Every Little Thing is Gonna Be All Right

Three Little Birds

My husband and I spent our honeymoon on the island of St. Lucia back in summer of 2008, and had an amazing time.  The weather was perfect, the scenery was gorgeous, and the music was…well, repetitive.  It’s a good thing we like Bob Marley, because that is what we heard for 8 straight days.

So now every time I hear “Three Little Birds” (my favorite Marley tune), I’m taken back to that glorious week of sun, fun, and relaxation.  It’s sort of become my calm-down song; I find myself singing it when I’m stressed or worried.

When I mentioned on Twitter a few weeks ago that it was stuck in my head, one of my music therapy friends mentioned that there is a children’s book based on the song.  And you know how much I love singable stories, so this will definitely be added to my collection.

Friday Fave: Kristin Chenoweth

You may or may not have heard of this Broadway-turned-TV star, depending on if you’re a fan of Wicked or the television show Pushing Daisies (her most well-known endeavors). I actually became aware of her almost ten years ago, when she starred as Sally Brown in the Broadway production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Since then, she has gone on to star in the made-for-TV versions of Annie and The Music Man, and she’s also done a couple movies, including RV and the upcoming Four Christmases.

Kristin has made several solo albums, including her latest, a Christmas CD called A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas. I am a huge sucker for holiday tunes, so of course I had to buy it, and I’m very glad I did. Her voice really is amazing. Check out this video of her singing one of her best and most impressive songs, “The Girl in 14G”.

Well that does it for this week’s Friday Fave. I will be absent over the weekend (I’m off to Orlando as you read this!) but be sure to check back in on Monday. Have a great Friday, and a wonderful weekend!

A New Friday Tradition

In the spirit of Friday fun, I’ve decided to begin a new weekly post: Rachel’s Friday Faves! Since I mostly write posts about my songs and my music therapy work, I thought this would be a good chance for you to get to know me better. So each week, I’ll choose a “fave” thing, activity, person, website, anything…as long as it relates to music in one way or another. After all, that is the theme of this blog :)

So today, my “fave” is my brand new Ibanez Troubadour analog acoustic amp. I bought it for my guitar, since my hope is to start reaching bigger audiences, and I couldn’t be happier with it. Here’s the little beauty in all of its glory:

Ok, so it’s not the prettiest thing to look at, but the sound is wonderful, and that’s all that really matters. It also has two channels, so I can plug in my guitar and microphone at the same time. Plus, it makes practicing a lot more fun. And as if that weren’t enough, here’s an added bonus: my fingers are thanking me for not strumming as hard as usual!

So that’s my inaugural “Friday Fave” – stay tuned for many, many more. And, of course, check in daily for new songs and activities. Have a splendid day!

Tunes I Like

It would be nearly impossible to use only my own music in my work with children; besides, I wouldn’t want to! There are so many great singers and songwriters who are producing top-notch children’s songs – it would be a waste not to take advantage of such resources. When I’m looking for fresh material, iTunes and Amazon are it for discovering what’s new and popular. Here are some of the gems I’ve discovered over the last few years.

1. Elizabeth Mitchell
Elizabeth is a fairly new discovery. She has a sweet, soothing voice and you’ll recognize many of her songs. Favorites: Three is a Magic Number, So Glad I’m Here, You Are My Sunshine

2. Genevieve Jereb
This singer/songwriter is also an occupational therapist, and her Australian accent adds such charm to her already wonderful tunes. Favorites: I Am Me, Jellybeans, A-La-La-La-La-La- La- Le-Luia

3. Greg & Steve
If you’re looking for a great movement song, these are your guys. All of their songs are fun, educational, and catchy. Favorites: Can’t Sit Still, The Number Rock, Popcorn

4. Jack Hartmann
I saw him at a conference last spring, and not only is he full of energy, but kids love his music. And there are tons of songs to choose from. Favorites: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Birthdays, Powwow

5. Jim Gill
Another great resource for movement tunes. His songs are the perfect combination of silly and smart. Favorites: Alabama Mississippi, Toe Leg Knee, Rhythm in My Fingers, My Ups and Downs

6. Laurie Berkner
She is one of the very first songwriters who really caught my eye…er, ear, and she remains my go-to source for songs I know my kids will love. Favorites: Buzz Buzz, Walk Along the River, The Story of My Feelings, Mahalo, Shakin’ Down the Sugar

7. Mr. Heath
If total silliness is what you’re looking for, Mr. Heath is your answer. My students have been singing Spring Fever through three seasons! Favorites: Doo Wocka Doo, Spring Fever, Red Means Stop

These are just a few of the many, many music makers I adore. If you’d like more suggestions, just ask!