Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Way up High in the Apple Tree

Welcome back to More with Music!
As mentioned in yesterday's post, today I'm sharing a song about apples!

As I searched the web in early September, I found that there are many songs about apples.  I knew I wanted to incorporate a counting aspect within a song and I specifically wanted to incorporate apples at the beginning of the fall season.  As I searched and brainstormed, I came across a poem I've read many times before.  The author is unknown.

Way up high in an apple tree
Two little apples smiled at me.
I shook that tree as hard as I could.
Down came two apples.  Mmmm, they were good!

I really liked this poem and found many versions of it.  Many students I work with are working on rote counting and 1:1 correspondence.  I decided to approach this song with that in mind.  I also added a jazzy feel to it to give it some variety.  

When using this song, I give the students egg shakers.  We use one hand to count apples (1-5) and with each verse, we count and show how many apples are in the tree.  Then, at the end of each verse, we "shake" the apples.  The students have really enjoyed this one and I've enjoyed hearing several students really get in to the jazzy sound of it.

As always, thanks for stopping by!  Have a great week!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A song for November

Welcome back to More with Music!

Fall is in full swing around here.  The leaves are changing colors and painting beautiful pictures each day.
November is that lucky month before December and all of its holidays.  We "fall back" at the beginning of the month and enjoy the extra hour of sleep.  Veterans Day occurs in November, and reminds us of the many things we should be thankful for during this season.
November is also the month when we think about family and close friends as we gather for Thanksgiving towards the end of the month.  Today I'm sharing a song about November.

As I've shared before, I use boardmaker pictures to represent each holiday, season, or special day mentioned in each song of the month.  I like to display the pictures in the order they occur in the song (and during the month).  I've found this to be a great way to display the pictures when I want to assess what pictures the students recognize also.  I can hold out the card for November and ask, "Where is Election Day?" or "Show me Thanksgiving".  Many students can successfully the pictures as well!
As the picture shows below, for the November song I use a picture for the time change, Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving.

What are your favorite songs for the fall?
As always, thanks for stopping by!
Stay tuned for a catchy tune about apples tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Plenty of Pumpkin

Welcome back to More with Music!
In my last post, I shared a song called, "Pumpkin Pie".  Today I'm sharing three more songs about pumpkins.  The best part--one of the songs is FREE!  :)

In the classrooms I work in, we sing about pumpkins during October and November.
When we talk about carving pumpkins, it's a great time to talk about shapes.  Students can learn to identify basic shapes like circle, square and triangle in order to make a jack-o-lantern.  Students can also learn to sort pumpkins by size.  Some are big, some are small, some are short, and some are tall.

Today I'm sharing the following songs about pumpkins:

This one is FREE!  Just click "download" to get this song today!

What are your favorite songs about pumpkins?
Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more song posts!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pumpkin, Pumpkin Pie!

Welcome back to More with Music!

Today's song post is about something we all see during the months of October and November-pumpkins!
Specifically, the song is about making pumpkin pie (Yum!).

I always have a lot of fun with this song and the students really enjoy it as well!

I have found this song to be a great one to use when practicing sequencing skills.  After introducing this song, you can ask questions like, "What happened first?", "What happened next?", etc..
You can also use pictures to represent each step in the sequence of this song and students can work to sequence the pictures in the correct order.

Isn't it catchy?  I have had this song in my head every afternoon this week!  :)

In some of the classrooms I work in, we also (with help from the students), made up hand signs for each step (i.e. "pick" the pumpkin from the patch, "carve/cut" the pumpkin, "mix" pumpkin, "put" it in oven", point to watch for "put it in the oven and you wait", "chew" the pumpkin,etc.)  The students really enjoy acting this one out and they request it year round! :)  I love incorporating hand signs/gestures because it really motivates the kinesthetic learners.

As always, thanks for stopping by!  Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The 5 W's

Welcome back to More with Music!

Today's post is a song post about the 5 W's:  Who, What, When, Where and Why.
Many students learn these words as words that ask questions.  These words are also focused on when teachers are working with students to increase their reading comprehension.  Language Arts is a subject area where I sometimes find it hard to write songs to help teach different concepts.  I decided to focus more on this subject this year and try to write more songs to help teachers and therapists help their students learn.

I have been singing this song with many classrooms this past month and I warn you---it's catchy!
Several teachers and teaching assistants commented that they catch themselves singing this song in their car, while cooking dinner, while in line at the grocery store, etc..  Once you hear it, it's hard to get it out of your head!
The students have also been loving this one.  They love anything with a beat!  We've been holding up 5 fingers, counting the 5 W's along with the song and singing each word as well (who, what, when, where, why).

Thanks for stopping by!
If you have any questions, you can leave a comment below or you can email me at morewithmusic@gmail.com
Have a great week!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Motivating Monday

Welcome back to More with Music!

Today I'm sharing a song that I heard via another blog (http://kidzorg.blogspot.com).  

When I listened to this song, I thought the lyrics were so appropriate for any parent, teacher, music therapist,etc.. who works with people with disabilities.  In spite of the many limitations and disabilities these individuals have, they are truly "one in a million" and inspire us everyday.  
How have I never heard this song until today?

I hope all of you have a great week!
As always, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

September Song

Welcome back to More with Music!

School has been in full swing for several weeks now and I'm finally carving out some time to post on More with Music!

Today I'm posting my song for the month of September.  I use a song of the month song as part of my group music therapy sessions in many classrooms.  I design visuals to go along with each song and incorporate Boardmaker pictures to provide a visual for each holiday, season, special day, etc.. The students are always eager to see what each new month will bring!

For the September song, I included the number of the month (this helps tremendously when teaching students to write the date in numbers, such as 09/01/13), Labor Day, and the change of seasons from summer to fall.

Thanks again for stopping by!
Have a great weekend!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Calendar Songs

Welcome back to More with Music!

I hope you are having a great summer and hopefully finding some downtime to rest and relax.  I've been working on songs here and there and am starting to put a few new songs down on paper for the upcoming school year.

To help make life easier for the upcoming school year, I recently recorded songs for each month to help with calendar skills.  I got the idea for doing songs for each month from the amazingly talented music therapist (and new mom!), Rachel Rambach.  Click here to visit Rachel's site and hear her wonderful songs as well!  I love reading Rachel's blog and love listening to her songs even more.  Her ideas are super creative and smart and she inspires me to think of so many additional ideas.

Today I'm posting my song for the month of August.  Around here, the students go back to school in mid- to late August, so I wrote the song to reflect that.  Most of the schools in my area (other than a few private schools), have also implemented a uniform for school, so I included that in the song as well.

Each month I will be posting a song of the month.  I use these songs as part of my group sessions in classrooms.  I design visuals to go along with each song and incorporate Boardmaker pictures to provide a visual for each holiday, special day, etc..  The students are always eager to see what each new month will bring!

Do you need songs to help with your lessons for the upcoming school year?  Email me at morewithmusic@gmail.com with your song request and your song request could be featured here on More with Music!

As always, thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Don't forget the kangaroo!

Welcome back to More with Music!

I'm really enjoying the less hectic schedule of my summer break.  I'm also enjoying the nice emails I have received this week regarding my song posts here on More with Music!  Thank you to all of you who read and listen to my blog posts!

Today's post is another song post (yes!).  I'm sure you're wondering about the title of this blog post.  It is rather unusual :).
The title, "Don't forget the kangaroo", is actually a sneak peak at some of the lyrics for today's song entitled, "Vertebrates".

Students learn about all kinds of animals and their classifications in the classroom.  They learn that some animals are mammals, some are vertebrates, and some are reptiles.  Vertebrates are animals(and humans), that have at least one thing in common - they all have a backbone.

This song mentions many animals that are classified as vertebrates including:  fish, birds, alligators, monkeys, gorillas, tigers, whales, dolphins, mice, kangaroo and...you!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Around the Seasons, part 2

Welcome back to More with Music!

Yesterday, I posted about a song that is about the four seasons called, "Around the Seasons".  If you missed that post, you can scroll down, or click here.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I used SMART Notebook software to create an interactive resource for teachers to use with their students.

To begin, I created a page for each season.  I also split up the song into specific seasons and inserted each song into its corresponding season page.  I then used Boardmaker software pictures to represent key words mentioned in the song for each season.  (Some of these pictures had to be imported due to the fact that I don't always find what I'm looking for when making picture cards with Boardmaker.)  I "cloned" each picture so that as students touch them, they can move them across the smart board screen.  Lastly, I created empty "boxes" to serve as "answer spaces", where students will drag their pictures.
Students first listen to the song, and then try to recall what they heard and which pictures are associated with that specific season.  The students can come up to the SMART board to touch and drag their answers to the empty boxes on top.

Many teachers reported that this was a great tool to assess their students individually, in terms of what they chose when they come up to the board.  A teacher can select a student to choose the answers they think are correct, and then review why their answers are right or wrong.  After that, the teacher can play the song again (see the speaker icon on the left side of the pic?), and students can be involved in checking their answers.  And since each season has its own page, specific seasons can be reviewed daily, if needed, for repetition in a fun way---with music!

As always, thanks for stopping by!  If you have any questions please email me at morewithmusic@gmail.com.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Around the Seasons

Welcome back to More with Music!

Today I'm sharing a song that I have shared before.  The teachers that I work with use this song quite often, and especially when there is a season change.

We all know and observe many different things associated with each season.  Some students have a very difficult time transitioning from one season to another.
For example, in the summer, we wear less clothes/lighter clothes.  Then in the fall and winter seasons, we wear long sleeves, sweaters and/or coats.  Many times students have sensory issues with different kinds of clothes and layers, and it takes time for them to transition.  With repetition, we try to teach them that we dress according to the weather and that certain seasons are usually associated with certain types of weather.

I wrote this song with the above information in mind.

I also created an interactive resource using SMART Notebook software, that provides visual and auditory support using this song.

Stop by tomorrow for Around the Seasons part 2, and learn more about how teachers incorporate this song with their SMART boards!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Opposites are different

Welcome back to More with Music!

Summer seems to be flying by around here.  That's usually the case when you take a vacation or have time off.  I've been working my way down my list of songs to share here on More with Music.  Today's song post is about opposites.

Opposites are different!  If you think about it, young students work on matching and finding the same with many kinds of manipulatives.  Then we work on finding things that are different (i.e. sorting different colors, different textures, different sizes, different animals, etc..).  Then we have opposites, which are different, but an extension of "different".  Sometimes opposites are more abstract to some students.  So, I wrote a song to help introduce opposites to students and included several examples.

I recommend singing the song first and introducing it to the students.  Then you could use/hand out picture cards with the words on them.  If working with a group, you can divide the students into partners ahead of time or just randomly pass out the cards.  If randomly passed out, the students have to find the "opposite" to their card and pair up with that person.  You sing the song and when you come to one pair sing, "You say..."(and one person calls out their card), and you say, "...(and the other person calls out the other card).  It's a good way to give everyone a turn within their pairs.
If you are workingn 1:1 with a student, you can ask the student to find the opposite to any given card or ask them to find the opposite from a field of 3 or 4 cards (once they get the hang of it).  Then you could even let them match all of the opposites and then sing the song and let the student decide the order of opposites they are going to sing.  The possibilities are endless!

What songs do you use to help students learn opposites?
As always, thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Counting by 2's

Welcome back to More with Music!

Today I'm sharing a song to help students with a skip counting and specifically skip counting by 2's.
Skip counting helps us count groups of things quickly.  Skip counting also sets a great foundation for when we do repeated addition, which happens when we do multiplication.
I have seen several ways to help students learn to skip count.  Some of those include number lines on their desks, beads on a string across their desk, using an abacus, using a 100's board, and even using a large number line taped on the classroom floor.  These are all great tools.  I personally love the large number line on the floor because of the way the students become engaged stepping and skipping from number to number.  I think it's a great way for the kinesthetic learners in the classroom to grasp the concept quickly.

I wrote a song called, "Counting by 2's" to help introduce the concept of skip counting by 2's.  When first learning to count by 2's, the main concept a student needs to grasp is instead of rote counting, they are starting with one number and then skipping over the next.

Do you need a song to help introduce a concept to your students?  I would love to help!  Email me at morewithmusic@gmail.com and share your topic or concept request.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Winding down the Wiggles

Welcome back to More with Music!
I hope you are enjoying the summer.
Today's post is a song share is in response to a question I received from a reader here on More with Music.

Anne W. recently wrote,
"I'm a preschool teacher with many years of experience.  I love singing songs and using music in my classroom with the students.  At times, especially with the mix of students I had this past school year, I had a time getting all the students to specific groups like circle time, reading time, etc..  Once I get them all to the designated area in my classroom, many of the students have the "wiggles", and a few students take a few moments to transition into the group activity.  Do you know of any songs to help with this?  I'm looking for a "standard" I can do each day to signal this group activity beginning.  Thanks!"

I love that Anne already uses music in her classroom and sings with her students!  It sounds like transitions are the most challenging n her classroom, and with preschool students, this is totally normal.  There are many reasons for this, (which I won't list here today), but the truth of the matter is that preschoolers wiggle...A LOT!  But, they can also sit and listen.

To be really successful with preschoolers , also known as "wigglers", you have to find ways for them to get their wiggles out.  Simple songs involving clapping, patting, stomping, jumping, and/or stretching,etc..  are all great ideas to do BEFORE you ask them to sit down and listen.

After getting most of their wiggles out (are they ever completely out of wiggles?!?!), you can use a song to help transition them to a more quiet, focused group activity.  One song I have heard for many years is called "Time to Listen".  It's a perfect song to help little ones calm down while reviewing some rules of circle time.  I do not know who wrote this song, but I have seen it shared several times on preschool sites online.

Since I didn't write this song, I'm posting this song as a free download.  All you have to do is click on "download" and you will quickly be on your way to having the song to use with your very own wigglers!

Do you need a songs for your classroom or certain transitions within your classroom?
Request songs specific to your classroom needs and topics by sending an email to me at morewithmusic@gmail.com.

As always, thanks for stopping by!  Have a great week!

Friday, June 28, 2013

In Case of an Emergency...

Welcome back to More with Music!

I'm working my way through my list of songs that I want to share.  Many of the songs were written and recorded this past school year and I'm so glad I have the time over summer break to share them with all of the readers here!

The song post for today has to do with emergencies.  There are so many things parents and teachers try to teach students about emergencies.  There are also so many (too many actually!), different kinds of emergencies.  While there are basic safety rules to follow during emergencies, many parents and teachers teach students early on to use a phone and dial 9-1-1.

Dialing 9-1-1 is precisely what today's song is all about!  The main idea of the song (which is repeated) is the phone number itself.  I also included other details and instructions associated with calling 9-1-1.
The instructions include:
Stay with the injured person
Tell the operator your name
Tell the operator your address (where you are)
Follow directions
Listen closely
Stay calm
Don't hang up-stay on the line

I hope you have a great weekend and stop back soon!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

~ Energy Travels in Waves ~

Welcome back to More with Music!

Today I am sharing a song that helps teach students about energy and different types of waves.  The four types of waves in this song are ocean waves, light waves, sound waves and seismic waves.

This a great song to use with students when introducing wave types, as it gives examples and brief descriptions of each wave type.  Many students enjoy "doing the wave" (they have probably seen this done at football, baseball, and basketball stadiums), and you can incorporate this each time the chorus is sung.  Students can make a wave motion with their arms and then students can "pass" the wave to other students.

The chorus of the song can also be recorded into a voice output device (BigMac,etc.), so that a student who is nonverbal can participate in the song as well.

I hope you are enjoying the summer.  Having free time is fabulous in my neck of the woods. :)
Have a great weekend and be sure to stop by next week for another song post!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hands on the Drum

Welcome back to More with Music!

I've really been looking forward to sharing today's song post!
The song is called "Hands on the Drum", and it's a song that I've been tweaking and singing in my head for awhile.

It's a very simple song that could help students (1:1 or within a group), work on following directions while playing a drum in different ways.  There are three different ways of playing a drum in this song:  playing to the beat with hands, rubbing the drum with hands, and tapping the drum with fingers.

The first way of playing the drum involves listening and patting to the beat on the drum.
The second way involves rubbing the drum with the hand.  Many students really enjoy rubbing a drum due to the sensory feedback they get from the drum head.
The third way involves isolating fingers to tap the drum.  This way is also a great for students working on finger dexterity.  This can be done with one to two fingers walking across the drum or using all fingers to crawl across the drum.

I kept the lyrics for this song really simple and incorporated a variety of strumming, finger-picking,etc., to musically reflect the hand movements of each part.

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Plants Have 4 Parts

Welcome back to More with Music!

I've been working on several songs lately and can't wait to share them here on More with Music!
One song I've been meaning to share (and recently added some extras to), is about plants.
This song helps students learn the four basic parts of a plant:  the roots, stem, leaves, and flower.

When I sing this song with students, I incorporate the counting aspect of the song to motivate the students to participate. With younger students, we use our fingers to count while we sing the song. With older students, we sing each number, and I pause after each number to highlight the counting. Using a pause in the music is a great idea if you want to assess and motivate a student participating in an academic skill such as counting, labeling, spelling,etc..

I highly recommend using a visual with this song.  The students learn so much when music and academic information is paired with a visual that they can see and touch.  If you don't want to use a real plant as an example, you can use an artificial plant or a picture of a real plant as well.

As always, thanks for stopping by!  Stay tuned for more song posts this summer!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What is Climate?

Welcome back to More with Music!

Lately, I've been going through all of my songs that I've written and I've started a list of songs to share this summer here on More with Music.

Today's song share is one that has to do with weather.  I call this song "Climate song"  and it helps students understand more about climate.  Mark Twain is quoted for saying, "Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.".  I think this quote is a wonderful way to explain climate to students.

When we travel and go to different places around the world, we expect certain types of weather from certain places, during certain times of the year.  We depend on this kind of information when we pack for our trips.  Sometimes we are prepared and sometimes we are surprised.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Stay tuned for additional songs over the summer.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer is Hot!

Welcome back to More with Music!

Summer break is here and another school year has come to an end.  I love working with all the students each year, but I also look forward to having the summer off and getting a break from my normal daily schedule.

Even though summer doesn't officially start until June 21st, I sing about summer with students the last few weeks of school each year.  We talk about summer weather, activities, foods,etc.. One of their favorite songs about summer is  "Summer is Hot, Hot, Hot!".

Within this song, many summer vocabulary words and conversation starters are included.
Some key words in the song are:  summer, hot, sunscreen, sunglasses, popsicles, ice cream, seashells, seashore, swimming, fishing, sailing

To sing this song, I first assign students the repeating phrase, "It's Hot, Hot, Hot".  For students who are nonverbal, I record this repeating phrase on a BigMac voice output device and give them time to try it out and encourage them to participate.  In most groups, I repeat each verse twice.

I also use pictures to represent each vocabulary word for summer.  Students can point to or label each picture and then add comments like, "I have red sunglasses", or "I like chocolate ice cream".  If there's one thing I know for sure-students love to talk about food!  So, songs with any kind of food in them are great attention-getters. :)

I hope you enjoy your summer.  Be sure to stop by More with Music over the summer to hear more songs!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

You have to FREEZE!

Welcome back to More with Music!
The weather is getting warmer and warmer and there's only one more week of school (plus a couple of work days for me).  I'm ready for summer!

I've shared today's song post before, but today I'm adding additional ideas for using this song with small to larger groups.
The song is called "Play and then FREEZE!".  Many students have a hard time controlling their impulses.  When the song directs students to "FREEZE",  students have to use self control in order to stop playing their instruments.  They have to resist the impulse to continue playing their instrument and stop playing instead.  This is easier said then done for many students, but the songs allows them to practice this skill in a fun way.

Once students practice freezing and have pretty good impulse control, you can incorporate a few additional ideas with this song.  If you have a smaller group of students, you can introduce new instruments and/or instruments that require following specific instructions with this song.  Each student can have a turn playing the one instrument and when the song says "Freeze", the student stops and you pass the instrument to the next student.  Another idea would be for small or larger groups.  You would need pictures or extra instruments to hold up as examples.  Students all pick a rhythm instrument and you hold up a picture or sample of the instrument you want to play during the first verse of the song.  At each "FREEZE" you hold up a different card, signaling those students to play their instruments (i.e. drums play one verse, then bells, then rhythm sticks,etc.)  This way, students have to control their impulses and attend to others while they take turns.  The students also have to pay attention to figure out which instrument is playing next and then follow directions.

How do you implement the "freeze" in your music therapy sessions?

Friday, May 31, 2013

'Round up your rhythm sticks!

Welcome back to More with Music!

On this last day of May, I'm slipping in one more song post.

This song, entitled, "Where will we go?", helps students understand and practice different directions, or positional words.  Positional words are words that describe the location of something, often in relation to something else.  Students hear these words everyday, but many need to put them into practice (especially the kinesthetic learners) in order to grasp what these words really mean.

I've had a lot of fun singing this song this month with many students (and many different age groups).  I use rhythm sticks with this song and the students have been tapping away!

When first introducing this song, I visually show students each direction/positional word and we say the positional word aloud while tapping.  Next, we give it a try with the song playing and me modelling the directions/positional words as the group leader.

The students love to take turns being the leader as well, so I always try to incorporate this as part of the song.
I lead the first time, then we do the song a second time with a student leader.  You could also assign individual students certain positional words to lead as they are sung in the song.

As always, I'd love to hear what you think!   Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more song posts!  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What would you buy?

Welcome back to More with Music!

My three most  recent song posts featured songs about our needs and wants.  Today I will be sharing a song that fits within those topics.  What do we all need to purchase our needs and/or wants???  Money!

I wrote this song this year for students in the kindergarten through 5th grade classrooms I work within.  They really liked it!  It's very catchy and some of the students request it as "the money song".  :)

I used visual aids with this song to show different stores and asked the students, "What would you buy at the book store?", or "What would you buy at the grocery store?"  Many of the students identified the store fronts on the pictures and were very engaged when sharing what they buy (or their parents buy) at the different stores.

When singing this song with the students, I used egg shakers.  Each student was given a shaker and I modeled "Shake slow" and "Shake fast".  On each verse of the song where it sings about a store, we shake slow and find the beat.  When the chorus is sung ("You need money, money,etc..), we shake fast.  They really like shaking fast, trust me!

Isn't it catchy?  :)  This song is also a great song to sing and warm up the students to talk about money and in particular coin values. How could you use this song?
As always, thanks for stopping by and check back soon.  With summer quickly approaching, I'll have more time to post! :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Welcome back to More with Music!
In the past two posts, I've shared songs about needs and then wants.  Today I'm sharing a song that groups the two together.

This song is really a simple song that helps students understand that needs and wants are two different things.  The song defines a need as something you must have in order to survive.  A want is something you'd like to have.  It is also something that you can live without.

The song lists the four basic human needs and then lists a few examples of things students might want (iPads, video games, TVs).

I'd love to hear what you think.  
Be sure to stop by tomorrow for a catchy tune!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Our Wants

Welcome back to More with Music!

My last post was about the four basic things humans need in order to survive.
Today's post will be about wants.

After students learned the four basic needs, I introduced this song to them.  The students were very engaged as I showed them different pictures of toys, candy, stuffed animals, instruments, and games.  These categories are all mentioned in the song.

I also incorporated sign language with this song.  We all signed "I want" along with the song at the beginning of each verse.  After singing the song and showing my visuals, I went around the group and asked each student to tell me something they would want.  It was very interesting to hear their answers.  This was also a great way to encourage students to answer questions and speak in full sentences (i.e. "What do you want?" "I want legos.").

So, without further delay, the song is below.  I'd love to hear what you think!

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

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Friday, May 10, 2013

We all have Needs

Welcome back to More with Music!

In some of the classrooms I've been in recently, the students are learning about the differences between their needs and their wants.  Sometimes, this can be very tricky to explain.

Our basic needs as humans are food, water, air, and shelter.  These are the things we must have in order to survive.

When I sing this song with students, we first count the four basic needs with our fingers (or with picture cards, and/or augmentative communication devices set up to sequentially count with each touch from the student).  We count to 4 and then I ask the students to help label each need, and why we need it.

We talk about food and sign the word food.  We sign the word water, then talk about different ways we use water every day.  We take deep breaths of air, and then sign the word house to talk about shelter and needing a place to live.  The students (verbal and nonverbal), are very eager to sign along with me as we sing the song and about each of the four needs.  Some students are able to sing along with the song and others are able to sign each need as we sing.

I've really enjoyed this song because of it's simple and repetitive nature and hope you will enjoy it too!

As always, thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for another post about the opposite of our needs-our wants!

Friday, April 12, 2013

What is a ratio?

Welcome back to More with Music!

It's been awhile since my last post.  I've been working as usual, and continue to write and record songs.  Hopefully, I can share more songs here from here on out and well into the summer break as well.

In school settings, students are taught many different math skills and concepts.  One of these is ratios.

To start with, ratios can be difficult to teach to students with cognitive disabilities.  The purposes for calculating ratios needs to be clearly explained and concrete examples are extremely important to implement within lessons.

Recently, I wrote a song to help teach the concept of ratios.  The middle school students I work with really enjoyed the song.  I added hand motions to the song to involve the kinesthetic learners.

Here's the song, and the lyrics (with hand motions notes), are below.

Part to part (Put right hand fist out, palm down, in front of you, followed by left hand fist out) or
part to whole (Put right hand fist out as before, then connect left fist to right, to form a whole)
Ratios compare quantities, you know.
(Elbows bent, both hands with palms up, move hands, alternating up and down, as if you are weighing/balancing) quantities of something)

A ratio can tell you how much of one thing there is compared to another thing.
A ratio can also tell you how much of one thing there is compared to the total number of things.

The students really enjoyed this song.  I'm pretty sure it was the hand motions that sold it for them.  :)  
As always, thanks for stopping by and stay tuned to additional song posts soon (for real :) ).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Welcome back to More with Music!

I've been busy as usual, but have finally found a few minutes to get a song post up and ready to go.

Many of the middle and high school classes I work in are learning about conservation, pollution, recycling,etc..

For this song, I concentrated on water conservation and four simple things we can all do to conserve water.  The four ways are:  turn water off when it's not in use, fix leaks and drips, turn the water off while you're brushing your teeth, and take shorter showers.

Many of the older students love to sing songs that have a "beat".  While I'm not all to fond of rap (myself rapping, that is), I do like to add beats to songs to encourage the students to sing and participate.

So, here it is, Water Conservation.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to stop by next week for another song post.  :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I learn something new every day!

Welcome back to More with Music!

February was packed with many songs and many music therapy sessions for me.  I always wonder where all the time goes, but I have yet to figure that out.

One of the great things about working in a public school system is that I find myself learning something new every day.  Recently, I learned that there are more than four oceans.  That's right- now there's five!  (I was amazed, intrigued,shocked,etc. too!)  But, after double checking the info, I discovered it to be true.  The 5 oceans are the Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Southern Ocean.

A couple of years ago, I wrote and recorded a song to help students learn that there were four oceans. Today I'm sharing the most recent version of that song, which includes the fifth ocean.

As always, thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for another post next week.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Welcome back to More with Music!

It's always a great feeling to make it to Friday!  
For me it means a little downtime and rest is quickly approaching.  The weekly rush can seem never ending at times, but seeing students learn and grow somehow makes it all more than worthwhile.  

Today I want to share a song I wrote and have been singing with students this week.  
Many of the middle and high school classrooms I work in are talking about conservation, pollution, recycling,etc.. this month.  I decided to write a simple song about some of the ways we conserve water.  The four examples I included are:   turn water off when it's not in use, fix all leaks and drips, turn the water off while you're brushing your teeth, and take shorter showers.

The students have so far been loving this song.  We clap to the beat at the beginning of the song and then use different motions with our hands to illustrate each example of water conservation.  
You can listen to the song below.

As always, thanks for stopping by More with Music and stay tuned for next weeks' song post!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Let's say the Alphabet!

Welcome back to More with Music!

I hope you had a great weekend (and hopefully a day off yesterday for MLK day!).

I've been going through my library of songs and discovered several I have yet to share.
Today I want to share one of those songs called, "Let's say the alphabet".

This song is different from the usual ABC song that we all sing.  (Phew, right?!?)
"Let's say the alphabet," is a very simple song/chant which features a little bit of time between each letter.  I left time between each letter so teachers, therapists, and/or parents have time to visually show each letter and/or ask child to repeat or say each letter.  This could be used for a variety of academic and speech goals.

You can incorporate clapping hands or shaking maracas throughout the song.  I've tried it both ways and the students have fun either way.

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for another post next week!

Friday, January 18, 2013

"Do This"

Welcome back to More with Music!

I've been staying busy as usual, but have a song to share today.

Today's song is "Do This".  In many of the classrooms I work in, the students are working on identifying body parts.  We all know "The Hokey Pokey" and "Head, shoulders, knees and toes", and those are great songs for young students, but I wanted to add a breath of fresh air to the mix.

When putting this song together, I also wanted to add a verbal cue to motivate students to participate and follow along, so I added the verbal cue (used in many of the classes I work in), "Do this".  This song has worked really well for me.  The repetition and time given for each body part gives the students extra time to participate and be successful with touching each body part.

The body parts mentioned in this song are head, nose, eyes, cheek, mouth, chin, shoulder, wrist, hands, hips, knees, ankles and toes.

I'd love to hear what you think and how you might use this song to help students in your groups and/or private MT sessions.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Welcome back to More with Music!

Today's song post is a "re-share".   I wanted to share a song that I've shared before.  Just in time for January 21st, I'm re-sharing my song "I had a Dream" to help celebrate Martin Luther King day. The best part-it's FREE to share!  (Now that's at least one great thing that actually happened on a Monday ;) ).

I came across a very nice poem about Martin Luther King online a couple of years ago, and I quickly put it to music.
The poem was written by Esther Yost, a former preschool teacher.

Here is the poem:

I have a dream, said Martin Luther King
We're gonna make that dream come true.
Let freedom ring, said Martin Luther King,
It's up to me and you.
It's not the color of your hair,
It's not the color of your skin,
It doesn't matter what you wear,
It's the character within.
I have a dream, said Martin Luther King
We're gonna make that dream come true,
Let freedom ring, said Martin Luther King
It's up to me and you.

I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do. It's not too complicated, and if you would like to see the visuals I created to go along with this song, simply email me at morewithmusic@gmail.com and I'll be happy to share them.

I'd love to hear what songs you like to use for this topic, activities you do,etc.. Feel free to leave a comment below.

I hope all of you have a great week and if you're lucky, enjoy the day off from school on Martin Luther King day!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Welcome back to More with Music!

I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Year's.
We enjoyed celebrating New Year's with family friends.  The kids had a blast dancing into the new year with the wii and "Just Dance".  It was fun :)

Speaking of new year's, one of my new year's resolutions/goals is to post more frequently here on More with Music.  With work and family, I find it hard to squeeze in extra hours in the day to complete blog posts.  So my new year's resolution is to share something here at least once a week.

But wait, that's not all!  I'm sharing a song today too! :)

I wrote this catchy song to help some of the middle and high school students learn about congruent shapes.  By definition, congruent shapes have the same shape and size.  It gets tricky and confusing for some students when the shapes are turned, or rotated.  So, I also added a short explanation for that in the song as well.  I highly recommend using visuals to relate this concept to students whenever possible.

The lyrics are pretty simple, and if you would like a song sheet complete with lyrics and guitar chords for this song, send me an email at morewithmusic@gmail.com

Happy New Year and have a great week!