I have a tendency to overcomplicate things. From what I’ve heard, this is not uncommon among music therapists and teachers. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that simpler can be better, especially when it comes to working with very young children like I so often do.

My high school Latin teacher had a favorite phrase, and that was “KISS – keep it simple, stupid.” She meant it in the most loving way, trust me :) I find myself repeating this phrase when I’m songwriting or planning a session for my students.

As much as I love introducing them to brand new songs, I have learned that it’s important to include the basic tunes they know and love, as well. Little ones love familiarity, and I love the happy look on their faces when they realize I’m singing a song they know and join right in. Like these, for example:

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.

A, B, C, D, E, F, G,
H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P.
Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y and Z.
Now I know my ABCs,
Next time won’t you sing with me?

I know, I know…we’re talking the very basics here. But I’ve included “Twinkle, Twinkle” and the “ABCs” in every single Church Mice session since I started teaching the class over 4 years ago, and have not heard one complaint. Quite the opposite, actually.

What are your favorite “back to basic” songs to include in music therapy sessions or music classes? Let me know in the comments, please and thank you!

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