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.

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Ring Ring, Count to 20

New at Listen & Learn Plus!

As much as I love writing my own completely original tunes, sometimes you just can’t beat a good old fashioned piggyback. I’ve adapted the song “Boom Boom, Ain’t It Great to be Crazy” several times in the past, and now I’m doing it yet again.

Ring Ring, Count to 20 Album Cover

I started using this as a counting song way back during my internship, inspired by a student who loved to play the paddle drum. So not only did this song give him incentive to work hard (he got to play the drum on the “boom boom” lines and with each number he counted) but it has come through for me time and again ever since.

My most recent adaptation is for the bells — I use it with handbells like those on the album cover, tone blocks tuned to D and A, and even jingle bells.

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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.

Numbers With a “1”

Numbers With a 1 Counting Song

I’ve most definitely written my fair share of songs about numbers. And while it’s not my FAVORITE topic in the world, I do have a bit of a soft spot for it…after all, I was president of the math club in high school (a fact my family will never let me live down).

So when one of my Listen & Learn Plus! members came to me in need of some fresh ideas for teaching the numbers 11-19, I was game. I wrote the song Numbers With a 1 with the idea that when it’s used, the music therapist/educator/parent will have visuals of each number in order to match the name with the number. You’ll understand what I mean after listening:


I made sure to keep the tempo nice and slow, and hopefully the song is interesting enough to keep a child’s attention — especially considering the topic isn’t the most fun! Do you know any other songs for teaching the numbers 11-19?

Custom Song: Counting With Tally Marks

Tally Mark Song

I’ll tell you what…I’m getting quite a bit of mileage out of the “Banana Boat Song” around here lately. Over the summer, I recorded a fruit shakers version for one of my music therapy students, and today I have a custom song based on it.

This particular song is all about tally marks — what they are, and how to count with them. Rene, who wins the award for most custom songs ever purchased (thanks Rene!), gave me a list of key terms to include in the song, several of which are tally mark, vertical, diagonal, equals, sum, groups, and add. I managed to fit each of the terms into the lyrics, as well as some practice counting by fives.

Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Each little tally mark equals one
Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Count by five and we get the sum

Counting with tally marks, adding up some numbers
4 vertical and 1 diagonal lines
Counting with tally marks, adding up some numbers
One set of tally marks equals five

One, two, three, four, vertical lines
One diagonal line makes five
One, two, three, four, vertical lines
One diagonal line makes five

Day, me say day-ay-ay-o
Each little tally mark equals one
Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Count by five and we get the sum

Counting with tally marks, adding up some numbers
Now add up all the groups of five
Counting with tally marks, adding up some numbers
Here we go, sing this counting jive

Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five
Thirty, thirty-five, add ‘em up.
Forty, forty-five, fifty, fifty-five
Sixty, sixty-five, add ‘em up.

Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Each little tally mark equals one
Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Count by five and we get the sum

One of the things I love most about being a music therapist is never knowing what kind of subject matter I’ll be asked to address next. I’m always up for a good challenge! If you’re in need of a song for a specific topic, skill or concept, click here to learn more about my custom song package.

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