{Video} “Thunder & Raindrops” – A Song for Rhythm Sticks

One of the songs we’ve been singing in the¬†current session of Listen & Learn for Little Ones, our early childhood and preschool music classes, is Thunder & Raindrops. I wrote it a few years ago specifically for rhythm sticks, and it still remains one of my favorites!

Rhythm sticks are always a popular instrument choice among my little ones, because they make a lot of noise and are extremely versatile. This particular song addresses the objectives of playing loudly and softly, and requires everyone to listen carefully in order to play as instructed.

Thunder & Raindrops - Song for Rhythm Sticks

This time of year, we sing and play quite a few songs about rain to mirror the early spring weather, and many of them are designed for use with shakers. So it’s nice to shake things up (see what I did there?) by giving our rhythm sticks a turn.

My Top 10 Music Therapy Instruments

Top 10 Music Therapy Instruments

Any music therapist will tell you that it’s really hard to pick favorites when it comes to instruments. After all, they are our tools, and we choose them based on the specific needs and goals of our clients.

That being said, there are definitely certain instruments I tend to gravitate to more often than others. And since I frequently receive emails from students, interns, and new professionals asking which instruments I recommend, I’m sharing them here with you. I left off the very basics (shakers, tambourines, rhythm sticks, jingle bells, etc.) as those are a given.

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Click Like This, Clack Like That

Click Like This, Clack Like That Album Cover

Castanets aren’t your everyday instruments; they usually garner a little more interest than shakers or drums. Yes, they are fun to play, but even better, castanets are excellent for addressing fine motor skills.

We bring out castanets quite often in both our classes and music therapy sessions, which means I’m always writing new songs to help target all the goals they can address. This is one such song: it gets those fingers moving, and it also touches on the concepts of high and low.

This song is included in my songbook collection, Ring, Sing, Strum & Drum. The download contains the notated sheet music (as opposed to just the lyrics and chords) along with the full and instrumental recordings.

Members of Listen & Learn Plus! have access to all of the above in our shared Dropbox folder. Membership includes just about everything else in my resource library and collection — come over and join us!

Learn more about Listen & Learn Plus

Cabasa Bossa Nova

Cabasa Bossa Nova Album Cover

The cabasa is one of those instruments I use all the time, in both my music therapy sessions and classes. Its tactile qualities make it interesting and fun for kids to play, and doing so is great for working on those fine motor skills.

This is only the second dedicated cabasa song I’ve written (here’s the first), though I definitely see more in my future since it’s such a frequently used instrument. I will warn you, sometimes I get this song stuck in my head…and it’s reeeeally hard to get out ;)

The cabasa makes a great passing instrument, which is how we use it in our classes since we don’t have enough for every child. It’s an excellent exercise in sharing, since most kids aren’t too happy to give it up — we may need to invest in a full set of cabasas eventually.

Members of Listen & Learn Plus! have access to all of the above in our shared Dropbox folder. Membership includes just about everything else in my resource library and collection — come over and join us!

Learn more about Listen & Learn Plus

Shake It, Baby!

Shake It Baby Album Cover

Last week during our music therapy intern’s supervision meeting, we asked her to make a list of songs that could be used with shakers. After she named a few, my business partner Katey and I couldn’t help but chime in with our own favorites. In just minutes, we had a super long list of both original and familiar songs perfect for shaking along.

One of my most frequently used shaker songs is an original that I wrote for one of my music classes a while back. It’s one of those easily adaptable, learn-in-5-minutes, back pocket tunes that works in a variety of settings.

This song also happens to be super popular amongst the 2-year-old crowd; my son and his friends are big fans and request it frequently. Parker now wants to sing every song “fast, slow, up high, and down low” and I think this song might be the reason why ;)

What shaker songs top YOUR list of favorites? If you need more shakin’ inspiration, consider joining Listen & Learn Plus! Members have instant access to tons of instrument songs right inside the Dropbox folder I share with them.

Learn more about Listen & Learn Plus

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