Top 10 Musical Moments of the Summer

With only three days remaining of my studio’s summer session, I thought it would be fun to take a look back over these past eight weeks and highlight some of my favorite moments. There are lots of high points worth mentioning, but I’m going to do my best to stop at 10. Here they are:

  1. Grace masters her first Italian song. We started working on “Caro Mio Ben” last spring, starting all the way from scratch with pronunciation. Not only was this Grace’s first Italian song, but it was her first-ever foreign language song, period. I couldn’t have been more proud when we recorded her beautiful version last week.
  2. Reilly makes a music video. This girl has Bieber fever, but luckily we are able to use it to her advantage during music therapy sessions. Reilly and I had a blast practicing “Baby” so that she could show off her dance moves and singing in a music video, which we recorded on my iPad.
  3. Patrick tackles The Beatles and Billy Joel. When he took his first piano lesson back in June, Patrick had an idea of which keys were which on the piano…and that was about it. But he was very motivated, practicing diligently and requesting new songs each week. At his lesson last night, he blew me away with his progress on several Beatles and Billy Joel tunes.
  4. Ashley finds her own voice. Ashley did a mean impression of Taylor Swift and Gracin Chance when she first starting taking voice lessons. But I wanted to hear what her voice sounded like, and over the past few weeks, it has emerged! And it’s lovely. I would choose her voice over Taylor’s or Gracin’s any day :)
  5. Megan is a note-reading ace. This six-year-old learned and memorized the notes on the staff faster than most adults probably could. After just a few lessons, she was flying through the flashcards and getting every single note right. Wowsers!
  6. Carrie rocks her first mashup. I was so impressed with the result of our mashup that I shared it here on the blog a few weeks ago. Since then, we’ve rewritten the lyrics for “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars and recorded Carrie’s version. She is by far one of my most talented and creative students!
  7. Rebekah inspires a new song. Since the first day I pulled out my fruit shaker instruments, Rebekah has been a fan. We’ve used them in just about every music therapy session this summer, and based upon her mom’s suggestion, I adapted the “Banana Boat Song” (check it out here) just for her. But I’ve been using it with several of my students, and it’s a new favorite across the board. Thanks, Rebekah!
  8. Jim makes a breakthrough. On this particular day, I learned that it’s much easier to explain the difference between the chest voice and head voice to an adult than it is to a child. After my explanation, Jim changed his approach to singing a particular song and the results were awesome.
  9. Julie plays the guitar like a pro. I’ve been working with Julie on guitar skills and music theory to help her prepare for her freshman year as a music therapy student. We started in June from scratch by learning basic chords and strum patterns — and then last week she played and sang three songs for me. She is going to make one awesome music therapist.
  10. Katerina belts it out. At Katerina’s first lesson,  I could barely hear her as she sang in the most timid whisper. But we worked on making a “big strong sound” (and even wrote a song about it). Her voice has gotten louder and louder with each passing week, culminating in yesterday’s impressive performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

I really could keep going, because all of my students have celebrated successes at some point this summer. You’re looking at one proud music therapist/teacher, right here. What are your top musical moment of the summer so far?

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