Stir Them in My Halloween Stew

Halloween Stew

The inspiration for the song “Halloween Stew” goes back over twenty years to my elementary school days. My music teacher introduced us to “Witches’ Brew” by Hap Palmer, and it has stuck in my head ever since. I first adapted his original song a few years ago, here’s a video I made of my version.

Recently I decided to revamp it again, but this time around I opted for an alphabet theme. It’s a great opportunity to help my students practice identifying letters of the alphabet and naming objects that start with those letters. Of course, I had to create a visual to go with the song; the illustration gives you an idea of what it looks like.

I recorded this year’s version on the fly and included only the letters A through D, while the visual aide goes up to the letter H. It’s intended to be more of a starter resource for you to take and adapt on your own or with your students. The mp3, lead sheet and visual aide is available to members of Listen & Learn Plus! for download.

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The Dolphin Song

New at Listen & Learn Plus!

I’m doing a little happy dance as I type this post, because I finally have a new song to share after a several months long songwriting hiatus. I can’t tell you how good it felt to go through the process of writing, recording, and most importantly, using this song in a music therapy session.

The Dolphin Song Album Cover

The Dolphin Song was written specifically for a student who is quite fond of these sweet mammals, though it could be easily adapted to feature any sea-dwelling creature. In the song, I pose the questions “where is the dolphin swimming to?” and “who is the dolphin swimming to?” because my student is working on answering “wh” questions.

When we sing the song, I use a stuffed dolphin to “swim” to different places and people, and then I ask my student to answer the questions posed in the song. There’s room for lots of creativity and endless verses, though in my version, I only included a few and left two blank for the listener to fill in.

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Single and Teen Numbers

New at Listen & Learn Plus!

This is one of those songs I wrote on the fly about an hour before a session, but still find myself using consistently month later. The student for whom it was written is working on identifying numbers 1-20, but she was having trouble telling the difference between single digits and the “teen” versions of those numbers.

Single and Teen Numbers Album Cover

I use the song Single and Teen Numbers in conjunction with a visual — a simple PDF I made and display on the iPad — so that my student can see the numbers and point to them as we sing about them. The PDF is included in the download, along with the lead sheet and both full and instrumental mp3s.

P.S. Did you know that you can receive a DOWNLOAD of each new Listen & Learn release (including mp3, lyrics/chords, and instrumental track when available) emailed directly to your inbox?

That — PLUS access to the blog archive containing over 150 other songs, lead sheets, visual aides, and valuable resources — for only $9.99 per month. Learn more about becoming a Listen & Learn Plus! member or just subscribe below. You won’t be disappointed!

First and Last

First and Last

I work a LOT on names with my students. Saying, spelling, and identifying their names are common goals in music therapy, and I have songs for all three. However, I didn’t yet have a song for the latest name-related goal that was recently brought to my attention: identifying and knowing the difference between first and last names.

Up until now, the focus has always been on the first name…but one student in particular has mastered this and is moving on to bigger and better things. So I came up with a no-frills song about the different parts of our names.


Although knowing her middle name is not included in the current goal, I threw it in so that when I use this song with her or another student down the road, the option to include it is there.

I’ll be using “First and Last” mostly in individual music therapy sessions, but it could easily be utilized in a group setting, as well. For more name-related songs, click here and here.

Count Your Blessings

Count Your Blessings

I really wanted to write another Thanksgiving-themed song this week, but I was feeling a bit stuck. After 4 years of churning them out effortlessly, I realized I was out of fresh ideas. But a little writer’s block never stopped me before; I was bound and determined to celebrate the holiday with one more new tune.

By Saturday, I still hadn’t come up with an idea. Later that night, I was over at my parents’ house having dinner and White Christmas (one of my favorite movies of all time) was on television. As Bing and Rosemary crooned about counting their blessings, I had a thought: what about a song that literally does just that?!

And that’s how Count Your Blessings came to be. Each verse gives an example of some of the blessings in our lives, and then comes the actual counting — by 1, 2, 5, and 10. You know I love a good multifunctional song, and this one definitely falls into that category.


I envision this song serving as a great conversation starter about the things in our lives for which we are thankful, although you could also just focus on the counting aspect. Another thought I had was having students draw pictures of their “blessings” to be counted, especially if they are just beginning to grasp the concept of counting by multiples.

As we get down to the wire, don’t forget about all the other Thanksgiving-themed tunes available to you. You can find my collection here, and there is still time to use discount code “givethanks12” to receive 20% off The 10 Days of Thanksgiving.

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