Let’s All Wave Hello

Let's All Wave Hello Album Cover

One of the things I love most about offering classes is that when I plan them, I end up writing a bunch of new songs. My current early childhood class was no exception; I wrote no fewer than 10 new songs for it! So over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing them with you.

Since these songs were written for babies and toddlers, they are on the simple side. I feel like now that I have a kiddo of my own, I have a much better grasp on what types of songs and activities will go over best with this age group.

Parker is really into waving lately, as are his little friends. So naturally, our “hello” song is all about waving to everyone. Each child in the group gets a turn to be the recipient of the waves, and all the children get lots of opportunities to practice their waving.

At the risk of sounding corny, I have to say that it is magical to watch a child begin to understand what words mean and associate them with actions. The words “hi” and “hello” are automatically met with a wave from Parker these days, which is the goal when I sing this song in my classes.

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So Glad I’m Here

So Glad I'm Here Greeting Song

No matter how many original songs I write, there will always be a few covers that stay in my rotation solely because I love them so much. One of those is a sweet little tune I’ve used as a greeting in my early childhood music classes many times.

“So Glad I’m Here” is a simple, repetitive song by Elizabeth Mitchell, whose children’s albums are perfection. I love that her music is upbeat and happy without being cheesy; it sounds like spring to me. I recorded a quick version of this song recently (listen below), though you should check out the real deal for yourself.

The thought occurred to share this song with you after a student’s mom asked for some greeting song recommendations that are appropriate for children of all ages. I have to be careful about the songs I choose for many of my groups, because not only is there a pretty wide age span already, but then I have to count on the fact that there will be older siblings participating as well.

This is one of those songs that anyone can appreciate, and it can be easily adapted to fit any setting. That is what I strive for in my own songwriting, so it’s great to have inspirational gems like this that keep my creative juices flowing.

We’re Gonna Have a Good Time

We're Gonna Have a Good Time

Over the summer, I was working on speech goals with one of my music therapy students. The letter “g” was among her targeted sounds, so I came up with a little greeting song based on it.

Well the song stuck, because four months later, we’re still singing that song — and she is nailing those “g” sounds! I’ve even started using it with several other students, which prompted me to record it for the world to hear:

As you can see, the lyrics aren’t amazingly inspired, but they are easy to remember and better yet, easily adaptable. The second verse changes with every music therapy session, depending on what I have planned.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: a song doesn’t have to be long, complicated, or full of genius lyrics in order to be an effective tool for learning. In fact, usually quite the opposite is true. Simple songs = good times!

Time to Sing Hello

The students have returned! Today is the official start of the school year, and I’ve already had music therapy with two classes. It was so much fun seeing all of the kids after an entire summer away, and for the most part, they were happy to see me, too.

I was excited to introduce some new tunes, including a brand-new hello song. I had been rotating the same few for the last two years, and though the students and staff liked them, it was time for a change. This is what I came up with:

Hands clap,
Feet tap,
It’s time to sing hello.
To you and you and you and you
All of the people that we know.

So let’s all come together,
And sing out big and strong.
Let’s have a good time in music,
While we dance and play along.

Sit up tall,
Let’s have a ball.
It’s time to sing hello.
To you and you and you and you
All of the people that we know.

Hello everybody, hello.
Hello everybody, hello.
Hello everybody, hello.

Music has begun!

Introducing new songs and activities is always a challenge with some of our students, but so far, they’ve all responded very positively. Hopefully that will continue to be the case as I visit all of the remaining classes this week!

Silly Sounds Hello

Hello, and happy Friday to you! I’d like to start the day with a greeting song: it’s called “Silly Sounds Hello,” and it targets consonants. This particular tune was written for a little boy named Rocco, who I worked with two years ago, so it was tailored to the consonant sounds he was struggling with at the time.

However, you can change those words and sounds to fit the needs of any child, no matter how silly it might end up sounding (because after all, that’s the point!). Take a listen:

I know a silly way to sing hello.
You can sing it to your friends,
And the people you know.
The words of this song are fun to say,
Won’t you sing along with me today?

Hi, hi, pie pie pie.
Hi, hi, tie tie tie tie.
Hi, hi, my my my.
Hi to you.

Hello, no no no.
Hello, go go go go.
Hello, dough dough dough.
Hello to you.

Hey there, bear bear bear.
Hey there, fair fair fair fair.
Hey there, pear pear pear.
Hey there to you.

So there it is. Rocco loved singing this song because it was so silly and nonsensical, and by the year he had mastered most of these sounds. Progress is that much sweeter when you have fun making it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of hello songs. And if you have any great ones up your sleeve, I’d love to hear about them! As always, thanks for reading, and come back later for “Friday Faves.”

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