2016 Stays for 366 Days

2016 Album Cover

It’s okay, you can admit it: you’ve been waiting with bated breath for this song, right?! :) January is more than halfway over, but better late than never. I actually had the song written two weeks ago, but my voice is just now getting back to normal after my never-ending bronchitis.

“2016” is the 9th — yes, you read that correctly! — song I’ve written to represent the current year in my calendar song collection. It’s my 3rd one to fall on a leap year, which gives me an excuse to change up the lyrics a bit.

I know I said I didn’t have any hard and fast resolutions for 2016, but I’m the kind of person who is very motivated by big goals…which is why I have my entire editorial calendar of new songs lined up through September.

I’m pretty excited to get into a regular blogging routine, though I’m giving myself permission to take a break from it when needed (see: my 2016 motto).

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The Year is 2015

2015 Album Cover

How is it possible that this is the 8th “song of the year” I’ve written since becoming a music therapist?! When I wrote my first one way back in 2008, I thought about how challenging it would be to write a new song that essentially says the same thing — just with a different number at the end — every year.

But it has been much easier than I originally imagined, and I’ll probably be here another 8 years from now sharing my song for 2023. What a crazy thought!

As always, this song includes not only the name of the year, but also the number of months, weeks and days. It’s catchy, short, simple, and repetitive…ingredients that make for a good song to sing all year long.

This is only the first of MANY songs I’ll be sharing with you in 2015. As I mentioned back in December, I have a whole slew already written and recorded, just waiting to be posted.

Even though I didn’t make any official resolutions for the new year, my plan is to get better at posting new tunes in a timely fashion! You’re more than welcome to remind me of that goal if I go too long in between songs ;)

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My Go-To Song for April

Good Green Earth Music Therapy Song for Spring

There’s a certain song that I look forward to pulling out every single year. Some years, I have the willpower to wait until April; this was not one of those years. I caved in March and reintroduced my students to “Good Green Earth” by James K.

I call this my go-to song for April because it’s the month during which Earth Day falls, and I originally learned this song for an Earth Day school assembly. It doesn’t spread the “reduce, reuse, recycle” message — but it DOES touch on many of the earth’s cycles (the clock, days of the week, months of the year, and seasons). These are all important concepts that are included in many of my students’ learning objectives.

Interestingly, the YouTube video I recorded of this song has been viewed more than almost all of my other videos, so I’m not the only fan! I talk more about how I use this song in sessions below:

I’ve written my own songs (many, in fact) on the topics of telling time, days of the week, months of the year, and the seasons, but I love how James K has combined all of the above into a catchy, singable tune that just screams for corresponding motions.

I sing this song with toddlers who are learning to imitate those motor skills, and they enjoy it just as much as preschoolers and older elementary kiddos who are working hard to learn all the information presented through the lyrics. (However, they probably don’t enjoy it quite as much as I do. I really, really love this song!)

2-0-1-4 (No Less, No More!)

2014 Album Cover

I wrote my first song about the year way back in 2008, and now, 6 years later, I have a collection of songs I’ll never be able to use again. BUT they did each get put to good use almost every day for an entire year, which is why I keep writing a new one at the end of December.

These songs all follow the same basic recipe: the ingredients include the year (mentioned over and over again), the number of months and days, and then whatever pertinent phrases I can come up with that rhyme.

Like most of my other songs, I keep it simple and repetitive so that it’s super singable. That’s important, considering I sing it with my kiddos just about every week for the whole year.

I really enjoy kicking off the year with a brand new “song of the year” each January, and this time around by some miracle, I’m even a day early. Cheers to the end of 2013, and the beginning of what I hope will be another wonderful year!

Seven Days in a Week

With the school year beginning in just a few weeks, I’ve had classroom topics on the brain. I know that calendar songs are part of the daily routine in many classrooms, so I’m adding one more to my long list of ’em.

Seven Days in a Week lists each day of the week several times throughout the song so that it helps children not only learn the names of each day, but also the order. The song also touches on the difference between weekdays and weekends. Take a listen:

This song can be used in conjunction with a “Today Is” kind of song (I have always used this one) or just as a standalone.

After working in a school for several years, I’ve heard MANY songs about the days of the week — and I know they can get old pretty quickly if you hear them every day. That’s why I’m all about revisiting topics I’ve already written songs for and providing lots of options. In my experience, using a different song to address a long-term goal can be just what a child needs to finally master it.

What are your favorite “days of the week” and other calendar songs?