Colors of Thanksgiving

Colors of Thanksgiving

Now that it’s officially November — which in my world signifies the start of the holiday season — I’m not wasting any time getting to work on new Thanksgiving songs. This may be one of the topics I’ve written the MOST songs about (check ’em all out here) but that certainly isn’t stopping me from adding to the collection.

Colors of Thanksgiving doesn’t need much of an introduction or explanation; I think the title pretty much tells all. This is another one of those songs where I really had to refrain from writing additional verses, because there are just so many great symbols that represent this holiday. And yes, most of those symbols are edible, but I managed to work in at least one non-edible item. Listen and find out what it is:


What colors would you add to this song that I haven’t already? The beauty is that if you use this song with your kiddos, you can add as many extra verses as you want. And to really kick it up a notch, make visuals (or have the kids make them) to go along with each verse.

P.S. Speaking of Thanksgiving songs and visuals, use the code givethanks12 upon checkout to receive 20% off my 10 Days of Thanksgiving album up until Thanksgiving Day. It’s by far my most popular Turkey Day resource!

Colors All Around

Colors All Around

This week’s song topic comes courtesy of my mother-in-law, a special education teacher who works with young children. Every month I make her a CD of Listen & Learn songs to use in her classroom, and she creates amazing visual supports to accompany the songs.

This weekend I asked her what kinds of goals her students were working on, and she gave me a long list. At the top of it was learning the basic colors, and since I hadn’t written a color song in a while, the choice was easy.

Colors All Around focuses on the colors of the rainbow — though I simplified a bit, leaving out indigo and substituting violet with purple. I included three examples of each color and envision the song being used as a sort of “I Spy” game.

When it came to recording this week, I kept it super simple. Guitar and vocals, a throwback to the original Listen & Learn song style. This one is all about the lyrics, after all. Which songs about color are you digging lately?

I Like the Way You Shake!

I Like the Way You ShakeI first had the idea to adapt the song “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” for instruments a few years back.  Originally, it was a song for tambourines or bells, but I re-recorded it this spring as a shakin’ tune.

Each color has its own verse, which means that my students get their moment in the spotlight, shaking one of their colored egg shakers or maracas from my basket (pictured above).  Here’s the song:

I like the way you shake your egg, in perfect harmony
You shake it up and shake it down,
For everyone to see.

That’s the song I hear, that wonderful sound,
Shake shake shake shake shake that egg,
Round and round and round.

If you have a blue egg, shake it in the air,
Make some music, nice and loud, play without a care.

That’s the song I hear, that wonderful sound,
Shake shake shake shake shake that egg,
Round and round and round.

{Repeat, using each color}

I’ve been pumping out instrument songs lately, and I still have a couple left to share with you.  But I’m planning to write some new songs for summer as soon as I get a free minute or two…which, based on my schedule over the next few weeks, could be July before I get around to it!  Thus is the life of a happily busy music therapist/studio teacher :)

Color Me Happy

Color Me Happy Instrument Song

I’m always looking for ways to address multiple objectives through a particular song or activity, especially where instruments are involved. Very rarely do I include a song in a music therapy session or class solely for the purpose of playing an instrument.

Since many of the instruments in my collection happen to be multi-colored — including shakers, tambourines, handbells, drums, and more — color identification is a great objective to be paired with playing. I wrote this particular song with shakers in mind, but you could use any instruments you might have and change the colors in the song accordingly.

Color me happy,
With the colors of the rainbow.
Color me happy by playing along,
Color me happy,
With the colors of the rainbow.
They’re all right here in this song.

Happiness is green,
Show me if you have green.
G-R-E-E-N, is the color I see,
And that is happiness to me.

{Blue, Purple, Yellow, Red}

You colored me happy,
With the colors of the rainbow.
You colored me happy by playing along.
You colored me happy,
With the colors of the rainbow,
The colors here in this song.

I like that this song is sort of mellow, unlike most of my other instrument songs. It would be a nice addition to my collection of shaker songs, which just happens to be the “Must-Have of the Month” (found in the left sidebar).

How might you incorporate this song into a lesson plan or music therapy session? And do you have any favorite songs about colors? (I know the classroom next to me does: they listen to Sing & Read: Colors by Frog Street Press every single day at 12:15. I have the entire CD memorized.) Please share yours in the comments!

Sunday Singalong: Red, Yellow & Green

Happy Sunday! I had a bit of a hard time trying to decide which song to feature in this week’s video. There was the option of another Valentine-related tune since this is the last Sunday in February, but truth be told, I’m ready to move past this month and get to March (specifically Spring). There was also the option of talking about the cold, snowy weather, but I’m over that, too.

So I took the path less traveled: a song about the traffic lights. I’m going to introduce Red, Yellow & Green to my students at school this week, so this gave me a chance to practice and re-memorize it :)

Another great song I use in conjunction with this one is Red Means Stop by Mr. Heath.  It really deserves its own blog post…my students love it because it lets them flex their creative muscles while still learning traffic safety.  Any other songs you recommend on this topic?  Share them in the comments!

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