My Go-To Song for April

Good Green Earth Music Therapy Song for Spring

There’s a certain song that I look forward to pulling out every single year. Some years, I have the willpower to wait until April; this was not one of those years. I caved in March and reintroduced my students to “Good Green Earth” by James K.

I call this my go-to song for April because it’s the month during which Earth Day falls, and I originally learned this song for an Earth Day school assembly. It doesn’t spread the “reduce, reuse, recycle” message — but it DOES touch on many of the earth’s cycles (the clock, days of the week, months of the year, and seasons). These are all important concepts that are included in many of my students’ learning objectives.

Interestingly, the YouTube video I recorded of this song has been viewed more than almost all of my other videos, so I’m not the only fan! I talk more about how I use this song in sessions below:

I’ve written my own songs (many, in fact) on the topics of telling time, days of the week, months of the year, and the seasons, but I love how James K has combined all of the above into a catchy, singable tune that just screams for corresponding motions.

I sing this song with toddlers who are learning to imitate those motor skills, and they enjoy it just as much as preschoolers and older elementary kiddos who are working hard to learn all the information presented through the lyrics. (However, they probably don’t enjoy it quite as much as I do. I really, really love this song!)

Sunday Singalong: The September Song

I recorded this video yesterday, when the temperature was in fact pushing 100 degrees. Today, however, feels much more like September.

This week’s forecast is full of days like today, and as nice as it is outside, I’m sad to see summer come to an end. One of my friends posted on Facebook the other day that his four favorite seasons are early summer, mid summer, late summer, and next summer. I can definitely relate!

But September has its perks, even if it means the end of my favorite season is drawing near. Like, for example, the return of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks (two more days!). And…well, I’ll think of some other perks and get back to you ;)

Sunday Singalong: The January Song

The months of the year have their own place in the calendar segment of my classroom music therapy sessions.  It’s always fun to begin a new month and replace the outgoing song with a fresh one…especially once spring is near!  But we’re not quite there yet, and luckily the January song is one of my favorites.

Since this is the 4th year I’ve worked with many of my students, a number of them will be able to sing along with the January song the very first time around.  Although it’s nice to have a few familiar tunes in the mix, I like to introduce quite few new songs and interventions in my monthly music therapy session plans, too.  This keeps our work challenging (not to mention keeping me on my toes, memorizing lots of new lyrics and processes).

Tomorrow is the first day back to school, so I have plenty of work to do in order to be 100% ready for my students.  Happy January!

Friday Fave: It’s October!

First Day of OctoberI love when the first day of the month falls on a Friday, because that gives us two reasons to celebrate! And on this particular Friday I have a third reason to celebrate…a weekend all to myself! No traveling, performances, or big commitments (unlike last weekend); just time to get caught up on some work and hang with my family.

How will you be spending the first weekend of October? Perhaps learning a song all about the 10th month of the year? I’ve been brushing up on my original October tune so that my students and I can sing it together this morning (and all month long). It goes like this:

Today it is October,
The tenth month of the year.
Summertime is over,
and autumn weather’s near.

Today it is October,
The leaves are turning brown.
The air is getting chilly,
And soon the leaves fall down.

Today it is October,
The tenth month of the year.
Summertime is over,
and autumn weather’s near.

Today it is October,
It’s time to celebrate
Fall festivals and Columbus Day
Oh, I can hardly wait!

Today it is October,
The tenth month of the year.
Summertime is over,
and autumn weather’s near.

Today it is October,
It’s time for Halloween.
Candy, spooks, and costumes,
And all those scary things.

Today it is October,
The tenth month of the year.
Summertime is over,
and autumn weather’s near.

What’s on your calendar for October? I have a relatively calm month ahead: singing at one wedding, a speaking gig, and a weekend trip to Chicago with my friend are the highlights. But it is definitely the calm before the storm; November will be a whirlwind of activity between my brother’s wedding, AMTA National Conference, and Thanksgiving.

Enjoy this beautiful first day of October, and have a great weekend. (And come back on Sunday for a new “Sunday Singalong” video — the hiatus is over!)

Happy July!

Any other summer, I’d most likely tell you how bummed out I am that July is already here.  But not this year!  I have so much to look forward to this month that I’m not even thinking about the fact that summer is one-third of the way over. (Okay, maybe the thought has crossed my mind…however, I choose to ignore it.)

In the next four weeks, I will be: attending my best friend’s engagement party, traveling to Indianapolis for a 4th of July wedding, releasing my album, throwing a big CD release party, and giving a music therapy presentation at a big conference.  Whew!

Back in June I re-recorded all of my Months of the Year songs, and this is the first time I’ve had a chance to share one with you at the start of a new month.  (You can download the entire album, which comes with all 12 songs + instrumental tracks + lead sheet songbook here.)

Picnics, ice cream, apple pie,
Clap your hands ‘cause it’s July!
The seventh month of the year,
For thirty one days July is here.

Wave your flag, way up high,
Celebrate the fourth of July.
Let’s all wear red, white, and blue,
Fireworks for me and you!

Picnics, ice cream, apple pie,
Clap your hands ‘cause it’s July!
The seventh month of the year,
For thirty one days July is here.

Independence is the word,
Patriotic songs are heard.
Let’s join in and sing out loud,
For our country we are proud.

Picnics, ice cream, apple pie,
Clap your hands ‘cause it’s July!
The seventh month of the year,
For thirty one days July is here.

Summer’s coming to a peak,
It gets hotter every week.
Hear the crickets chirp at night,
Until the morning sun shines bright.

Picnics, ice cream, apple pie,
Clap your hands ‘cause it’s July!
The seventh month of the year,
For thirty one days July is here.

What are you up to this July?  Any big vacations or 4th of July parties planned?  My students have been filling me in on their holiday weekend plans, and they all sound like so much fun.  Whatever your plans may be, I hope you start the month off right by enjoying this gorgeous summer day.  Clap your hands ’cause it’s July!