Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas. New Year's is quickly approaching and I want to wish all of you an early Happy New Year's as well!

I have been a little, no, really, no, EXTREMELY busy with my work and apologize for the lack of posts on More with Music.

I love to hear from readers and want to thank all of you who have emailed this past month with compliments and stories of how the music on this site helps children very close to you.

I'm working on a schedule (of course, we all need one in order to gets things done, right?), which will hopefully afford me some time here and there to post more here. I hope to post at least once a week.

I have created a page on facebook in order to better connect with people and friends there. Just log on to your facebook accounts and then search for More with Music there. I will post updates there when songs are posted here on More with Music.

I hope all of you have a Happy New Year! Check back later for this weeks' post! :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The history of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

Here's a song to help teach the history behind the first Thanksgiving.
I designed a power point to go along with this song, which has pictures to represent each phrase of the song. I also printed each power point slide,and laminated them, so that the song is also represented in picture form with an adapted book.

In some classrooms, I have used rhythm sticks with this song. Drums would be great to use as well.

As the students are listening to the song for the very first time, I have them play along to the rhythm of the drums in the background. This has worked very well, and usually by the middle of the song, my student groups have been able to get their rhythms in sync and together with the recording. It's so nice when that happens!

Another helpful idea is to set words to the rhythm so the students can follow along that way. Introduce the rhythm first with the sticks, get it going, then start the song and try to match the rhythm of the drum. For this song, try saying the words, "Thanksgiving Dinner", or "I like Thanksgiving", to emphasize the rhythm of the drums.

So, here's the song and I hope you have a great Friday and restful weekend!
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Book Awareness

Here's a song I wanted to share about Book Awareness.
This song introduces parts of a book that are found on the front of a book.

The parts of a book in this song include: Cover, Title, Author, and Illustrator.

The tempo of this song is intended to be slightly slower, so that the teacher can use a real book as a visual and go around the classroom showing students each part of the book.

Another idea would be for students to all pick books and have them at their desks, or on their laps (during "circle time"). While the song is playing, each student can point to the part of the book mentioned in the song.

If you would like to download this song, simply click on Buy and you can purchase it for $1. If you'd like to tell a friend about this song, click on Share.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

It's Veteran's Day!
Today (and every day, really), is a day when we remember all of the Veterans who have served and protected our country. These men and women have put their lives on hold to protect so many of our rights and freedoms. Today is the day we say "Thank you", to all of them.

Veterans, Veterans,
We Thank You!
Veterans, Veterans,
We Thank You!

You served in the military.
You fought for our freedom and our country.
You served in the military.
You fought for our freedom and our country.

Veterans, Veterans
We Thank You!
Veterans, Veterans,
We Thank You!

The Army, the Air Force, the Navy and Marines.
The Coast Guard and the Reserves,
Watching over our country.

Veterans, Veterans,
We Thank You!
We Thank You!

You served in the military.
You fought for our freedom and our country.
You served in the military.
You fought for our freedom and our country.

Veterans, Veterans,
We Thank You!
Veterans, Veterans,
We Thank You!

Have a wonderful Veteran's Day!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thanksgiving Songs

While I have been more than a little busy with my caseload so far this year, I often think about my blog here and wish I had time to post more. I want to thank all of you for your kind emails and questions.

Today's post is about Thanksgiving songs. Last year, I posted several songs that can be used with a variety of age groups. I love songs like this because you get a lot of "wear" out of them. They can be life savers on a busy day! I also like songs like this because there are so many interesting responses from the students and/or adults participating in the music therapy sessions.

Anyhow, the first post review is of a song by Hap Palmer titled, "I am Thankful". It is a nice, pretty, mellow song which I use for students to insert their own answers of things for which they are thankful. I have several picture visuals to suggest ideas for students who have difficulty with creativity and answering questions. You can hear my version of the song here.

The next song I wanted to review is Ted the Turkey. I love using this song and have had great success with this song with students in elementary and middle schools. The song is basically about a turkey named Ted, who is running away on Thanksgiving Day. Within the song, students are asked, "Where should I go? Where should I hide?".
I have picture cards of places Ted the Turkey could possibly hide (Hay bale, Barn, Car, House,etc). My students with Severe-Profound disabilities are able to choose (via touching picture and/or eye gaze) pictures to tell me where they think the turkey should hide. It's such a cute activity. :) You can listen to this song here.

Thanks so much for stopping by and feel free to email me at
Have a great day!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Here's a song to help teach Multiplication.
I work in several classrooms where the students use a multiplication chart to complete multiplication problems. So, I wrote this song to address multiplication in general, and to provide instruction of the steps to follow when using a multiplication chart.

While researching Math topics online, I found some very helpful websites to help students. Check them out!

Next on my list is a song about Division. Stay tuned and TGIF!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hands are not for Hitting!

Bullying is a huge issue in our schools these days. Many schools have adopted anti-Bully campaigns in order to try to reduce the issues all children have with bullies at one time or another.

I first thought of writing this song when I came across a book at a bookstore entitled, "Hands are not for Hitting". It is written by Martine Agassi Ph.D., and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen. I thought it would be a great topic to write a song about, but I ended up putting the idea on the back burner for awhile.

A few weeks ago, a student intern approached me about writing a song to support the anti-Bully campaign at a local elementary school and I instantly remembered the book and wanted to finally come up with a song to address hitting.

I'd love to hear what you think!

I personally see PTA written all over this song and think groups of children singing this song (with hand actions to illustrate the various actions mentioned in the song), would be so awesome!

I hope you are having a great week and enjoying the fall season so far.
Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for the next post!


Teaching Math to a classroom with students with developmental disabilities can be a challenging task. The cognitive functioning level most often varies from student to student.

I wrote this subtraction song in hopes that the lowest functioning students would grasp the concept of subtraction by the fact that subtraction means "take away". This can be taught in numerous ways. Real visuals are most helpful and the student can be taught to "take away" something from a box or bin.

All students enjoy playing subtraction with some sort of reward (subtracting with skittles, m&m's, crackers,etc), and each student takes a turning "taking away" a snack from a bowl. This makes the basic lesson of "taking away" (aka subtraction), fun and motivating. Later, students can be assigned certain numbers of things to "take away", and the teacher can facilitate counting what's left.

Stay tuned for more songs to help teach Math!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy October!

October is finally here!
The fall season has officially begun and cooler weather and Halloween are on the way!
I am currently working on several new songs for the month of October, but wanted to remind you of a song I posted last year.

<a href="">I have a Pumpkin by More with Music</a>

The song, "I have a pumpkin", is a very simple song that addresses basic shapes and parts of a face. I made my own laminated, paper visual as well as designed a Smartboard page to use in sessions. You can follow the instructions in the song, such as, "I'll use two triangles to make his eyes" and ask students to find triangles when paired with other shapes. On another day, you can ask students to pick a shape to put on the pumpkin to make his eyes. This is a great way to target choice making in non-verbal clients (via eye gaze, pointing, touching picture choice, using voice output device,etc.) and an excellent way to reinforce speech with speech delayed students.

Stay tuned for another song about October!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Four Seasons

Hello there!

It's been awhile (ok a long while), since my last post.

I promise I've been super busy with work and the start of the new school year.
I wanted to share a song about the seasons today.

You may be wondering, "Why are seasons important and why does everybody sing about them?"

Well, seasons are very important and through teaching seasons one can incorporate many additional subjects.

Through teaching the seasons, you can incorporate the months of the year, the weather, weather appropriate clothing, time, and of course, the holidays that occur within each season.

So, here's a basic song about the seasons that briefly touches on the weather of each season and things you wear, see, etc.

Hope you like it!

If you would like the lyrics to this song, please email me at

<a href="">Summer, Fall, Winter &amp; Spring by More with Music</a>

I hope you have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back to School Freebies!

It's back to school time and everything and everyone is starting to get busy again.

A reader emailed this week about several of the songs I had posted before I started using the current music player I have here on my blog. So, I recorded the songs again and have them up and ready to share...hold on...wait for it...for FREE!

Why are the songs free?
The songs are free because they were created to go along with a few chidren's books. I didn't write the books, but I love to "sing" simple children's books because it makes them so fun and it seriously helps to keep the attention of each child. So I use common children's songs or make up some of my own and sing the books.

Here are the new additions. To check them out (and download them for free), just click on the story title.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear
The Bear Came Over to My House
I went Walking
Five Little Ladybugs

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

12 Months in a Year

Summer is almost over and it's back to school time!

The calendar is an important teaching topic of many classrooms throughout the year. The calendar tells us the months of the year, important holidays and birthdays, and the beginnings and endings of each of the four seasons. At school, teachers also use calendars to note student's birthdays, school breaks and closings and special events in the classroom/school. At home, parents often note family birthdays, special trips, doctor's appointments,etc. on calendars as well.

Well, the song I want to share today is a introductory song about calendars. It's short and was written to teach that there are 12 months in each year, to introduce the names of each month, and to help students visualize that the calendar represents one year.

So, without further delay, here it is!

<a href="">Twelve Months in a Year by More with Music</a>


Round and round the calendar we go.
Round and round the year.
Round and round the calendar we go,
and we know there's 12 months in a year.

January, February, March, April, May,
Then there's June and July.
August, September, October and November,
Then December and the New Year rolls by.

Round and round the calendar we go.
Round and round the year.
Round and round the calendar we go,
and we know there's 12 months in a year.
Yes we know, there's 12 months in a year.

I'd love to hear what you think. Please send an email to with any comments. Also, if you have a friend/family member that you think would enjoy this song, look down below and click on email and this post can be emailed to a friend/family member's email! Technology is just too cool!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Everybody, Everybody Play Along

Hello! Shocking but true-a new blog post on More with Music!

Sorry for the longs breaks in between posts this summer.

I have been staying busy with work and other summer activities and taking a little break from recording songs each night. I have a bunch of songs I've been working on here and there. Hopefully I will get them recorded and share them soon as the school year quickly approaches.

Today's post was inspired by another blog writer, Rachel Rambach, who is a fellow music therapist I correspond with online. You can learn more about her, her amazing songs, and music therapy activities here.

So, the inspiration for this song began when I heard Rachel performing "Everybody" by Ingrid Michaelson on her ukelele. It is such a nice song by itself and Rachel did a great job with it as well. As I listened to her sing the song, I kept thinking it would be a great song to use in group music therapy sessions. The phrase, "Everybody, everybody..." instantly became my focus and I worked for the next day or so writing lyrics to fit a play along type song. I'm still tweaking it here and there, but I wanted to share the draft version.

This song first encourages everyone to play along together, and then it focuses on individual rhythm instruments children chose to play that day. It's a great song to work on group participation, turn taking, etc.

I'd love to hear what you think!

<a href="">Everybody, Everybody Play Along by More with Music</a>

Until next time, have a great week!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Therapy Tools Tuesday

It's Tuesday and boy is it hot outside!
I've taken a break from posting often, but hope to put more songs up soon. Summer is here and I've been working, traveling, and escorting the little one back and forth to swim lessons.
So, for today's Therapy Tools Tuesday, I wanted to post about one of my most important and most used therapy guitar!
This was not my first or second guitar, but I purchased it last fall and really love it.

This guitar is the Yamaha APX 500 model. It is an acoustic/electric guitar with a 1-way pick up system (built-in tuner and 3 band EQ included). It has a thin profile and the strings are very close to the finger board, making it easier to play. It is often called a "Slimline".

The guitar has a great sound, in my opinion, and is great to use as an acoustic guitar in therapy settings. I also play the violin and find the string height to be wonderful on this guitar.

So there you have it-my most used, most important therapy tool everyday. :)

Stop by later this week for a song or two. Until then, have a great day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer is Hot,Hot,Hot

Summer is here and the days are growing hotter and hotter.

While many of us enjoy the modern comforts of air conditioning, we also enjoy summer activities such as swimming, sailing, fishing, and of course, eating popsicles and ice cream!

I wanted to share a song I call "Summer is hot, hot,hot!" I didn't write most of the music for this song, but instead was inspired by Rachel Rambach's song "Hot Day" and borrowed the tune and some of her lyrics and tweaked it for my own use.

Rachel Rambach has her own amazing blog over at I encourage you all to go have a listen to her large collection of songs for therapy and play. I really enjoy connecting with other music therapists via blogging mainly because it allows us to share our ideas and inspire each other.

The lyrics are below. What other songs do you use during the summer months?

<a href="">Summer is Hot, Hot, Hot! by More with Music</a>

When Summer comes there's lots of sun.
It's hot, hot, hot. (Repeat)

Time for sunscreen and sunglasses.
It's hot, hot, hot.
Time for popsicles and ice cream too.
It's hot, hot, hot.

Time for finding seashells by the seashore.
It's hot, hot, hot.
Time for swimming, fishing, sailing and more.
It's hot, hot, hot.
Oh, it's hot, hot, hot.

When Summer comes there's lots of sun.
It's hot, hot, hot.
When Summer comes there's lots of sun.
It's hot, hot, hot.
It's hot, hot,hot.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Let's go, go, go!

Here's a fun song I wanted to share.
I adapted a very catchy song (original tune and lyrics by Coffey Anderson), and used it to help teach about Mexico. I made visuals (via Google images imported into Power point slides) to go with each example from Mexico mentioned in the song. The very catchy (and sometimes addictive) chorus in this song is "I wanna' go, go, go down to Mexico".

So, here's the song. If you'd like the lyrics, I'd be happy to send them to you via email. Just send a quick email to

I hope you've had a great week and TGIF!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Moving in the Water

The end of the school year is very near. Wrapping everything up has kept me busy to say the least!

I realize it's not as exciting to check in on a blog when there aren't any new posts. :) So, today I'm sharing another song. This song is called "Moving in the Water". The tune of this song is actually from another song I found online one night. The original song is called, "Listen to the Water". I kept most all of the tune the same, but changed the lyrics for my own song needs.

So, "Moving in the Water" is about ways we can move in the water. With summer quickly approaching, it's a great time to talk about ways we can move in and on bodies of water and teach all those great words like swim, boat, jetski, canoe, fish, row, paddle, etc..

I have visuals for each mode of moving on the water for this song and I also use a Big Mac switch so nonverbal students can participate as we sing the chorus after each phrase. (I prepare the big mac switch ahead of time and record myself singing the chorus into it). You can also create movements to go along with the chorus (move hands like river flowing, swimming arm mvmts., riding jet ski, paddling, etc.)

The lyrics are below. How do you plan to move in the water this summer? I'd love to hear what you think. :)

Have a great week!

<a href="">Moving in the Water by More with Music</a>

Moving in the water, moving in the water
swimming, skiing, paddling and riding too.

I saw a fish by the waterside
Swimming with his fins to the other side. (repeat)
I saw a girl by the waterside
Kicking her legs to swim to the other side. (repeat)
I saw a boy by the waterside
Riding his jet skis to the other side
I saw a man in a canoe by the waterside
He was paddling his oars to get the other side. (repeat)
I saw a woman in a boat by the waterside
Riding in the boat to the other side. (repeat)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Plate Tectonics

Yes, you read the title of this post right! Here is a very basic song about Plate Tectonics.

Oh boy! This one was very hard to write. I had to work on this one several nights before I got it sounding halfway decent and with all the academic info included.

I wrote this song at the request of a teacher. Her class was studying Rocks, Volcanoes, Lava, Plate tectonics, Earthquakes, etc..

The students really liked the tune of it and we pre-programmed several voice output devices so nonverbal students could sing the chorus: "Crashing, sliding, and moving under; these are all things that plates do-they play a part." I wrote the song so that after describing each plate movement, students could participate by singing the chorus together.

So, here it is!

<a href="">Plate Tectonics by More with Music</a>

The earth's crust is made up of plates.
Plates that can change shape and plates that can move.

Crashing, sliding, and moving under
these are all things that plates do-they play a part.

When two plates crash together, the edges of the plates push up.
The two plates form a mountain from the bottom up.


When one plate slides against another,
it creates tension.
As the plates edges scrape together this breaks the earths' crust.
When the earth's crust breaks, the ground can shake.
When the ground shakes, it's called an earthquake.


When one plate moves under another
the earth's crust melts.
It spreads to form volcanoes and islands too.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Solute, Solvent, Solution

A solute mixed with solvent makes a solution.
Here's a song that helps teach a little chemistry!

This is a very basic, introductory song to help teach the following vocabulary words: solute, solvent, and solution. I imagine that chemistry would have been easier for me as a high school student, if I had had songs to help me learn topics and formulas.

<a href="">Solute, Solvent, Solution by More with Music</a>


Chorus: A solute mixed with solvent makes a solution. (Repeat)

A solute is a substance that dissolves to form a solution. (Repeat)


A solvent is a substance in which a solute dissolves. (Repeat)


A solution is a mixture of one or more solutes dissolved in a solvent. (Repeat)

This song is available for download by clicking on Download above. If you have any questions, please send an email to

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Spring is in the air and many teachers teach about the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly during this season.

I wrote this song to go along with Eric Carle's lovely book, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." It is a story that takes the reader from the caterpillar in an egg all the way to a full grown butterfly. The illustrations on each page are full of color and there is even a repetitive tag line!

Throughout the story, the caterpillar eats through many different foods as he grows. The repetitive tag line is, "But he was still hungry." This can easily be recorded onto a voice output device so all levels of students can participate in this story.

This book also intertwines counting within the story. Throughout the story, the caterpillar eats different numbers of food items, (i.e. one apple, two pears, etc.). Many different sequencing activities can also be done with this book.

<a href="">The Very Hungry Caterpillar by More with Music</a>

What other books do you like to use with children during the spring season?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Here's a song I wrote that can be used to introduce and/or help teach students about poems. I wrote it with middle school aged students in mind, so I added a background beat to keep things motivating. :)

<a href="">Poems by More with Music</a>

Here are the lyrics:

Poems are made up of words.
Poems can be long and poems can be short.
Poems are made up of words.
Some of them rhyme and some of them don't.

Poems tell a story-tell you how someone's feeling. (Repeat)


Poems are made up of groups of words called lines. (Repeat)


I hope you're having a great week so far! Stay tuned for another song post later this week!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Sounds of Spring

Spring is such a nice and pretty season. I love the cool breeze mixed with warm sunshiny days. Very little sweat involved, not a lot of humidity, but all the benefits of the sun! :)

I wrote this song to use with students in a severe profound elementary classroom. I designed a couple of different visuals for this song, but the coolest part is that I added sound effects to illustrate the sounds mentioned in this song.

After hearing the song and seeing pictures of the wind in trees, bees and birds, I asked the students which sound they would like to hear. They could choose any of the three sounds (I had mp3 sounds of all three).

Relating this information to them with the sound effects was very neat! Many of the students were very attentive and interested in the sounds. Several of the students quickly made choices (via picture cards, and using eye gaze, hands, and/or Big Mac switch programmed to answer, "I want to hear that one.").

I left a good amount of space after each spring sound so that visuals could be shown, sound effects could be played, and or signing could be done to represent each item.

I'll post the lyrics below. If you like this song and would like to use it with children and/or students you work with, the song can be downloaded for just $1! Click on the download button under the song and after you log in payment info, an mp3 can be sent to your email inbox. It's that easy!

<a href="">The Sounds of Spring by More with Music</a>

Sounds of Spring

There are many new sounds in the Spring.
And I can hear them all around with my ears.
I can hear the wind in the trees,
And I can hear the busy, busy bees.
I can hear the birds in the trees.

There are many new sounds in the Spring
and I can hear them all around with my ears.
When I hear the wind in the trees,
and the busy,busy bees,
when I hear the birds in the trees I know it's Spring! (Repeat)
© 2010 Amanda Ellis

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hey, Hi, Hello!


I hope your Monday was a good one!

I wanted to post another song I've been working on. I warn's a catchy one!

I love listening to the song, "Soul Sister" by Train. I love how it's upbeat and catchy and how it puts me in a good mood when I hear it. It is definitely one of those songs you energetically sing along with as it plays on the radio.

Every time I heard this song on the radio, I thought to myself, "I want to use this song so the students will get to feel this catchy tune and really feel this song." So, I worked on this over a period of two weeks and decided to use the tune for a song about saying "Hello", and help teach students different times during each day that we say hello.

So, here it is, and I hope you like it.

<a href="">Hey, Hi, Hello by More with Music</a>


Hey, Hi and Hello
are words we use to greet each day. (Repeat)

We say Hey, to our teachers and our friends each day.
We say Hi, to the students that we see in our hallways.
We say Hello to people when we meet them too.

Hey, Hi and Hello
are words we use to greet each day. (Repeat)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lava is Hot!

Here's a song about Lava.
I put this one together to teach the basics about lava.

Lava is hot, lava comes from volcanoes, lava burns everything in its path, and lava burns things and turns them into ash.

Can you "name that tune" that I used for this one? :)
Hope you are having a great week!

<a href="">Lava is Hot, Hot, Hot! by More with Music</a>


Lava is Hot, Hot, Hot!
It's made of hot, melted rock.
It flows out of a volcano,
burns anything in it's path.
It turns everything that it burns-
it turns it into ash.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Three types of Rocks

Here's a song about Rocks.

This song could be used to help introduce and learn about the three types of rocks: Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic. The definitions of each are simple and easy to grasp for the youngest learners.

When using this song, I pair each description with a visual picture of each type of rock. Real examples of different kinds of rocks are very helpful also! Many students retain information well with real life examples. They can see them, touch them, and compare them.

So, here it is, and stay tuned for a song about Lava later this week!

&amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=""&amp;amp;amp;gt;Three Types of Rocks by More with Music&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt;

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Song for Easter!

Easter is just 3 days away and I wanted to share a song I put together for this special day!
Easter has many meanings and representations, but let's face it - Easter is a really fun holiday for kids too! Kids really love decorating Easter eggs, having Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets filled with candy and treats, and friends and family surrounding them.

I found the idea and first few lyrics for this song on a preschool site online. I then tweaked the ending and added the different kinds of candy at the end.

I used this song in three different elementary classroom sessions today (I serve classrooms with children who have severe/profound developmental disabilities). The kids loved it and a lot of them were very involved in choosing what kind of candy they liked.

I designed a power point with a picture of an empty Easter basket on it. After the song is sung the first time, students are asked the question, "What kind of candy do you like?"or "Which type of candy would you put in the basket?" The students then take turns choosing what kinds of candy they like (via picture) and then we drag each picture of each type of candy to go "in" the basket (power point slide is presented on a Promethean board, but could also work on a Smart board).

It's really interesting to observe the students and especially their responses. I observed this song/activity to be very motivating to some students (in terms of participation and communication), due to the fact that the topic was candy. Several students were very intent on their choices and knew exactly which candy they wanted to choose.

<a href="">Easter Bunny, Easter Bunny by More with Music</a>


Easter Bunny, Easter Bunny,
Pink and White
Come fill my basket
with candy that I like.

Chocolate and Skittles
Cadbury Eggs,
Sweet tarts and Jellybeans
and Marshmallow Peeps.

So, this song is free and I hope you find it to be a good one to use around the Easter holiday.

I'd love to hear of your experiences and/or comments about the song!

Feel free to contact me at

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Therapy tools Tuesday

It's Tuesday again, and here's another post about some tools I use in therapy quite often!

The therapy tools I want to share with you today fall in the rhythm instrument category. They are called Chikitas and they are maraca-style shakers. They make a more mellow sound compared to some other shakers I've sampled in the past. They are sold in pairs (for $4.25 here), and come in a variety of bright colors.

I love these chikitas mostly because of their handles and for the fact that they are PERFECT for smaller hands. I work with many students who are working on opening and closing their hands and holding/grasping things with their hands. These chikitas are perfect for that. I've also had great experiences using these chikitas with infants ages 9mos. and up. They are easy to hold and kids love to shake up a storm!

Last week we used these shakers in group sessions (and other rhythm instruments) and had a blast singing, "We're gonna move to the music", which I posted last week. I adapted each verse to sing about individual rhythm instruments the students chose to play (i.e., "We're gonna shake to the music" and "We're gonna listen to the shakers",etc.). The kids had great fun!

I hope your week has started out wonderful. Stay tuned for a song post later this week!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Move to the Beat!

Here's a fun song to get a group moving!

I love to use this song, or Sometimes I like to Clap My Hands after singing a Hello song at the beginning of each session. The students get used to this order and really seem to like the predictability. I adopted this order a couple of years ago and I feel like it really starts the group off with positive and fun energy.

Some of the students I work with are working on performing the basic motions mentioned in this song. Many of them require hand over hand assistance to clap, pat, etc. So to help address the time needed for this, I opted to write this song with repetitive instructions. This gives the student time to see the modeling of each action and perhaps try the movement himself/herself. If more time is needed (in sessions), I do repeat some actions more than others.

This song is also great with higher functioning students also. Many times, after students have had several experiences with this song, I will ask students to show me ways they can move to the beat. Sometimes I ask, "What can we do next?" or "Show me how you move to the beat." The students come up with some pretty neat ideas!

The next step would be to pair this song with instruments and allow students to creatively create a rhythm to go with this song, or the music therapist could go one step further and assign certain instrument groups (drums, shakers, rhythm sticks,etc.) easy rhythms to play.

The lyrics can be tweaked to fit different students and/or instrument turns (i.e. "We're gonna play the drums, you and me. We're gonna play the drums and move to the beat.", or "We're gonna listen to Sarah, you and me. We're gonna listen to Sarah move to the beat.").

&amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=""&amp;amp;amp;gt;Move to the Beat by More with Music&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt;

I hope you are having a good week! If you have any comments or questions, I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Community Helpers

Here's a song about Community Helpers.

I put this one together using a variety of poems and other simple songs that I found on various websites. This one will only be used for educational purposes and feel free to download it for FREE also!

My first goal when working on this song was to come up with a repetitive chorus/tag line that nonverbal students could "sing" with a Big Mac switch. So, after much web surfing, I came up with the chorus, "All around our community, people are helping you and me." This is the repetitive line which students will sing after each community helper is introduced in the song.

This song could easily be used for higher functioning groups and regular ed primary classrooms. I have found that students more readily participate in singing when there is a repetitive tag line or chorus that they can quickly learn.

In this song, the following community helpers are introduced: Firefighter, Policeman, Teacher, Mailman, and Doctor.

I have plans to add more community helpers verses in this song, but for now, here it is!

&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=""&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Community Helpers by More with Music&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here's a song to help you celebrate the day of green!

It's a simple song, but honestly, I haven't found a whole lot of St. Patrick's Day songs out there that aren't too wordy or too long for use in a school setting. So I wrote this one and it will do until something better comes along :).

If you know of any other St. Patrick's Day songs that are cool I'd love to hear about them!

What songs do you like to sing to help celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

<a href="">St. Patrick's Day by More with Music</a>

Shamrocks and 4 leaf clovers too.
Leprechauns with gold and rainbows too.
These are all things that we'll see today,
On St. Patrick's Day!

I will wear something green today.
Today we celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
Green's the only color that can guarantee-
No one will pinch me!

Shamrocks and 4 leaf clovers too.
Leprechauns with gold and rainbows too.
These are all things that we'll see today,
On St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Therapy tools Tuesday

Today's therapy tool will not be an instrument but an accessory that I use daily in sessions!

I work with many students who are nonverbal and use PECS to communicate. PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication System.

PECS is an augmentative communication system developed to help individuals quickly acquire a functional means of communication (Bondy and Frost, 1994). PECS is appropriate for individuals who do not use speech or who may speak with limited effectiveness: those who have articulation or motor planning difficulties, limited communicative partners, lack of initiative in communication, etc.

I use several PECS pictures in sessions, such as: More/Finished, I want, key vocabulary words in songs, Yes/No, instruments, body parts,etc..

The therapy tool I wanted to share is called an acrylic frame (see picture below).

I purchased it at an office supply store for under $5. After purchasing this frame, I cut and inserted a piece of blank white paper to fill the inside with a solid color (any color would be fine). Then, I placed a strip of velcro across the front of the frame. Now my acrylic, self standing frame, was ready to go!

The acrylic frame helps me in sessions by holding (via velcro) PECS symbols at a good visual angle that is readily available for students to access. This frame could also be used as a sentence strip, where the student would complete a sentence with symbols from PECS, (such as: "I want bells." or "I want more."), or to sequence steps in order. With some students, I have also used this frame as a means to visually show them the choices they have made.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! I find these acrylic frames very helpful when using PECS and other symbol systems to communicate with nonverbal learners. What other tools have you found to be helpful in sessions?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I wrote this song to help students learn about the book: Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a non-fiction children's book written by Eleanor Coerr and published in 1977.

The story is of a girl, Sadako Sasaki, who lived in Hiroshima at the time of the atomic bombing. She developed leukemia from the radiation and spent her time in a nursing home folding paper cranes in hope of making a thousand, which supposedly would have allowed her to make one wish, which was to live.

While the song does not include historical dates and other important facts, my goal was to capture the essence of the story and the main theme of the book.

I'd love to hear what you think!

<a href="">Sadako by More with Music</a>

© 2010 Amanda Ellis

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Therapy tools Tuesday

It's Tuesday and time for another Therapy Tools post!
Last week I posted about Wrist Egg Shakers.

This week I want to share about another instrument I use
with students every week. This instrument is called a clatterpillar
and you can find them here.

As advertised, clatterpillars produce a sound like cascading dominoes, and are non-toxic for use by all age levels. They come in assorted colors. I personally LOVE clatterpillars and the plastic version is more acoustic and not unusually loud for a classroom setting.

Clatterpillars are held with both hands, one hand holding each end, and the student then alternates each hand going up and down to make the instrument sound. Many students are very mesmerized by the sound of the clatterpillar. It is a good instrument to address the directions of "up" and "down".

This instrument is also great to use with younger children who play most rhythm instruments at their midline. This is an instrument that can be held at the midline and then manipulated with either hand going up/down.

If I had to describe clatterpillars in one word, it would be intriguing. I can't count the number of times I have used a clatterpillar to help a student regain focus in a session or to increase motivation to participate within a session!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Wash Your Hands

Sometimes we take certain practices for granted. Washing hands is one of those practices we do several times each day. Washing hands is a very important thing for students to learn. The practice of washing hands not only helps keep students' hands clean, but also prevents germs from spreading to additional students, teachers and therapists too!

For many students, learning each step involved in the whole process is a great place to start. The second step is to sequence all those steps in the correct order and then carryout each step of washing their hands. Many students follow a picture schedule to cue them to complete each step.

I hope your week is off to a great start and don't forget to wash your hands! :)

<a href="">Wash Your Hands by More with Music</a>

Washing our hands is something we do everyday.
When our hands are dirty, we wash the dirt away.
After we use the bathroom, and before we eat our food,
We have to wash our hands. It's something we do.

First turn on the water, and get your hands wet.
Next, put some soap on your hands and rub it all around.
Then rinse the soap off, with the water you see.
Don't forget to turn off the water. Save some for you and me.
Then get a paper towel. It's time to dry your hands.
When you're finished with your paper towel, put it in the trashcan.

Washing our hands is something we do everyday.
When our hands are dirty, we wash the dirt away.
After we use the bathroom, and before we eat our food,
We have to wash our hands. It's something we do.

© 2010 Amanda Ellis

Monday, March 1, 2010

Therapy tools Tuesday

Starting today, I have decided to post about various tools that I love to use as a music therapist. I'm going to call it "Therapy Tools Tuesday", for lack of a better, more cool title. :) These tools include instruments, CDs, totes, storage bins, and in general, anything that I feel helps me get through a day in my life as a music therapist.

My very first Therapy tool post will be about a pair of great shakers called Wrist Egg Shakers.

I recently purchased them here, and have found them to be very useful with the populations I serve (students that have difficulty grasping and holding instruments, or students who have difficulty holding objects and moving them without dropping them).

They are also handy to use with students who can use shakers well, but have a history of throwing them. You can easily place them in the palm of their hands and velcro around the back of their hands.

The wrist egg shakers are sold in pairs and are made from a durable nylon strap with velcro for securing it to the wrist. I have found them to be extremely durable and easy to clean with clorox wipes. That's an automatic plus in my opinion!

These wrist egg shakers are currently $4.75/pair so I highly recommend that you check them out!

Feel free to comment and share your therapy tools too!

We all have Favorites

We all have favorites. All children and students also have favorites.

I wrote this song to encourage students to share their favorites. It is a great song to motivate them to socialize within their groups and really get to know one another.

This song can be used and adapted for a variety of age groups and populations.
I designed visual aids to use with this song.

I designed power point slides and printed out each slide as a separate picture, (see above picture). This helps to give each student a visual cue when you ask them questions, such as, "What is your favorite color? What is your favorite sport?",etc.. Many students that cannot verbally communicate will point to, or use eye gaze to look at a picture on the visuals, and thus communicate something about themselves.

What other songs or activities do you like to use to encourage socialization within a group of students? I'd love to hear about them!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at

<a href="">We all have Favorites by More with Music</a>

Here are the lyrics:
A favorite is something I like a lot.
It can be anything.
A favorite color, a favorite food, a favorite person, place or thing.
We all favorites. This is true.
It's okay if they're not the same.

A favorite is something I like a lot.
It can be anything.
A favorite color, a favorite food, a favorite person, place or thing.

© 2010 Amanda Ellis

The Five Senses

The five senses...we use them everyday, for so many things!

A teacher requested a simple song about the five senses to help her students review the function of each sense. I decided to leave it pretty unspecific (in terms of what you could see, smell, hear, etc.). These could easily be added to the song, however, this specific classroom started with identifying each of the five senses and their functions.

So, here it is!

<a href="">The Five Senses by More with Music</a>

I Have Five Senses
I have five senses.
I use them everyday.
I have five senses, helping me each and everyday.

I use my eyes to see.
I use my ears to hear.
I use my nose to smell.
I use my tongue to taste.
I use my hands to touch things.

I have five senses.
I use them everyday.
I have five senses, helping me each and everyday.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Be Healthy!

The Winter Olympics are in full swing and I enjoy tuning in each night to see all of the events. I have to say that my favorite is figure skating, but I enjoy watching all of the events.

Many teachers are incorporating the Olympics theme within their classrooms. Several classrooms I know of are studying topics such as Eating Healthy, the Human Body, the 5 Senses, and Exercise within their Olympic theme.

Here's a song that combines a few of the above mentioned topics all in one. In order to be healthy, you need to eat right, sleep right, and exercise. I wrote this song with a repeating tag line ("Eat right, sleep right, and exercise"), that can easily be recorded on a BigMac switch or on another voice output device. This way, students who are nonverbal or have delays in speech, can participate in singing the song too.

Hope you're having a great week so far. Stay tuned for a song about the 5 Senses!
<a href="">Eat right, Sleep right, &amp; Exercise by More with Music</a>

© 2010 Amanda Ellis

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Heart Stands for Love

The end of the week was very busy for me, so I didn't get around to posting on Thursday like I had intended to do. Valentine's Day is only 5 days away, so without further delay, I wanted to share another song I use for the Valentine's theme.

While brainstorming songs for this holiday focusing on hearts, love, and friendship, I thought about some of my youngest groups of children I work with each week. Some of these children are working on identifying basic shapes, so I decided to write this song and concentrate on the heart shape and explain what it stands for.

I love visuals (if you hadn't figured that out yet ;), so I made a little adapted book to go along with this song. I wish I had pictures of the book to share, but I'll put it on my list and post pictures of the book in the near future.

Basically, I printed out the words (each sentence is one page), and then represented key words with Boardmaker pictures (Heart, Love, Family, Friends, I love you).
For some of the more advanced students (pre-readers and up), we also work on matching pictures to words with the Boardmaker pictures).

<a href="">A Heart Stands for Love by More with Music</a>

Here is a shape and it stands for Love
This shape is called a Heart. (Repeat)

We give hearts to the people in our family.

We give hearts to our teachers and friends.

Valentine's Day is a special day when we say,
"I love you" to all of them.


© 2010 Amanda Ellis

What are your favorite songs to use for teaching about Valentine's Day?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Love is a Circle

Hello there!

There are only 11 days until Valentine's Day, so I thought I'd better post some songs about Valentine's and Love before I miss my chance!

Today's post is a song about love. I found the words for this song on a preschool teaching site and instantly knew I wanted to use it for a movement song with scarves! So I added my own tune (anyone recognize the tune? :)), and voila - I can't wait to do this song tomorrow with the kiddos!

I plan on using Valentine's colors of scarves (red, pink, white, purple) and concentrate on moving the scarves in the directions mentioned in the song. (around, up and down, hide scarf inside hands and then let out, and around again).
Another way you could use this song is for students to have something with a heart on it (popsicle stick with heart taped/glued to the top of it) and model the directions for students to follow with their hearts. You could also do this with students holding paper hearts also (I recommend laminating them so you can reuse them with each group/class, etc. and for the next year also).

Here's the song:
<a href="">Love is a Circle by More with Music</a>

© 2010 Amanda Ellis

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post: "A Heart Stands for Love"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tell me, Show me

It's a cold and rainy day here in NC. Schools are back in session after a snowy and icy weekend.

I recently received an email from a very nice lady named Shelly, who wrote to me from her home in the UK. She asked for a song that would help motivate her students to make choices (of rhythm instruments, favorite songs, games) in the classroom.

This song could be used for many settings (school, home, therapy). Initially, I started writing it to focus on what rhythm instrument a child might want to play. But then I thought about it, and decided to make it more about a child choosing something he/she wants to play. It could be a rhythm instrument, a toy, a book, a ball, a sensory toy, etc.

<a href="">Tell me, Show me by More with Music</a>

Here are the lyrics. I hope you are having a great week!

Tell me, Show me
What would you like to play today?
Tell me, Show me
What would you like to play?

Can you tell me with your words?
Tell me what you'd like to play today.

Can you tell me with your pictures?
Show me which one you want to play today.

Can you tell me with your eyes?
Look at the one you'd like to play today.

Tell me, Show me.
What would you like to play today?
Tell me or show me.
What would you like to play?

© 2010 Amanda Ellis

Monday, February 1, 2010

Up, Up to the Attic

Here's a song that was very challenging for me to write!

It is a song about Anne Frank. While I realize I didn't capture ALL that history tells us about Anne Frank, (I left out any traumatic themes), I picked certain parts of the story and summarized them within this song.

I thought I would also share a "movie" that I created to go along with the song. I made the movie with Windows Movie Maker and use it (and the pictures within it), solely for educational purposes.

So, here it is, "Up, Up, to the Attic"
I hope you enjoy it!


Living and Non-Living Things

Well, it's the first day of February, and I have a song to share.
It's not a very long song, but it is a catchy one! :)

I wrote this song to help teach students the difference between living and non-living things. Basically, all living things breath air, move, grow, and need food (of some kind), and water. Non-living things do not need air, food, or water and cannot move by themselves.

I use visual aids with this song. I have different pictures of items (i.e. a chair, a kitten, a cd, a puppy, etc.). After singing the song, I ask, "Does the chair need food and water?", or "Does the kitten grow?". This facilitates yes/no questions within a group very well.

Stay tuned for another post soon! I'll be sharing a song that was very challenging for me to write!

If you have any questions or comments, or would like to share a thought or two, please feel free to email me at:

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I dress for the Weather

Here's another song I wrote to go along with the theme of Winter.

This song is about clothing you need to wear when it is cold outside. Some children have a hard time with seasonal weather changes and the different clothes they have to wear. I have worked with a few children who have a hard time with this, mainly because they have a hard time getting used to the sensory aspect of wearing pants, wearing long sleeves, wearing a hat on their head, etc., after a long summer of t-shirts and shorts.

One way I recommend using this song is to have pictures of each clothing item and/or the real clothing items. Let the child find each item (from a box or basket) and point to where the clothing will go.

I also made a powerpoint to show visuals of this song (hat, jacket, scarf, gloves) and with each slide I ask (older groups), "What is this?" "Where does it go?" Then I sing each phrase and the students point to each body part as we sing.

Another idea would be to hand out the actual clothing items to students in a group (or pictures of the items) and sing the song. Sing the first part of the song and after singing, "I'll wear a hat on my head", substitute the following words in the song, "Who has the hat?". Allow students to say, "I do" (if they are nonverbal, with a voice output switch,etc.) and they can come up and give the hat to you. (Another fun idea would be for a classroom assistant or teacher to put the items on :)).

<a href="">I dress for the Weather by More with Music</a>


It's cold outside, the temperatures are low.
It's time to get ready to go.
What will I need to wear to stay warm?
I dress for the weather, you know.

I'll wear a hat on my head.
A hat will help me stay warm.
~I'll wear a jacket and zip it up all the way
~I'll wear a scarf around my neck
~I'll wear gloves on my hands

It's cold outside, the temperatures are low.
It's time to get ready to go.
I know what I need to wear to stay warm.
I dress for the weather, you know.

© 2010 Amanda Ellis