Friday, November 20, 2015

Turkey Day Prep

Welcome back to More with Music!

As I was reading over my to do list this week I had "blog post" written in bold marker and underlined twice.  It's been on my to do list for quite awhile, but I had to put the blog posts on the back burner in order to keep up with work and life.

Today I'm going to share songs I've been singing in classrooms to get us ready for turkey day.

This week the students have really been enjoying getting up out of their seats and dancing around.  We've been doing the "Turkey Trot"....a lot!

I haven't found an age group yet that doesn't request "Pumpkin Pie" every session.  We sing it with actions and then get the rhythm instruments out and assign parts for each action in the song.  This song wins the award for being catchy and sticking in your head all day long!

Lastly, the younger students are doing a great job learning their colors and learning to sequence items in a song.  The repetitive lyrics in this song give confidence to young singers in my groups.  We also added sign language for each color mentioned in the song.

What have you been singing this week?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Let's Go, Go, Go!

Welcome back to More with Music!
I've been writing many songs lately for classroom rules, names of students and daily classroom routines.
One daily classroom routine in particular happens at the end of the day.  Each classroom has their own structure and schedule for the process that involves packing up to go home.  A teacher I work with asked for a song for this routine and that is the song I'm sharing today.
Most students get excited about going home at the end of the day.  There are a few students however, who experience anxiety with the transition of getting from school to home.  They need a little extra assurance that this is okay and eventually a routine will be established with daily repetition.
I kept this song simple and to the point.  This song talks about getting ready to go, cleaning up first and then packing our bags.  I added a short reference to the next school day to further reinforce the concept of this daily routine.
The teacher that requested this song plans to sing and play the song to help the students get accustomed to the daily routine and to learn what to do during this transition.

What classroom routines do you sing?  Need a song for a classroom routine?  I'd be more than happy to help with a song personalized to your needs and routines.
Email me at if you have any song requests.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Give Me Space!

Today I'm posting a brand new song.  This one is hot off the press (as in recorded last night)! :)

I have to be honest and admit that I have been trying to write a song about personal space for about a year now.  Every time I sat down to write down a few ideas,  I ended up getting stuck.  I tried to figure out how to best word the song so that the majority of the people the song is intended for would understand it and learn from the song.  (I won't mention the exact number of times I experienced being stuck...)

Anyhow, I really felt the need to keep pressing on.  I had to figure this out because personal space is something that has to be taught to many of the students within the classrooms I serve.  It's a social skill that many students who have autism have to learn by doing.

So, I finally (and I mean finally), put something down that made sense.  Then I revised it for about a week.  I sent a portion of the lyrics to a teacher friend of mine and asked for her thoughts.  This helped a lot!  A few days later I had the song lyrics down on paper!

Here it is below.  Feel free to comment if you have additional ideas on this topic!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I Pledge Allegiance

Welcome back to More with Music!
Thanks for stopping by!

This is my first week back to work and I've been going through my mass collection of songs that I've written and recorded and have been filtering out songs that teachers mainly want to start singing at the beginning of the school year.
Today's post is a song I recorded to accompany the Pledge of Allegiance.  Students across the country recite the pledge of allegiance every morning.  I recorded this to make it a little more interesting (perhaps), and to help the students learn the words of the pledge of allegiance.  I chose a slower tempo and created slight pauses in the song so that the the students can focus on the words of the pledge.

Don't forget that I take requests and would be happy to write a song for a topic or routine you do with your class daily or for special occasions.  You can email me at

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for additional song posts.  :)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Getting back on the bus

Summer is officially over for me.  Today is my first day back at school.
While I love what I do, I have to be honest and admit I don't miss the busy schedule of coming and going as a music therapist and working mom during the summertime.  Free time is a great thing to have and appreciate!

Next week the students will return to school and many of them will be riding the bus.  I wrote lyrics for a song about bus safety a few years ago.  The song follows the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus".  For many students with special needs (which is the population I serve), simple and easy to follow rules are needed.  These rules also need to be reviewed daily in order for the students to have retention of the rules. I also pair each rule with a picture to further represent the rules.  What better way than to sing the rules?  :)

So today as I "get back on the bus," I'm reposting the Bus Safety song.
Check back soon for additional posts! :)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April Showers Bring May Flowers

The inspiration for today's song came from a saying many of us hear each year in the spring:  April showers bring May flowers. 
I wrote this song a couple years ago, but it is still one of my go to songs to sing with young students in the spring. 

Here are the lyrics:

Chorus: April showers bring May flowers.  It is Spring.

Pitter patter raindrops I can hear, Pitter patter raindrops I can hear.
Wind is blowing, I can hear, Wind is blowing, I can hear.
Thunder clapping, I can hear, Thunder clapping, I can hear.

I love incorporating different instruments to make different sounds you can hear in a storm, but I specifically use the Remo hand drum with this song. 
With the hand drum, I ask students to walk their index and middle fingers across the drum to make pitter patter (raindrop) sounds. For the wind blowing, I ask students to rub the drum with a flat hand in a circular motion. (Many of them love this movement for its sensory feedback!) Lastly, for "thunder clapping," I ask students to beat the drum with a flat hand for a few beats.
(I, of course, give plenty of time and repeat the verses while the students are taking turns playing the different sounds in the song).

The students love this song and I really enjoy singing it with them each spring.  It's a great song to use with students who are working on turn taking, fine motor coordination, listening skills, and impulse control.  

What other songs do you love to sing with kids in the spring?
Thanks for stopping by and have a Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Moving to Learn

I love reading articles and research about how we learn and how the brain works and develops.  I saw this article below and just had to share it.

The article really stresses that children retain more knowledge if they move and connect actions and movements to their learning .

As a music therapist, I strive to find ways to incorporate many different movements within songs I sing with students.  We count with our fingers, we incorporate sign language for certain vocabulary words, we move to the music and we pat the beat on various parts of our body to stay together and engaged.

I think this research is right on the money!  Children and adults of all ages learn more when movement is combined with new content and information.
What do you think?

Monday, March 16, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Song Post

Welcome back!
While planning sessions over the weekend, I went back into my collection of holiday songs to find a song for St. Patrick's Day.  I love singing about the holidays within our monthly calendar song with the students.   I also write a separate song for most holidays so that we can focus on what those particular holidays represent.
So today's song share is about St. Patrick's Day.  In this song, I was sure to include the color green, leprechauns, shamrocks,  four leaf clovers and  rainbows.
The song is below.  If you would like a song sheet with lyrics and guitar chords for this song, send an email to

Have an awesome week and don't forget to wear something green!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Rosie's Walk

Today's song post is about a children's book called Rosie's Walk.
This book was written by Pat Hutchins.
I adore this book for it's simplicity, colorful illustrations and use of positional words.

Rosie's Walk is about a hen, named Rosie, and a fox, who is following Rosie around the farm all day. The students enjoy looking at the illustrations in this book as they show what happens to the fox as he follows Rosie all day. The positional words mentioned in this book are: on, across, around, over, past, through and under.

I incorporated this book in several music therapy sessions recently.
After singing through the book and showing the pictures, I added signs for the positional words mentioned in the story.  The students loved this story.  They were curious to see if the fox would catch Rosie and many of them predicted at the beginning of the story that the fox "would eat Rosie".  You'll have to check this book out to find out what really happens.  :)

As always, thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned for more posts!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

And then there were two!

That's right...I have a good excuse for not posting in over two months!

Things have been more than busy around here with my usual work and mommy schedule.  A week before this past Christmas, we added an addition to our family-a golden retriever puppy!
(I know...the title of this post made you think something else was going on) :)

This is our puppy Oakley.

He loves my son and gets excited over just about everything.
He also loves the snow we received today!

So, we've been busy with crate training (which is going really well!), house training (going great-thank goodness for the bell hanging on the back door!), puppy classes and lots of attention for the puppy himself.
(Did I mention this pup does not like violin music?  Let's just say it has been a learning experience and we've adapted many things around here to make things work and flow.) 

So, all that aside, I'm still around.  :)

Stay tuned tomorrow for another blog post!  I'll be sharing a song to go along with a book that helps students learn positional words!

Stay warm!