The Wheels on the Bus

The Wheels on the Bus

I’m always on the hunt for books I can sing with my students, and my collection of singable stories has grown exponentially since Parker was born. While I love to write my own melodies for books that don’t already have one, I like having plenty of “ready-to-sing” classics on hand.

This month while I was combing Amazon for a few new additions, I came across this super fun version of The Wheels on the Bus — it doesn’t get more classic than that! Each page includes illustrations that come to life when you pull the tabs, which makes the book even more interactive.

I put together a recording of this version, which doesn’t stray too far from the song we all learned back in preschool or earlier. It’s yours to download for free; just enter $0 when asked to name your price :)

I have another singable story to share with you soon thanks to my mom, who picked it up as a Christmas gift for Parker. In the meantime, here are some more of my very favorites for your browsing pleasure. Feel free to share your own must-haves!

Friday Fave: Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Brown Bear Singable Story

My collection of singable stories has grown considerably over the last few years, and continues to do so as I stumble upon new stories and receive suggestions from colleagues and readers. But I can credit my latest addition — and the tune that goes with it — to the parent of one of my music therapy students.

I had heard of the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? but never thought to use it in my music therapy sessions. After our session one day, my student’s mom mentioned that her daughter loves this book and that she had discovered the perfect tune for it: the theme song to the old Nickelodeon show, Pinwheel.

Talk about a blast from the past! I remember watching that show as a very young child, and the tune came right back to me…along with the theme songs for all the other old Nickelodeon shows I was distracted by on YouTube :)

After recording the “Brown Bear” version of the song, I have to agree with my student’s mom. The tune fits this story perfectly and I can’t wait to sing it with my student this afternoon! What a fun way to work on color and animal identification (amongst other things).

Have you added any great singable stories to your collection lately? Please share your favorites — and read more about my full collection of 50+ stories here.

Every Little Thing is Gonna Be All Right

Three Little Birds

My husband and I spent our honeymoon on the island of St. Lucia back in summer of 2008, and had an amazing time.  The weather was perfect, the scenery was gorgeous, and the music was…well, repetitive.  It’s a good thing we like Bob Marley, because that is what we heard for 8 straight days.

So now every time I hear “Three Little Birds” (my favorite Marley tune), I’m taken back to that glorious week of sun, fun, and relaxation.  It’s sort of become my calm-down song; I find myself singing it when I’m stressed or worried.

When I mentioned on Twitter a few weeks ago that it was stuck in my head, one of my music therapy friends mentioned that there is a children’s book based on the song.  And you know how much I love singable stories, so this will definitely be added to my collection.

My Favorite Things (A Singable Story)

My Favorite Things Singable Story

When I was in high school, you could find me in one of three places during the summer: my job at Baskin-Robbins, the neighborhood pool, or on the stage of the Muni Opera, an outdoor community theater here in Springfield.

I have lots of great memories from the 10+ shows I was in at the Muni, but my absolute favorite was The Sound of Music.  I played Louisa von Trapp, and just fell in love with the music.  This musical has a special place in my heart because of that experience, so I was very excited when I came across a picture book version of My Favorite Things.

The illustrations in this book are gorgeous and stimulating; even my littlest students enjoy looking at the pictures that accompany the song. For my older students, the book serves as the perfect jumping-off point for a discussion about their own favorite things.

I love singable stories featuring familiar songs — especially those that will get a smile out of my students’ parents, like this one. What are some others worth adding to my ever-expanding collection?

Sunday Singalong: There Was an Old Lady

This week’s video is my first-ever to include the lyrics as subtitles!  When a reader requested I add them so that her son could follow along, I thought to myself, “Duh!”  Why didn’t that occur to me before?  It is called Sunday Singalong, after all.

I introduced this singable story to my students at The Hope Institute this week, and we are having a blast with it.  My goal for those with verbal skills to sing the phrase “perhaps she’ll cry” as a starting point, since it is repeated so often throughout the book.  Then as they become more familiar with it, I’ll prompt them to fill in more words and phrases.

When I present a singable story to a group of children, I like to turn it into a team effort.  The guitar accompaniment helps hold attention, so while I play, I have a teacher or other staff member hold up the book so that everyone can follow along visually.  If I’m working with a student individually, I’ll ditch the guitar and use the book alone.

The wonderful thing about singable stories as teaching tools is that you can adapt them to the level of each group or individual student.  I can ask “wh” questions, have students point to certain objects, read sight words, and so much more.  What singable stories have you and your students been enjoying lately?