Monday, June 27, 2011

A new way to follow...

Did you know there's a new way to follow More with Music?

Blogger recently added a feature where you can enter your email address and each time a new post occurs on More with Music, that post will be emailed directly to you!

A few readers have already shared they like this feature because at their workplaces they can keep up with their email and blog posts in one place.

If you're interested in signing up for email updates, just look for the Email sign up to the right of the screen and enter your email address. Each new blog post will be instantly emailed to you.

This is what the Email sign up looks like:

Happy blog reading!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Keep Walking

Yesterday I posted a song called, "Keep Walking". If you missed the post and the song, you can scroll down below and catch it there! :)

Today, I'm sharing the song sheet for that particular song. If you're interested in playing the chords for this song, you will need to make sure you have a capo before you start. For this song, the capo is placed on the first fret of the guitar.

If you have any questions about the song, capo,etc. please feel free to leave a comment below or email me at

Hope you've had a great weekend and stay tuned for more posts this week!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Keep Walking

We all use music for different reasons.

Some of us use music to calm down and de-stress. Some of us use music to motivate us and get us going. Some of us use music throughout the day for a variety of situations.

When we use music to motivate us and get us going, it can be a great distraction. If you listen to music while you do any kind of exercise, you've experienced that the music can be a great distraction from the exercising itself (and all the heavy breathing, stretching, and pains involved). Music distracts us from concentrating on the negative and invites us to keep up with the beat. It moves us through that period of time and gets us to the next step.

Today's post focuses on walking. I wrote this song to motivate some students in a high school classroom with special learners. As part of their adapted physical education, they walk around the track or inside the gym each day. They participate in stretches and numerous team building games as well, but they always do their walking first.

Of course, the tempo of this song could be adapted to whatever pace your students can maintain. I'd love to hear what you think. Feel free to leave a comment below!

I'll post the song sheet for this song tomorrow. If you have any questions please email me at

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dinosaurs Song Sheet

Yesterday, I posted my song about Dinosaurs. If you didn't catch it, just scroll down below and it's there!

Today I'd like to share the song sheet that goes along with it. The guitar chords (or piano chords-whatever you might play), are written above the lyrics of the chorus. This chord progression is the same throughout the whole song, so in a way, it makes it easier once you get it down.

I hope you all have had a great week and TGIF!!!

If you happen to have any song requests or have any questions, please email me at

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Do you know your Dinosaurs?

I'm sure we all know about the mighty T-Rex, and possibly the brontosaurus too, but what about the other ones?

This song is very simple and covers the basic dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brontosaurus, Pteranodon, Stegosaurus, and the Triceratops.

Many teachers teach about the dinosaurs by talking about what each one ate, and their physical characteristics. So, I put that in the song as well.

I will post the song sheet for this song later this week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hi Ho Song Sheet

This morning I received an email from a music therapist who wanted the lyrics to the Hi Ho, It's music time, you know song I posted the other day.

So, I thought I would post the song sheet here also in hopes of helping someone else out today.

If you would like to receive this song sheet via email, just email me at and I'll email the attachment right back to you.

Hope you're having a great day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Welcome back!
Earlier this past spring, I spent a lot of time searching for and creating songs to help students learn about their bodies and the various systems their bodies use each and every day.

Today's post is about the digestion system. This song will not cover every little detail involved in digestion, so it will in no way prepare anyone for med school. :) However, it does cover the basics of what we do with the food in our mouths, the important places it goes, etc.. Consider it an introductory song about digestion and add as much or as little as you like to it!

If you would like a copy of the lyrics of this song, please email me at

Once again, thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you are having a great week so far!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hi, Ho, It's music time you know!

Hi Ho!
Here's a song that you can use with groups that have a variety of ages. I think this song would be more ideal and appropriate for younger children, but I can think of a couple of ways it could be adapted to fit older groups as well.

The tune of this song is a well known tune from the movie Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs.
When writing/adapting the lyrics for this song, my goal was to come up with a song that I could use to get a group of children listening and at the same time, moving in different ways. I call it an action song.

Towards the end of the song, I purposely have everyone sitting down on the ground, so that the transition into the next activity/song is a little easier.

What other actions would you add to this song?

What songs do you like to use to get everyone moving in your sessions?

Feel free to leave a comment below, and if you would like the lyrics to this song, please email me at

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

When things go stale, part 2

On Wednesday, I posted a question a blog reader emailed to me. This post will be part 2 of that post. (If you missed this post, please click here).

So, how do you keep things(songs, interventions, activities,etc.), from going "stale"? How do we know when to switch things up to further benefit a student? How do we keep things fun and motivating?

Well, the definition of music therapy itself is a great place to start!

"Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program."

I think the most important thing we have to remember as music therapists, is to keep our songs, interventions and activities goal-oriented. When we strive to be goal-oriented, we design sessions in which more data can be taken. Evidence-based sessions show us what is working and what we need to adjust. Sometimes, adjusting ourselves for our students/clients can seem very challenging!

When I'm writing songs and planning for music therapy sessions with a student and/or group of individuals I ask myself these questions first:

1. What do I want them to do?
(Here you can address their goal: Will the person/group say something, move a certain way, identify something within the song, be exposed to new information and learn the vocabulary,etc.)
2. What do they need to learn?
(i.e. What do their non musical goals consist of? How many times do they have to demonstrate something to show proof of mastery of their goal?)
3. What have I observed that works with him/her,(them)?
(This could include styles of music, tempos, instrumentations, favorite music artists, favorite instruments, tolerance for certain instruments, styles of favorite songs, etc.).
4. How am I going to get them to "buy in"? What will "attract" them to this song?
(i.e. Will there be a catchy, repetitive chorus, will there be gross/fine motor movements to go along with the song, will there be instruments for certain parts of this song, will I use/design a visual aide to capture their attention,etc.).

What other ideas do you have? What helps you plan sessions that are goal-oriented?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When things go stale

It's been two weeks since my last post, and I'm very happy that with the onset of summer break, I'll have more time to post here on More with Music!

This past year, I have received several emails from a couple of readers who have asked some great questions. One of the readers is a practicing music therapist (like myself), and another one is currently studying to be a music therapist in a music therapy program on the west coast.

One of the great questions the student reader had for me was,
"When working with the same students (over the course of 1 or more years), how do you keep your songs, music therapy interventions and activities from going stale?"

First of all, I knew exactly what the reader meant when she asked this question. It is definitely something to think about!

So, the definition for stale is:

Having lost freshness, effervescence, or palatability; Lacking originality or spontaneity; Impaired in efficacy, vigor, or spirit, as from inactivity or boredom; Law Having lost effectiveness or force through lack of exercise or action.

Each and every music therapist has their own favorite songs and activities he/she likes to do when working with various clients (i.e. various disabilities, age groups, 1:1 sessions, group sessions,etc.). Sometimes this includes an upbeat hello song or name song, opening song (ice breaker), or maybe even a song the therapist chooses because the participants will be more likely to sing along.

If you choose to establish a routine like this, normally the students and/or clients become oriented to this routine and get comfortable within it. They can predict most of what you will be doing and this gives many of them feelings of safety and trust.

But how do you know when to switch things up?

I'd love to hear your thoughts! I will be answering this question from my point of view in tomorrow's post, so stay tuned!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Music Therapist...

What walks,
wears a smile,
has patience,
musical skill and talent
and celebrates the smallest accomplishments?

A Music Therapist!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Music Therapists and Cartoons

Music Therapists and cartoons...where could I possibly be going with this one???

Well, the other day, after finishing a music therapy session with a group of students, a teacher asked me a (very important) question.

"Why do you sing a "Hello" and "Goodbye" song in every session?"

I really like it when people ask questions like that because it lets me know how much they understand about music therapy. It also lets me know how much work I have to do in terms of educating them about the how and why's of what we do.

So, why do most music therapists incorporate a "Hello" and "Goodbye" song in every session?

Well, there are many reasons!
First of all, many students have goals relating to responding to their name, responding verbally to a greeting, and being aware of those around them (of course, there are many more goals that could be added here).

A "Hello" song directly targets these goals!

Secondly, a "Hello" song sets the tone for every session. It sets a standard familiarity at the beginning of each session and let's everyone know that the session is starting.
A "Goodbye" song helps bring closure and an end to the session. It's a way of regrouping at the end and validating the participants.

How do we know this works in a real world context?

Well, if you think about it, cartoons all have a theme song.
It's the song that represents each specific cartoon and plays at the beginning and end of each episode. The theme song lets you know the show is about to begin and also previews the characters in the cartoon. There is a beginning and an end. And children (of all ages) definitely respond to them!

How many of you remember the theme songs from your favorite childhood cartoons?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

When Summer come it's Hot, Hot, Hot!

Summer weather is here, even if the first official day of summer is June 21st!

A blog reader emailed and asked if I had any songs about summer and the weather, summer activities,etc.. So, I will share this song that I have shared before, just in case any of you out there have not heard it yet.

I use this song at the end of the school year as well as at the beginning of the school year (up until the first day of the Fall season). It's catchy and the verbal students almost instantly catch onto the repeating phrase, "It's Hot, Hot, Hot!". For nonverbal students, I use a voice output device so they can also sing along on the repetitive phrase.

It's a great song to use if you want to prompt discussion about summer and ask students questions about their summer plans, summer safety, upcoming vacations,etc..

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.