Click Like This, Clack Like That

Click Like This, Clack Like That Album Cover

Castanets aren’t your everyday instruments; they usually garner a little more interest than shakers or drums. Yes, they are fun to play, but even better, castanets are excellent for addressing fine motor skills.

We bring out castanets quite often in both our classes and music therapy sessions, which means I’m always writing new songs to help target all the goals they can address. This is one such song: it gets those fingers moving, and it also touches on the concepts of high and low.

This song is included in my songbook collection, Ring, Sing, Strum & Drum. The download contains the notated sheet music (as opposed to just the lyrics and chords) along with the full and instrumental recordings.

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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Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Album Cover

As much as I love writing new songs for my music therapy sessions and classes, I think it’s equally important to share familiar songs my clients, students, and their families can sing right away. Sometimes I like to put my own spin on traditional repertoire, but in this case, I kept the recording very straightforward and simple: just the melody and ukulele accompaniment. Depending on the setting, I’ll add sign language or simple movements, though many times we’ll sing this as a cooldown at the end of a session or class.

Everybody who uses music with children should have a solid catalog of familiar tunes, and I’ve found this one to be the most often requested (including by my son, who has been asking for the “Twinkle Twinkle book” every night at bedtime lately). I’ll continue sharing more of the familiar songs I’ve recorded — sprinkled in with lots of originals, of course. What are your favorite songs to pull out when you want to get everyone singing along?

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 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

Cabasa Bossa Nova Album Cover

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!

Learn more about Listen & Learn Plus

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