks so often, I’m constantly writing new songs specifically for them. It’s been awhile since I shared a song round-up, so here are 8 of my favorite stick tunes for working with children.