Gather ‘Round the Drum

Gather 'Round the Drum

Last week, I announced my new songbook — Ring, Sing, Strum & Drum! — which releases on May 5. But I wanted to give a taste of this brand new song collection, so I made 3 of the 12 tunes (along with the sheet music) available when you preorder.

One of those tunes is “Gather ‘Round the Drum”, which I wrote specifically for the gathering drum. This is an instrument that I find myself including in sessions and early childhood classes week after week, because not only do my kiddos LOVE playing it, but it’s a great way to foster interaction and address social skills.

This song is a fun way to prompt everyone to come to the drum, and then from there it’s easy to adapt the lyrics so that the children have a chance to play the drum in all kinds of different ways.

Do you use a gathering drum in your own classes and sessions? If so, I hope this song comes in as handy for you as it has for me in the last few weeks I’ve been singing it. Grab your preorder copy of Ring, Sing, Strum & Drum! here.

P.S. Did you know that you can gain instant access to a vast collection of over 200 songs (mp3, lead sheet, and instrumental track), videos, tutorials, and visual aides, plus ALL new releases from Listen & Learn Music?

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Ring, Sing, Strum & Drum!

Ring, Sing, Strum & Drum Songbook Collection

2015 has proven itself to be the year of inspiration for me so far. I started it off with a brand-new podcast, then launched my first-ever songwriting challenge (still one day left to join!), and most recently, I’ve been hard at work on a new songbook collection — the follow-up to 2013’s Tapping, Shaking Music Making!

That songbook collection was a big hit and is still one of my bestsellers, so I’ve always had plans to write a “part 2”. I figured there was no better time than at almost 9 months pregnant, just weeks shy of my due date…right? ;)

Ring, Sing, Strum & Drum! will contain 12 completely brand-new instrument songs for children, including the full and instrumental tracks as well as sheet music for each. The full collection will be released on May 5, BUT you can preorder your copy now and receive 3 of the songs immediately.

In addition to the songs that are already available, I will be adding tunes written specifically for these instruments:

  • rhythm sticks
  • shakers
  • jingle bells
  • lollipop drums
  • tambourines
  • hand bells
  • rainsticks
  • guitar
  • kazoos

I used my own music therapy instrument cabinet as inspiration, keeping in mind the instruments I use most often in my sessions, groups and classes. I’ve already put some of the songs to use with my own students, and I’m happy to report that they have been extremely well-received and effective.

I sell single-song album downloads (which include the full track + instrumental + lead sheet) for $3 a pop, but this 12-song collection is priced at just $12. I hope you’ll consider adding it to your repertoire, and I appreciate your support in advance!

Preorder Now

Let me know if you have any questions, comments or feedback on the songbook collection so far. And thank you to those of you who have already placed your order…I can’t wait to share the rest of it with you in just a couple of weeks.

I Have a Bean Bag

I Have a Bean Bag Album Cover

This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned what a HUGE fan I am of the movement props created by Bear Paw Creek. Their stretchy bands and connect-a-bands are both staples in my collection, and I just recently added their bean bags as well.

There are so many ways to incorporate bean bags into my music therapy sessions and early childhood music classes, but I knew exactly how I wanted to introduce them for the first time — with a brand new song, of course :)

I wrote “I Have a Bean Bag” with several goals in mind: listening skills, body part identification, and imitation. An added bonus skill this song addresses is balancing, which is funny to watch my kiddos try to do once they’ve placed the bean bag on the correct body part.

Although this song was written with bean bags in mind, I’ve already adapted it for scarves in bigger groups where I don’t have enough bean bags to go around (yet!).

A special thanks goes to Janet Stephens, owner and creator of the products at Bear Paw Creek, for her support of Listen & Learn Music. Everything in her shop is made right here in the U.S.A. and is of the utmost quality. Please check out her movement props and other resources if you haven’t already!

“Spring Into Summer” is Here!

Spring Into Summer Digital Songbook CollectionI knew I was excited about this project when I actually looked forward to staying up late transcribing my songs into sheet music and designing the layout. I haven’t gotten much sleep over the past two weeks, but the finished product is worth it.

I wanted to create a resource that reflects the sheer joy I’m feeling now that spring is here, which no doubt will carry into summer (my very favorite season!). I chose topics that are synonymous with the warm weather months: Mother’s Day, flowers, school getting out, Father’s Day, swimming, traveling, playing outside, the list goes on.

Spring Into Summer Songbook

This digital songbook includes the melody line, chords, and lyrics for 10 songs, including the never before released title track. It also comes with the mp3s and instrumental tracks for all 10 tunes, since I always encourage you (and your kiddos!) to create your own versions of Listen & Learn songs.

“Spring Into Summer”
“Thank You, Mom”
“Grow Flower Grow”
“Riding My Bike”
“Summer Break (Let’s Shake!)”
“Going on a Car Ride”
“Summertime Tune”
“Happy Father’s Day”
“In the Swimming Pool”
“S is for Summer”

Purchasing the lead sheet and mp3s for each individual song would cost you $3 a pop; multiply that by 10 songs and you’re out $30. But since I’m all about sharing the love, I’ve priced Spring Into Summer at a mere $10. Get it now and instantly increase your arsenal of warm weather songs for kids.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Join me in celebrating what is left of spring and preparing for the start of summer. There is so much to look forward to at this time of year, and music is a great way to help children understand and be ready for all the excitement to come!

Evolution of the Listen & Learn Songbook

Evolution of the Songbook

Almost five years ago, a music therapist named Michelle Erfurt approached me with the idea to create a Listen & Learn songbook. I had only been writing and sharing songs for a few months, but I was excited to take the leap into publishing.

We worked our tails off for months — I wrote and transcribed the music while she took care of layout, graphic design, and manufacturing — and then we debuted the books at the 2009 AMTA national conference. The final product was awesome! I felt so proud to have my name on the cover. Michelle and I continued selling the songbooks throughout the next couple of years until they were all gone.

By the time we ran out of inventory, hard copy songbooks seemed to be a thing of the past. I continued creating songbooks, but opted to sell them as digital downloads from that point on. They were faster, easier and cheaper to create and sell, and customers seemed to prefer them because they were in turn more affordable and instantly accessible.

Michelle found her calling during that first songbook project; just a few months ago she launched Music Therapy E-Books with Rachel See. And I’m launching my latest digital songbook collection, Spring Into Summer, a week from today! Until then, you can preorder and get the first two songs PLUS a bonus song that won’t be available after the release. Check it out here.

As much as I love creating digital resources, there’s something special about having authored a real, hard copy book that sits on my bookshelf. And while I don’t see myself going that route again anytime soon, it was an awesome beginning to my songbook publishing adventures!

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