Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Happy Fall and a song post!

Happy Fall!
School is back in full swing and I'm knee deep into my school schedule with many classrooms across the county.  
The weather has just recently started to feel like fall around here.  The leaves are starting to change colors and it seems like pumpkins are everywhere you look.  This month I've been singing about fall, leaves, apples, pumpkins, weather and Halloween.  Stay tuned for additional song posts about those topics!
Today I want to share a song I very recently wrote for the Pledge of Allegiance.  I created the music for this song after talking with a teacher who inquired if there was a song for the pledge.  When the teacher asked me, I did not recall ever hearing a song for the pledge.  I did some searching online and found a few possibilities, but wanted to create my own in order to provide a slower pace and include some sort of percussive beat in the background (I have observed this to motivate many of the students to focus on the song, the words,etc..  It really draws them in!)  The students have eagerly requested the pledge song since I recorded it and they are well on their way to reciting the pledge as well! :)

The song is below.  The lyrics are the exact words of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Thanks for stopping by (in the midst of my long and overdue blog post), and stay tuned for another song post next week!

Monday, August 11, 2014

The countdown is on!

Welcome back to More with Music!
The time is closing in quickly!  Soon it will be time to go back to school!
Today I'm posting an album of songs called The Back to School Batch.

This album is a collection of 8 songs, designed primarily for elementary teachers and their students.
The album includes songs about bus safety, the parts of a book, patterns, safety signs, shapes, community helpers and the seven days of the week.  All of the songs included have been student (and teacher), tested.   I have personally used these songs to help students learn over the past five years.
The album is below.  Lyric sheets are available via email request for free. (morewithmusic@gmail.com)



As always, thanks for stopping by!  Stay tuned to read about two new projects I've been working on!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Squish Me, Squeeze Me

TGIF!  
Summer break is slowly but surely coming to an end.  I have one week before the full time schedule resumes.  As I've been busy planning for the upcoming school year, I've been organizing existing songs, jotting down ideas for new songs and taking the time to listen to a lot of songs written by other folks as well.  
I listened to one song in particular the other day that I just had to share with all of you.  
It's a song by Brady Rymer called, "Squish Me, Squeeze Me".  You can listen to the song here.

I really love this song because I have several students in mind who have Sensory Processing Disorder, who often need a "squeeze".  

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), is a neurological disorder that causes a person's body to have difficulties interpreting information from their senses that they receive from their environment.  A person's senses may be over or under reactive to the sensory information and they may not be able to respond "appropriately" to ordinary sensory experiences.  
We have all learned about our five senses:  vision, hearing, touch, smell and taste.  We also have two additional senses:  vestibular and proprioceptive.  All of our senses work together to help us understand and move within our environments.

This song would be most beneficial to use with someone who needs proprioceptive input (sensations from joints, muscles and connective tissues that lead to body awareness).  It's important to note that different types of sensory stimulation effect each person differently.  Sensory interventions should only be done under the approval and guidance of a licensed occupational therapist or other approved professional.

Overall, it's a super fun sounding song!  What songs do you use to help students who have SPD?  
Have a super weekend and check back soon for additional song posts!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Expressions we use

Welcome back!
Today I'm sharing a song that took a little longer to create than others.  It took longer to create because for me, it was a tricky concept to explain.
In the public school setting that I work within, the middle and high school grades do their best to introduce topics and teach concepts within our adapted curriculum.  One of the topics introduced in language arts is idioms.
Idioms themselves are not complicated when you understand what they are and their true meaning(s).  However, teaching idioms to students who are very literal, visual learners is not an easy challenge.  Many of these students are challenged when it comes to abstract thinking also.
So, I approached this tricky concept with caution and thought about a few different approaches for several days.
When writing this song, I decided that I would define the concept of idioms in the song,  and that I would also have to include some of the more simple idioms as examples.

By definition, idioms are word combinations.  Left alone, these word combinations don't make sense.  They are expressions we use to talk about people, things, situations and events.

To select the examples, I first searched the web for pictures to represent idioms.  This was a devotion of time as well, but I knew it would be very helpful for the visual learners.  I finally narrowed down my selections for idiom examples.

My selections included:
"It's a piece of cake"
"Hold your horses"
"It's raining cats and dogs"
"Don't let the cat out of the bag"

Below is the final product.


Overall, the students loved the song and enjoyed learning about idioms and discussing different expressions they could use for different situations.

You can also check out the video I created with this song here.
For each of the four idioms, I included a representation of what the idiom would literally look like, and also a representation of what the idiom (as an expression), really means.  The visuals helped so many of the students catch on quick!

Have a great day and stay tuned for additional song posts!

Friday, July 25, 2014

If I were a fish

TGIF!
This week I've been busy organizing my song files.  It always seems like a major endeavor, but it needs to be done in order to stay organized during the school year.

One song I found swimming around in my song files was a song I wrote this year about fish.
A couple of teachers I work with asked for me to come up with a song to help teach simple things about fish to their students.

My challenge was to include the following information about fish:
they swim underwater, they breathe through gills, they have scales and fins and they lay eggs.

We used various visuals to show the different parts of the fish while we sang the simple verses in this song.  In one class, we also incorporated the sign for fish as we showed a picture of a fish with this song.


What are your favorite songs to sing about fish?


Thanks for stopping by and check back here soon for more song posts!