Choosing a Graduation Song…Help!

Graduation Songs

One of my favorite parts of being in high school show choir was singing at graduation every year.  It was always a little bittersweet, especially the year I graduated, but I loved it.  I’m not in school anymore, obviously, but I still get to sing at my students’ graduation.

Every May, one of my job duties at The Hope Institute is choosing and performing a graduation song.  In years past, I’ve sung In My Life, Seasons of Love, You Raise Me Up and For Good.  It’s always a big decision, and this year I’m a little stuck.

So far, here are the front-runners:

  • “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts
  • “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” the Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version
  • “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus
  • “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day

I know most of these are a bit dated, but I’m keeping in mind who the graduates are as well as the audience.  So this is where I need your help: what options am I missing?!  I’d really like to do something more current, however, I’m at a bit of a loss for ideas.

Please leave a comment with your ideas and input!

Sunday Singalong: Easter Edition

Happy Easter!  After singing with my church choir in two services this morning, I’m looking forward to relaxing with my family and enjoying some yummy food.  Maybe we’ll even dye some Easter eggs — I’m feeling inspired by this song!

I’m keeping this short today, because I know that many of us have plans on this special day that don’t involve reading blog posts :)  Whatever those plans may be, have a wonderful holiday (or just a wonderful Sunday, if you don’t celebrate Easter).

Friday Fave: Earth Day

Earth Day 2011

To tell you the truth, I’m a little bummed that Earth Day falls over Spring Break this year, because I always enjoy singing earth-related songs with my students and watching them go outside and plant trees on this day.  But it’s currently raining cats and dogs, so I doubt there would be much planting going on anyway.

So Sadie and I are having our own little Earth Day celebration at home right now, as I’ve been going through some fun YouTube videos to share while she watches over my shoulder :)  Here are a few worth checking out on this day.

  • Heal The World: I know this Michael Jackson song is a little cheesy, but I still love it.  When I was in elementary school, we put on a musical called Gonna Have an Earth Day, and this was the closing song.  It gives me the warm and fuzzies when I listen to it, exactly 20 years later.
  • The Three R’s: Jack Johnson reminds us to “reduce, reuse, recycle” in this great song, which is one that I love to sing with my students.
  • Good Green Earth: This is one of my highest-viewed YouTube videos, and it features the song “Good Green Earth” by James K.   I think this is my #1 favorite Earth Day tune.
  • Recycle With Me: The list would NOT be complete without a song from Bobs & LoLo, one of my favorite children’s singer/songwriter duos.  “Recycle With Me” is not only fun to sing, but also very educational.

Oh, and here’s a cool fact about Earth Day for you.  One of my wonderful sponsors, Susan Seale of Make Me Musical, recently wrote a blog post in which she shares that her husband, Nigel Seale, is actually the founder of Earth Day Canada.  He also served as the global chairman of Earth Day in 1991 and 1992.  How cool is that?!

Happy Earth Day to each and every one of you.  How will you celebrate and do your part to make the Earth a better place?

Speech Therapy + Music Therapy = <3

Speech Therapy and Music Therapy

That’s the emoticon version of a heart, in case you were wondering.  Valentine’s Day is a week away, so this is the perfect time to talk about what a great pair speech therapy and music therapy make.

I love collaborating with the speech therapist at my school, so much so that I recently gave a presentation about music therapy for communication goals to her speech and language pathology association.  The children with whom we work respond to music above everything else, so incorporating music into speech interventions makes them even more effective.

This month, speech and language goals for our students are centered around the theme of friendship, and target words include I, you, friend, heart, and the colors pink, red, and white.  Our speech therapist put together some simple song ideas, and my job was the add the music.

I am your friend,
You are my friend,
We are all friends together.
Everywhere we go,
At work and at play,
We are all friends together.

I’m going to the store to buy candy hearts,
To buy candy hearts,
To buy candy hearts.
I’m going to the store to buy candy hearts,
To give to my friend on Valentine’s Day.

Some of the hearts are pink or red or white,
Pink or red or white,
Pink or red or white.
Some of the hearts are pink or red or white,
All for my friend on Valentine’s Day.

Both the speech therapist and I include these songs in our sessions so that the students are exposed to these concepts frequently throughout the month.  Collaboration is key in the classroom setting…plus I love being part of a team.  How do you collaborate with other professionals to enhance students’ progress?

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr.

Today is more than just a day off from school and work.  It’s an opportunity to honor a great man (as I mention in my January song) who did big things, and to observe how far our country has come as a result.

I wish I could say that I have a song for this occasion to share with you, but I don’t (maybe next year).  However, I will send you over to Songs For Teaching, where there are quite a few tunes dedicated to MLK Jr.   Here are just a few worth noting:

How do you teach your students (or children) about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his important work?  Do you do anything special to commemorate this day in your classroom?  If so, I want to hear about it.

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