Rock, Rock, Rockin’ Around

Animal Rock

What do fish, turtles, ducks, and pigs have in common? The answer: they all have starring roles in my latest song, Animal Rock. I’ve already written about my new favorite instruments and how they inspired me to write this tune, but there are lots of other objectives that can be targeted at the same time.

Animals fly
Animals walk
Animals run
And animals rock
They move to the music
Rock, rock, rockin’ around

All the fish are splashin’
Splash! Splash! Splash!

All the turtles are crawlin’
Crawl! Crawl! Crawl!

All the ducks are quackin’
Quack! Quack! Quack!

All the pigs are oinkin’
Oink! Oink! Oink!


Just a few of those objectives include sound and movement imitation, taking turns, vocalization, creative expression…the list goes on. One of the coolest parts of being a music therapist is developing interventions that address several different goals at a time. It’s no coincidence that so many of us are master multitaskers!

Penguin Party

Peguin Party Album CoverAre you ready for the most info-packed song about penguins you’ve ever heard in your life? Okay, so I probably didn’t have much competition when I wrote this, but I do have to admit I’m pretty proud of the amount of penguin facts I managed to include — and they rhyme, no less!

You might be wondering: why penguins? The answer: why NOT?! Actually, this was written as a custom music therapy song for Rene, a 1st grade teacher who is teaching a unit on penguins this winter. Thanks to the fact sheet Rene sent along with her custom song order, I was able to wrap up the most pertinent information into a fun tune that I hope her students will not only learn from, but also enjoy.

And since I figured who doesn’t love penguins, I decided to go ahead and share “Penguin Party” with all of you, too. It’s a little long, but it’s catchy! And educational!

Writing custom songs is one of my favorite things to do, because I get to tackle subject matter that I otherwise might not even think to write about. And now I’m off to ponder next week’s song topic…hmm…this one is going to be hard to top!

Three Rockin’ Birds

Three Rockin' Birds Canary Sticks

When I first found these canary sticks, I wasn’t sure exactly how I’d use them — I just knew I had to have them. They are easy to “play” and the bird chirping sound they make is pretty realistic.

They sat unused for a few months, but I finally decided to try them out with my students. But before I did that, I asked my Twitter friends for songs about birds. I received about 15 or so great suggestions, but ended up going with two pretty well-known songs. I combined them into one, and it turned out like this:

He rocks in the treetop, all day long,
Hoppin’ and a boppin’ and a singin’ its song.
All the little birdies on jaybird street
Love to hear the robin go tweet, tweet, tweet.

Rockin’ robin! (Tweet, tweet, tweet.)
Rockin’ robin! (Tweet, tweet, tweet.)
Go rockin’ robin ’cause you’re
Really gonna rock tonight.

All the little swallows, all the chickadees,
All the little birds in the tall oak trees.
The wise old owl, the big black crow,
Flappin’ their wings, singin’ “go bird, go!”

Rockin’ robin! (Tweet, tweet, tweet.)
Rockin’ robin! (Tweet, tweet, tweet.)
Go rockin’ robin ’cause you’re
Really gonna rock tonight.

Don’t worry about a thing,
Because every little thing
Is gonna be alright.

Rise up this morning,
Smile with the rising sun.
Three little birds perch on my doorstep.
Singin’ sweet songs,
Of melodies pure and true,
Singin’ “this is my message to you.”

Don’t worry about a thing,
Because every little thing
Is gonna be alright.

One of those birds,
Its name was _______
And it made a pretty tweeting sound.
Singin’ sweet songs,
Of melodies pure and true,
Singin’ “this is my message to you.”

Don’t worry about a thing,
Because every little thing
Is gonna be alright.

In the second verse of “Three Little Birds” I leave a space for the child’s name. I repeat this verse for each child in my group, giving them each a chance to be the birdie star. The little ones like that part, and their parents dig the fact that they know both songs and can sing along.

Have you ever used these sweet little instruments? I’m thinking another great use for them might be a singable story with designated places for bird chirps…another project to add to the hopper (along with too many others to count).

Birthday Fun for My Studio’s Mascot

Sadie Turns 2

Even though Sadie spends her afternoons romping around with her cousin at my in-laws’ house (so as to keep her occupied while I work with students), I still refer to her as the official Music Therapy Connections studio mascot.  After all, my students know her and ask about her all the time, plus she’s my constant companion as I blog away and plan music therapy sessions.  Sadie even makes a star appearance in one of my songs.

So how do we plan to celebrate the big 2?  This is one spoiled pup to begin with, which means we’ll have to outdo ourselves today.  Sadie’s favorite treat is a peanut butter-filled Kong, and today she’ll get an upgrade from the mini to the full-sized version.  My little girl is growing up!

Sadie is still a bit hyper, which is why I keep her out of the way of students as they come and go.  But I can’t wait for the day she calms down and can handle a little more interaction every once in a while.  I know a few kids who look forward to that day, as well :)

Sadie Through the Years If you see this dog today, please wish her happy birthday!


Mammals In the Water (A Custom Song)

First came The Texas Pledge song, then Help Me, Rhombus, followed by A-Z (What You Mean to Me).  My #1 customer when it comes to custom songs is Rene, and she was back this month in need of a song that combined info about water mammals with specific speech sounds.  Thus, “Mammals in the Water” came to be.

Rene chose to highlight manatees, narwhals, walruses, and seals in this particular song, and I had a lot of fun doing the research necessary to write the verses about each creature.  The rhyming was a little tricky, but both Rene and I are happy with the results…and hopefully her pre-kindergarten students will be, too!

Ooh, mammals – they’re everywhere.
You and I are mammals, we have hair and breathe air.
So are lots of animals you’d find at the zoo,
And even some that live in the water, too!

They live in the water and they swim so slow,
They’re gray in color and eat plants, you know.
Manatees are gentle even though they’re really big,
With their flippers and their tail and snout (like a pig).
Mah, mah, mah.


They travel through the sea; their long tusk leads the way,
They eat fish and shrimp and squid all day.
Narwhals are a special kind of whale,
They swim in groups and their bodies are pale.
Nah, nah, nah.


They live in the Arctic, on the ice so cold,
But their blubber on their body keeps them warm, I’m told.
Walruses have whiskers and tusks so long,
Their bodies are brown and huge and strong.
Wah, wah, wah.


They live both on land and in the sea,
And their whiskers help them find lots of fish to eat.
Seals can be black, or gray, or brown,
And they make a funny grunting sound.
Sah, sah, sah.

Ooh, mammals – they’re everywhere.
Just like us, these animals have hair and breathe air.
But they don’t live in a house or at the zoo,
Mammals live in the water, too!

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