As I was scrolling through Listen & Learn Music in search of a movement song, I stumbled upon “Move Your Body Along” — a true hidden gem in the L&L catalog.
I have to admit, I listen to so many songs because of my job, that sometimes I forget them. Other times, I have the best of intentions, set out to learn a song and incorporate it into my repertoire, and just never do it. THIS is one of those songs!
I love this song; it has a catchy melody, and working with my clients and students to brainstorm movement is so beneficial and motivating. “Move Your Body Along” is one of those flexible songs that can really be a staple in any music therapist’s or music teacher’s repertoire.
Some of the goals addressed in these songs:
- Improve gross motor skills
- Improve ability to imitate motor movements
- Increase ability to follow clearly stated directions
- Increase socialization through peer interaction
“Move Your Body Along” is seriously like the play-doh version of a song; It’s got great structure, and there is so much you can do with it. Ok, so maybe it’s the Lego version of a song…Either way, this song is just so adaptable!
So here are the basics: Each verse focuses on a movement, such as clapping or stomping. The lyrics are straightforward, and the melody is fun and easy to learn in a flash. Below, I’ve shared a few different adaptations that can really push our clients and students to listen, read, and brainstorm.
When I’ve introduced this song, I like to discuss all the ways our bodies can move. We can move slowly or very fast, stretch our arms or even wiggle our toes. I encourage my clients and students to think outside of the box. Can you wiggle your eyebrows? can you touch each finger to your thumb? Can your elbows touch each other? After our discussion, I like to include as many of the movements my kiddos suggested as I can.
For some of my kids who are beginning to read, I might print out visual aides with a picture of the movement and the action word and encourage the participants to read the visual aides before each verse begins. For many, reading the visual aides might be challenging, so the pictures of the movements may help children connect the dots from the word to the action.
My favorite adaptation for this song is changing up the music! For each verse, I play the guitar in a different way to mimic the movement. Often, it’s just a simple as fingerpicking, strumming only the beat or increasing my tempo. Once my clients and students have heard me do this, I will just play and omit the lyrics until they have figured out which movement I am mimicking in the music. It’s a fun but challenging adaptation but the kiddos love it, and it encourages them to brainstorm with peers and critically listen to the music.
I hope the fun adaptations I’ve shared about “Move Your Body Along” have inspired you to come up with a few of your own! With this song, and so many other L&L songs, the hard part has been done (the catchy melody and the lyrics), and it’s up to us to make it our own and fit the needs of our students and clients.
I’d love to hear from you: which Listen & Learn Music song is your “hidden gem”?
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.