My Latest Songbook Collection is Here!

Ring, Sing, Strum & Drum Songbook Collection | Instrument Songs for Children

I am so happy to announce that as of today, my new songbook collection — Ring, Sing, Strum & Drum! — is available in its entirety. I have been working SO hard over the last couple of months writing and recording 12 brand-new songs that I think you will love and be able to use with your children, students, and/or clients.

Ring, Sing, Strum & Drum! is a digitally downloaded songbook collection containing 12 never-before released Listen & Learn songs for playing instruments — including rhythm sticks, hand bells, cabasa, castanets, kazoos and more. Not only does the PDF songbook provide the notated melody line, chords and lyrics, but you also receive full and instrumental mp3s for all 12 songs:

“Rhythm Sticks Mix”
“Ring Around the Rainbow”
“Hum a Tune”
“Gather ‘Round the Drum”
“Strum With Your Fingers & Thumb”
“Click Like This, Clack Like That”
“Cabasa Bossa Nova”
“Jingle Jamboree”
“Rainstick Round”
“Lollipop Start & Stop”
“Tam Tam Boo”

Purchasing the lead sheet and mp3s for each individual song would cost you $3 a pop; multiply that by 12 songs and you’re out $36. But since I’m all about sharing the love, I’ve priced Ring, Sing, Strum & Drum! at a mere $12.

With just under a month remaining in the school year, it’s right about this time that your repertoire needs a boost — if you’re anything like me, that is. Whether you work as a music therapist in the classroom or one-on-one setting or you are a music educator, my newest creation might be just the boost you need.

Check it out!

(And for even more instrument songs for children, you should take a look at my best-selling songbook collection, Tapping, Shaking, Music Making!)

Can’t Hold It Back Anymore

No Mo' "Let It Go"

It just doesn’t seem right to be singing about frozen fractals when it’s 80 degrees out. But that didn’t stop the melodious strains of “Let It Go” from flowing out of my fingertips today…multiple times.

Don’t get me wrong: I love the movie Frozen and just about every song in it. I am thrilled that so many of my students love these songs, too; we’ve enjoyed singing/playing/piggybacking them for the last six months. But I know it’s time to move on when Parker’s babysitters (who are within earshot of my studio) ask how in the world I’m not tired of Frozen music yet.

I’m a firm believer in repetition, and I don’t tire of songs very easily. I’m happy to ride the wave of whatever music is most popular with my students at the moment. We’ve been through phases where all we did was Wicked, Adelle, Les Miserables, “Happy” — really, I could go on and on with this list. Frozen, however, will go down in the record books as THE longest phase yet.

I’m really proud of my students for our work with these songs in both music therapy and lessons, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved that I’ll have a break from them (the songs, not my students!) when the spring session ends in a little over a week. Especially “Let It Go”. The one that haunts my dreams at night.

Friday Fave: Making a Guest Appearance…

Guest Post at Mundana Music Therapy

…over at Mundana Music Therapy, one of my favorite blogs by two of my favorite music therapists! If you’re curious about how I organize and access my insanely huge repertoire of music therapy songs, then hop on over and check out my guest post, 5 Ways to Organize Music Therapy Repertoire.

Kimberly Thompson and Megan Resig are the owners of Mundana Music Therapy, and recently relocated their private practice from Rochester, New York all the way to Portland, Oregon.

Kim and I ended up in the same elevator at last year’s AMTA national conference in Cleveland, where she introduced herself and told me that she and Megan would be attending the CMTE presented by myself and my Music Therapy Round Table colleagues. They did, and we have been in touch ever since. In fact, Mundana Music Therapy is the newest Listen & Learn sponsor.

Kim and Megan are doing big things in the world of music therapy, and I’m honored that they invited me to make an appearance on their blog. So go check it out, and have an amazing Friday!

How Do You Learn New Music?

How Do You Learn New Music?

I’m always learning new music, whether it’s for a music therapy session, voice student, performance or gig. Many times I might have the words or lead sheet with chords in front of me, but not necessarily the melody line — which means I need to have it down pretty well.

My go-to method for learning new tunes is to either download the song or record it (if I wrote the song myself) and then make a playlist that goes everywhere with me. Spotify has come in very handy for this purpose, since I have the app downloaded on my laptop, iPad, and iPhone. I listen to the songs in my car, while I get ready for my day, at the gym, or while I’m doing mindless tasks at the computer.

This method works well enough, since it allows me to multitask. But I always wonder if there is a better way…now more than ever, because I have a gig coming up in less than a month that requires me to learn about two hours’ worth of new music!

So I’m curious: how do YOU go about not only learning new melodies, but getting them to stick? Please share your own method in the comments!

10 Songs That Just Make Me Feel Good

10 Songs That Just Make Me Feel Good

I’ve noticed a common theme among the songs that I’ve been choosing for both my students and myself lately.  While there have been a few exceptions, most have been songs that just make me feel really good, whether I’m singing them or just listening. Judging by my students’ feedback and performance, I think the songs have the same effect on them!

Summer is all about having fun and enjoying life, in my opinion, so here are the top 10 songs (in no particular order) that are helping me do just that at the moment.

  1. “King of Anything” by Sara Bareilles
  2. “Better Together” by Jack Johnson
  3. “The Best Day” by Taylor Swift
  4. “Sing” from Sesame Street
  5. “Blackbird” by the Beatles
  6. “Any Dream Will Do” from Joseph
  7. “Change the World” by Eric Clapton
  8. “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl
  9. “Be OK” by Ingrid Michaelson
  10. “Shower the People” by James Taylor

The more I brainstormed, the longer my list grew…but I’ll stop there and leave the question open to YOU. What are your favorite feel-good songs at the moment?

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