Welcome to the World, Baby

"Welcome to the World" Newborn Song & Video

I welcomed my first baby (that’s him at five days old) to the world a little shy of two years ago. Not long after he was born, I was inspired to write the song “Welcome to the World” for all of my friends and family who were having babies of their own.

I’ll be welcoming my second baby, a girl, in a mere four weeks (give or take), and I wanted to do something special not only in anticipation of her arrival, but also to celebrate those of you who have welcomed your own beautiful babies into the world.

So I invited readers to send me photos of their newborns, and many of you graciously did! I had so much fun going through the photos and setting them to music for this video. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do each time I hit play.

Four weeks seems like an eternity after an already long 9 months of pregnancy, but I’m counting down to having a sweet baby girl in my arms — especially after seeing all these beautiful photos. Thank you so much to those of you who contributed.

10 *MORE* Songs That Make Me Feel Good

10 More Songs That Make Me Feel Good

Back in the summer of 2011, I put together a list of 10 songs (current and not-so-current) that I was digging at the time. Since almost four years have passed since then, I thought it was high time that I post an updated list.

I have my students, son, and Pandora to thank for the random assortment of music that is currently helping me beat the wintertime blues:

  1. “Love is an Open Door” from Frozen – I heard this song before I ever saw the movie, because I had a couple of students request it. Now that my toddler is a little obsessed with Frozen, I hear it several times a day…and it has really grown on me.
  2. “Stockholm” by Jason Isbell – my music partner Matt and I recently added this song to our set list, and I can’t get enough of it. When it comes to songwriters, this guy is the bees’ knees. Plus, the harmony is really fun to sing.
  3. “Girls Chase Boys” by Ingrid Michaelson – her newest album, Lights Out, is great, especially this track. It’s an earworm I find myself singing hours after I hear the song.
  4. “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” by Renee & Jeremy – a throwback song covered by a children’s group. They are my favorite when it comes to recorded music (I use it for instrument play-alongs in one of my early childhood classes).
  5. “Back to the Earth” by Jason Mraz – If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, then it comes as no surprise that I love Jason Mraz. This song is from his most recent album, and it’s also a favorite of one of my music therapy clients (it’s even helped us with several in-session breakthroughs).
  6. “From This Valley” by The Civil Wars – when I think about their break-up, I want to cry…but this song helps ease the pain. It’s another one Matt and I added to our set list, and I have such a blast singing it.
  7. “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift – nope, still not sick of it yet. This song gets my blood pumping and my body moving every single time.
  8. “I’m Not Angry Anymore” by Paramore – one of my students is learning this on the ukulele, and I couldn’t help but smile when we listened to it for the first time. Short, sweet and totally fun.
  9. “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran – I don’t listen to the radio often, but I’m glad I caught this song on one of those rare occasions a few weeks back. Not sure if it’s his voice, the lyrics or both that completely got me hooked on it.
  10. “The Clean Up Song” from Barney – please forgive me for this one. They play it at Funshop (a mommy & me play class), and it quickly became Parker’s go-to song. I have to admit that it gets the job done…he starts cleaning up every time I sing it, and better yet, he sings along.

I could probably keep going, but I’ll stop here for now. And maybe I won’t wait another four years to post an updated list ;) What songs are making YOU feel good right now? Share ’em in the comments!

Can’t Hold It Back Anymore

No Mo' "Let It Go"

It just doesn’t seem right to be singing about frozen fractals when it’s 80 degrees out. But that didn’t stop the melodious strains of “Let It Go” from flowing out of my fingertips today…multiple times.

Don’t get me wrong: I love the movie Frozen and just about every song in it. I am thrilled that so many of my students love these songs, too; we’ve enjoyed singing/playing/piggybacking them for the last six months. But I know it’s time to move on when Parker’s babysitters (who are within earshot of my studio) ask how in the world I’m not tired of Frozen music yet.

I’m a firm believer in repetition, and I don’t tire of songs very easily. I’m happy to ride the wave of whatever music is most popular with my students at the moment. We’ve been through phases where all we did was Wicked, Adelle, Les Miserables, “Happy” — really, I could go on and on with this list. Frozen, however, will go down in the record books as THE longest phase yet.

I’m really proud of my students for our work with these songs in both music therapy and lessons, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved that I’ll have a break from them (the songs, not my students!) when the spring session ends in a little over a week. Especially “Let It Go”. The one that haunts my dreams at night.

{Mama Moment} Parker Rockin’

Parker Rock Anthem

I recently participated in a discussion with other music therapist moms about songs we’ve sung to our babies, and we compiled a pretty impressive list. I did contribute to it by sharing Parker’s original favorite song, but I neglected to include the one that goes like this:

Parker rockin’ in the house tonight
Everybody just have a good time
His smile makes you feel so fine
Everybody just have a good time

Why yes, I did rewrite the lyrics to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and sing it to my baby. We even have motions (including fist pumps) that go along with it.

I work with kids almost every single day, so in order to have a little variety from the usual children’s musical fare during my downtime, I like to get creative with Parker. I have “lullaby-afied” songs from just about every genre; it’s pretty safe to say that my child will grow up with an eclectic taste in music.

Parker Rockin'

Don’t get me wrong — all the classic nursery rhyme tunes are a regular part of our repertoire — but it’s fun to supplement with songs that will broaden Parker’s musical horizons. LMFAO may be at the (extremely) low end of the sophistication scale, but the “Parker Rock Anthem” remains a favorite nevertheless.

Meeting Pokey LaFarge

Meeting Pokey LaFarge

There we were, in the St. Louis airport Starbucks across from our gate at 5 am, when I leaned over and whispered to my husband, “I think that’s Pokey LaFarge!”

“Pokey LaWho?” was his response. But he encouraged me to go over and say something to him, so I did (with baby Parker in tow). I was right; it was indeed Pokey, and we had a nice conversation about how I’d seen him play in Springfield a couple years ago.

To answer Zach’s question, Pokey is a musician whose style is a blend of mix of early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and western swing. He has a very unique sound that had me hooked immediately; in fact, his song “La La Blues” inspired me to write my own La La Song.

At the end of our conversation, Pokey came over to where we were sitting and introduced himself to Zach, and they ended up having a ten minute conversation and soccer and travel. Before we left to board our plane, Pokey gave us a copy of his new CD. I think Parker is already a fan ;)

Pokey LaFarge CD

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