I don’t know about you, but it’s right around this time every year that my creative energy and brain power start to lose steam, and all I really want to do is eat delicious treats while watching Christmas movies. It’s especially true this year, having just wrapped up the first semester of my counseling master’s program (finals are no joke!).
But alas, there is still work to be done. I’ll be leading classes and providing music therapy until Wednesday of next week, at which point I’ll take a highly anticipated break until the start of the new year. Speaking of, it’s time to share the first monthly session plan of 2022!
Did you know that this Saturday, February 27 is National Polar Bear Day?! I didn’t either, until I saw it posted on Instagram, including a mention of my original “Polar Bear” song. Of course, I couldn’t miss this opportunity to celebrate these beloved creatures AND share one of the most popular songs in my entire collection.
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!
As I type this blog post, there are snowflakes flying outside my office window. It’s no secret that I am not a fan of winter, and luckily the Midwest hasn’t been hit too hard with the white stuff so far this year.
I shouldn’t speak too soon, though, because we are expecting almost two inches on Thursday; good thing I’m prepared with plenty of snow-themed songs! The newest addition to the collection is Snowflakes, Snowflakes.
One of my favorite types of songs to use in music therapy sessions and classes is that with varying dynamics or tempos, and this falls into the latter category (going from slow to fast). My kiddos are always up to the challenge of playing their instruments along “even faster” — sometimes it’s hard to keep up with them!
Snowflakes, snowflakes Falling to the ground Down they come without a sound Little ones, big ones Swirling from the sky Faster, faster Down they fly
Last week’s song featured a picture of a ukulele on a sandy beach…so this is just about as opposite as it gets! But it is January, after all, so I’m getting in those wintery songs while I can.
I actually wrote “Clackin’ On the Ice” in just a few minutes while putting together my Church Mice curriculum for this session. I needed a song that would go well with rhythm sticks and provide the opportunity for changing dynamics.
When I use this in person with my little mice, we start by singing and playing loudly. Each time we repeat the verse, we get softer and softer. In my recording, I reflect the gradual diminuendo by removing instrumental and vocal lines after each verse.
The rhythm sticks make the perfect “clackin’ on the ice” sound, though castanets would work very well, too. It might also be neat to experiment with vocal ostinatos and other instruments for a really progressive sound. I love a song that covers all kinds of objectives and provides so many fun possibilities!
Welcome! I’m Rachel Rambach, board-certified music therapist and creator of Listen & Learn Music — educational songs and musical materials for children. I love sharing my work with you, along with my behind-the-scenes creative process, adventures in business ownership, and life as a mom of two little ones.
New Book + 6 CMTE Course!
This is the book + course that will help you shape your music therapy career in order to make more money and live your ideal lifestyle. Details here.
Next month’s music therapy sessions, early childhood groups, or classroom music…planned for you in advance.
Click the image below for this free resource and song collection!