Wow, has January been a whirlwind of a month. Shortly after the start of a new year and new decade, my private practice and teaching studio went into full swing, including a full slate of fresh music classes for children ranging from early childhood to early elementary ages. On top of that, I got to launch my new book and 6 CMTE course, Innovative Income for Music Therapists, earlier this week.
Suffice it to say that in February, my plan is to REST. In fact, that is one of my goals for 2020 — not only to get more sleep, but to enjoy downtime without feeling antsy. My mind and body are still in turbo-mode, so I’m looking forward to next month and the opportunity to chill.
I’m a worrier by nature; always have been, always will be. So when I sang along to Bobby McFerrin’s original version of this song growing up, I’m pretty sure I was trying to convince myself to heed his advice.
I love everything about this song: the lyrics, the laid-back stye, the harmonies, and especially the way it makes me feel when I listen and sing along. Turns out it’s a crowd pleaser in just about every setting I’ve used it, including my early childhood classes, performances, and music therapy sessions.
Once upon a time, I had a rotation of 2 or 3 hello and goodbye songs that I used across the board. But now that Katey and I write a new class curriculum every few weeks, I have amassed quite a collection of greeting songs.
This is one of the simpler goodbye tunes I’ve written. In fact, I realized this morning that I didn’t even have it written out (it only took a few minutes to create a quick lead sheet since the chords are nice and easy), nor do I have an instrumental track since I just used bare-bones ukulele accompaniment.
I wrote this song a WHILE back, but it’s kind of perfect that I waited until now to share it with you. My baby girl has been attempting to clap her hands for the last couple of weeks, and then this morning in music class, she totally nailed it!
This song was written for young children to encourage them to clap their hands, which is pretty obvious when you listen to the song! The lyrics are to the point, and allow each child in the group to take his or her turn clapping.
Clapping is such a joyful skill, especially as children first master it and then practice nonstop. And Mia will surely get LOTS of practice, as her big brother loves to instruct us to clap for him after his singing and dancing performances :)
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As much as I love writing new songs for my music therapy sessions and classes, I think it’s equally important to share familiar songs my clients, students, and their families can sing right away. Sometimes I like to put my own spin on traditional repertoire, but in this case, I kept the recording very straightforward and simple: just the melody and ukulele accompaniment. Depending on the setting, I’ll add sign language or simple movements, though many times we’ll sing this as a cooldown at the end of a session or class.
Everybody who uses music with children should have a solid catalog of familiar tunes, and I’ve found this one to be the most often requested (including by my son, who has been asking for the “Twinkle Twinkle book” every night at bedtime lately). I’ll continue sharing more of the familiar songs I’ve recorded — sprinkled in with lots of originals, of course. What are your favorite songs to pull out when you want to get everyone singing along?
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Welcome! I’m Rachel Rambach, board-certified music therapist and creator of Listen & Learn Music — educational songs and musical materials for children. I love sharing my work with you, along with my behind-the-scenes creative process, adventures in business ownership, and life as a mom of two little ones.
New Book + 6 CMTE Course!
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Next month’s music therapy sessions, early childhood groups, or classroom music…planned for you in advance.
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