Five Swirling Snowflakes

Five Swirling Snowflakes Album Cover

My little students should be experts at counting to 5 by now, because we have included a song for that goal in every single one of our early childhood music classes since August. So far we’ve counted apples, pumpkins, and trees.

This session we’re counting snowflakes, and of course we have our visuals (laminated snowflake cutouts) to accompany the song. Our kiddos love gathering around and pointing to each snowflake as we count, and then they ALL want to help take one away at the end of each verse. It’s times like this that I’m happy to have my intern, Alisabeth, by my side managing the chaos ;)

We have another counting song in the works for our next session, which begins in mid-February. At the end of the summer, it will be so neat to have an entire collection. In the meantime, if you want a colorful and musical resource for counting to 10, check out this resource I put together a few years ago.

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!

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2016 Stays for 366 Days

2016 Album Cover

It’s okay, you can admit it: you’ve been waiting with bated breath for this song, right?! :) January is more than halfway over, but better late than never. I actually had the song written two weeks ago, but my voice is just now getting back to normal after my never-ending bronchitis.

“2016” is the 9th — yes, you read that correctly! — song I’ve written to represent the current year in my calendar song collection. It’s my 3rd one to fall on a leap year, which gives me an excuse to change up the lyrics a bit.

I know I said I didn’t have any hard and fast resolutions for 2016, but I’m the kind of person who is very motivated by big goals…which is why I have my entire editorial calendar of new songs lined up through September.

I’m pretty excited to get into a regular blogging routine, though I’m giving myself permission to take a break from it when needed (see: my 2016 motto).

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!

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Cabasa Bossa Nova

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!

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Five Tall Trees

Five Tall Trees

I’ve been on a seasonal counting kick these last few months, which you know full well if you’ve been in a music therapy session or early childhood class at Music Therapy Connections this fall. In September we counted apples, in October we counted pumpkins, and right now we’re counting trees.

In keeping with the theme, we use five laminated “trees” cut of of green construction paper to accompany the song Five Tall Trees, which always brings our helpers to the front of the room during class (my son Parker is usually the first to run up and assist in counting!).

Counting trees during early childhood music class

Each time we take away a tree, we count the remaining trees, so our students get a lot of practice counting up to 5, 4, 3, 2, and then 1. We point to the trees as well as hold up the correct number of fingers, which encourages them to do so as well.

This song template is super simple, but it is a favorite in every session. Time to start planning counting songs — and making the visuals to go with them — for the winter months!

Members of Listen & Learn Plus! have access to this song along with just about everything else in my resource library and collection — come over and join us!

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Better When I’m Dancing

Better When I'm Dancing Album Cover

My business partner Katey recently shared with me a video of Meghan Trainor’s song “Better When I’m Dancing” from The Peanuts Movie and asked if I had heard it. I hadn’t, but I loved it and knew immediately I wanted to adapt it for use in music therapy sessions and classes.

I might have had just a little too much fun with the instrumentation and vocals on this recording — and by that I mean I was literally dancing in my chair while I worked (it kept my baby entertained, at least!).

As much as I enjoy writing completely original songs, I love to throw in a good cover every once in a while, especially one from a popular artist that many of my kiddos will recognize.

Listening to this song is an instant mood lifter and will hopefully inspire my students and clients to dance along, too. Can’t wait to sing it with them this week!

Members of Listen & Learn Plus! have access to all of these songs (along with tons more) right inside the Dropbox folder I share with them — come over and join us!

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