Sunday Singalong: A Schoolhouse Rock Favorite

Little did I know when I was performing this song in my school musical as a junior in high school that I would still be singing it 11 years later. No wonder Schoolhouse Rock was such a popular cartoon back in its day!

It was before my time, but it’s fun to watch the YouTube videos. Some of my favorites include I’m Just a Bill, Three is a Magic Number, Mother Necessity, and Interjections.  Did you ever watch this classic show?

Sunday Singalong: Play the Cabasa!

I love the cabasa because not only is it totally fun to play, but it is also multi-sensory. The unique sound it produces, coupled with the tactile input, makes this one of my most frequently used instruments during music therapy sessions.

Play the Cabasa serves as a great introduction to this instrument, but there is so much more you can do with it. I don’t have any other specific songs I’ve written for the cabasa — instead, I usually just make up a song based on how I’m using it in a session. For example, I might ask my student to roll it over different body parts (foot, leg, arm, etc.) or do that myself if he/she is not able.

How do you use and play the cabasa?

Sunday Singalong: The Summer Song

After all the crazy-hot weather we’ve already experienced, it’s hard to believe that the official start of summer isn’t even here yet. But it will be on Tuesday, so I wanted to give you a little jump start.

I think my summer song embodies the happy laziness I feel (when I’m not super busy working, of course!) on a long summer day, especially when I’m poolside. But it does double-duty as an educational tune, since I threw in some facts about my favorite season as well.

Summer started for me on June 2 (the last day of school and my job at The Hope Institute), and it’s been amazing so far. In the time since then, I’ve already been to three weddings, celebrated my birthday, spent an awesome weekend in Florida, and opened my new studio. How’s your summer going so far?

Friday Fave: My Best Friend’s Wedding

My Best Friend's Wedding

My best friend Katie is getting married tonight! I am so excited to be her maid of honor, just like she was for me in my Friday evening wedding almost three years ago (as pictured above).

Not only do I have the responsibilities that go along with being maid of honor (holding the rings, giving a toast, corralling the dress, etc.) but I’m also singing at the ceremony. My friend Ryan, who is an amazing guitarist with whom I’ll be gigging this summer, is going to accompany me.

Last year was the summer of wedding singing — I think I sang at 5 of them — but this year, Katie’s is the only one. But that doesn’t mean I have a shortage of weddings to attend! In fact, Zach’s best friend James is getting married tomorrow. And then two weeks from now he’s in another wedding in Chicago, and the list goes on and on.

Katie and Justin have been together for almost 10 years, so I’ve been waiting for this day for a while now :) It should be a perfect day and evening. I hope you have fun plans for this beautiful Friday, too!

My Final Hurrah

This morning, one of my co-workers asked me if I was ready for my “final hurrah” at The Hope Institute, and I thought that made a great title for this post.

Four years ago, I started a new tradition at Hope: an all-school spring singalong.  I rounded up some of my musician co-workers and started a band, complete with drums, bass, rhythm guitar, and vocals.  Every year since, I’ve looked forward to this event all spring long.

Today is that day.  The picture above is from last year’s singalong, and I realized that I’m wearing those same shoes again this year :)  I’ve chosen a dozen of my students’ favorites tunes, made up packets of lyrics for everyone, and set up the instruments and sound equipment.  Now all that’s left is to rock out!

Sunday Singalong: Building a Treehouse

Rhythm sticks aren’t the most exciting of instruments, but this song makes them a little more fun…don’t you think?  My little church mice would agree: they’ve been hammering, sawing, and painting in rhythm to it for the last few weeks.

Charity Kahn and the Jam Band have a pretty great collection of music that gets kids moving, and I’ve used several of their tunes over the last couple of years.  Another favorite song is “Your Body’s an Instrument” from their CD, JAM.

Oh, and if you actually do have a treehouse (because most of us do, right?!) and you’re weather is anything like mine today, you better be climbing up into it today. Or maybe you could just take your dog for a walk or do some gardening instead ;) No matter which way you spend this beautiful Sunday, enjoy!

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