MLK Day

When conducting research online to create Martin Luther King Jr. session materials, I noticed that I didn’t really find much of anything music-wise. I was so disappointed! That initial disappointment led to immediate inspiration, motivating me to write a song I am very fond of. 🙂

Oh-so originally titled “Martin Luther King,” this song is… deeper and more introspective than a lot of my other compositions. My strong belief in and connection to the concept of “equality” in every sense made for a very meaningful and passionate songwriting experience.

I have attached lyrics + chords, as well as an audio recording. The quotation, “We’re free at last” is an excerpt from MLK’s famous “I Have a Dream…” speech, and is just such a powerful sentiment. I have my co-author, Lindsey to thank for bringing that to my attention!

I am so happy to be able to share this song with you, and hope it finds a place in your present and future sessions.

–Noa

Hot ‘n Cold Visual

Here’s a quirky new way to approach the topic of “opposites” with all different ages and client populations using a popular song by… Katy Perry! A lot of my students are working toward learning various opposites, and the song “Hot and Cold” (by Katy Perry) leads into this topic quite nicely! I was able to adapt some of the lyrics to make it more appropriate, and created a flowchart visual depicting the different opposite relationships.

After the student has learned the opposites on the chart, I cut the pictures out and mix them up. Then, I have the student correctly identify the opposites using the visuals. My students really enjoyed this activity because it was often times a song they recognized from the radio.

Below, you will find the visuals that I used with my students. If there are different opposites you’d like to incorporate, you can easily substitute the existing material.

**For another song suggestion, “Hello, Goodbye” by the Beatles is a great choice for discussing opposites, particularly those that are less common or more abstract.

Hot ‘n Cold Visual

Nickel Frog

Hello, viewers! Noa here.

Like many of my students this week, you’re probably thinking, “…What is a ‘Nickel Frog‘?!” Counting in increments or by patterns (e.g. Counting by 5’s, 10’s…) is a tough task for some of my students, so I created the Nickel Frog to function as a fun and friendly guide on their counting journey!

When implementing the Nickel Frog activity, you may find it useful to supply some sort of number sheet that clearly depicts #1-100, so your student can have a concrete visual to accompany the learning process. To supplement the lyrics and number sheet, I made a Nickel Frog visual [with a front and back] to accompany the song that you can cut out and glue back-to-back OR laminate — I did the latter for durability. Because I don’t have a color printer, I colored the frog using markers post-printing. 🙂

Written in the key of C using the I-IV-V chords, the Nickel Frog likes to eat nickels instead of flies, and therefore loves to help you count by fives! The song provides the opportunity to incorporate movement in to the learning process via prompts — (e.g.) The lyrics, “So let’s hop, hop, hop!” followed by the numbers to and from which the Nickel Frog is “hopping.” My kids really enjoyed taking turns making the Nickel Frog hop around, and motivated them to listen closely as to not miss where the Nickel Frog is headed. Lyrics & Nickel Frog Cut-Out

Some of my students and their parents were gracious enough to allow for photography and audio footage collection during sessions, so I am very pleased to present you with this coverage of the Nickel Frog IN ACTION! Nickel Frog Audio

Thanks for hopping by!

Baseball Rap

Hello music makers! Here’s a fun little rap about America’s favorite past time: Baseball! I use this jingle with all different groups with fairly similar goals in mind: Listening comprehension, working on diction and speech fluency, and most importantly- to have FUN!

I provide each group member with a card containing a different baseball team name, and when cued in the rap, they have to say the name back and match the syllables of the name with a drum beat.

Some team examples include: New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals…. etc.

I used my keyboard to produce the back beat, but you can easily create something similar on Garageband OR find rap back beats on iTunes that is just the beat itself with no vocals.

Swing batter, batter… swing!

Audio Clip! 

Los Colores!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I love doing songs relating to all types of holidays, and it so happens Saturday is Cinco de Mayo. I came up with a song addressing how to say all the different colors in Spanish. My students love learning words in different languages, including Spanish, French and German.

Many of my groups have teachers aides available during music therapy time, so I had them learn the drum part that you will hear in the audio clip!

You’ll notice this song sounds a lot like a popular spanish song called, “The Mexican Hat Dance” — I took the melody and just changed up the words.

This is a fun and exciting activity that can be use with all types of populations, and gets everyone in the spirt of CINCO DE MAYO! 

Audio Clip

Los Colore

Chorus:

Los colores means colors in Spanish

los colores rojo, azul

los colores means colors in Spanish

in Spanish or English too!

I see the color blue

color of the sky that is true

I see the color blue

but in Spanish we say azul!

I see the color green

color of the grass that’s seen

I see the color green

but in Spanish we say verde!

I see the color red

color of flowers oh yes

I see the color red

but in Spanish we say rojo!

I see the color white

the color of the clouds that right

I see the color white

but in Spanish we say blanco!

I see the color yellow

color of the sun oh hello

I see the color yellow

but in Spanish we say amarillo!

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO! OLE! 

Mean, Mode, Median

Hey everyone! Hope your week has gotten off to a good start! After a morning and afternoon with my fantastic students, followed by an rewarding meeting with parents and treatment teams, I’m feeling great!! 🙂

Today’s song share is called “Mean, Mode, Median Jam” — and it’s about… you’ll never guess… figuring out the mean, mode, and median of a number set! One of my middle school students has been working on these concepts in math class, but needed a little extra help in making sense of their meaning… so, voila! – Mean, Mode, Median Jam was born! I found myself singing this tune after writing it, and overheard my student singing it in the hallway while grooving her way back to class the next day. 😀 Did the song serve its purpose? I’m going to go ahead and say: Mission Accomplished!

I wrote the music [to the pre-composed lyrics- credit to Rockin The Standards] in a very “organic” way (meaning I just forgot to write down the chords), but I can assure you that all of the chords are in first position, and I think I hear an E minor chord in there… so, if you noodle around enough, you should be able to transcribe the chords! 🙂

I followed this song with a worksheet I created on WorksheetWorks.com — a really awesome resource! It takes less than 3 minutes to create a personalized worksheet in virtually any subject. If you can’t find the topic you’re looking for, send an e-mail to the address listed on their “Contact” page and they’ll respond with helpful information or suggestions in less than 48 hours! …That’s what I call great customer service! 🙂 –Noa

 Mean, Mode, Median Jam AUDIO

Mean, Mode, Median Jam

Mean, Mode, Median

Average, Often, Middle number…

Mean, Mode, Median

Average, Often, Middle number… yeah!

The MEAN is the average: Add them, then divide.

The MODE is the most often: It’s the easiest to find!

MEDIAN is the middle:

Line them up – BIG to little,

Then pick the number in the middle!

Mean, Mode, Median

Average, Often, Middle number…

Mean, Mode, Median

Average, Often, Middle number… yeah!

Lyrics adapted from Rockin the Standards “Mean Mode Median”

Let’s Make Everyday an Earth Day!

Sticking with the Earth Day theme, here is a song focusing on the true meaning of Earth Day!  During the chorus of the song I had my students learn some simple signs! I had my students sign the words, live, give, one and love during the chorus. My student always LOVE utilizing sign language within songs and it always helps with remembering the lyrics!  At the end of the song, I led a discussion with my students on ways that they could keep our Earth a clean and beautiful place and man, did they come up with some great ideas! For example, one of my student came up with “walk and don’t drive”. I love to hear what they come up with!

If you need help with learning any of the signs, you can visit a website called lifeprint.com, which you can watch a video showing you the correct signs!

The lyrics of the song were adapted from a song by Ron Brown called ,“Everyday an Earth Day”, which I found on the website Songs for Teaching. The chords and the melody are original and pretty simple using  I,IV and V.

Let me know how this song goes with your own students and how you were able to utilize it in your own work! Oh and HAPPY EARTH DAY! —Lindsey

Here’s the Audio Link!

 Make Everyday an Earth Day! 

Let’s make everyday an Earth Day!

Let’s keep the waters clean.

Every day, an Earth Day.

For the plants and creatures

in this world with me.

Let’s make everyday an Earth day!

Chorus: 

It’s the good earth, where I live.

It’s the good earth so much to give.

The good earth number one.

The good earth that I love!

Let’s make everyday an Earth Day.

Let’s keep the skies blue.

Every day, an Earth Day!

For our friends and families,

and the animals too!

Let’s make everyday an Earth Day.

Chorus 2x:

Earth Day 2012

Good afternoon, Music Therapy world!

I wish I could say Earth Day was celebrated around here with pleasant weather… but, alas, it rained all day Sunday. So, to put a little bit of pep into our step, Lindsey and I have been compiling a collection of Earth Day tunes, and I’d like to share my latest contribution with you! 🙂

I’ve titled this piece “Recycle!” in honor of the very important concept of Recycling! The lyrics were borrowed from Joyce Paultre’s “Recycle Song” at the immensely helpful website Songs for Teaching — however, the music composition is entirely original.

After playing the song once through, my students picked up the words very quickly, and really enjoyed chiming in during the “Cans! Bottles!” refrain. What I liked so much about the lyrics was that they contain concrete examples of items that can be recycled, as well as ways in which my students could take part in recycling while understanding the importance of their actions.

I followed the song intervention with a quick worksheet to evaluate how well students retained the material pertinent to the concept of Recycling. All of my students not only did very well on their worksheets, but answered each question with great confidence. What a fun way to begin a discussion about Earth Day!

Attached you will find the lead sheet for “Recycle!” as well as the follow-up worksheet (on page 3 of the document).

Recycle! Audio

Recycle! Lyrics, Chords & Worksheet

RECYCLE!

CansBottles!  Don’t throw them away – Recycle!

PaperPlastic!  Don’t throw them away – Recycle!

We’re on a mission to save the world.
Everybody: boys and girls!
Don’t put it off… Don’t wait,
Because tomorrow might be too late!

CansBottles!  Don’t throw them away – Recycle!

PaperPlastic!  Don’t throw them away – Recycle!

Reduce the trash that’s in your can.

Re-using things will help the land!

If you have paper, plastic or tin,

Help save the Earth: Use a recycling bin!!!

CansBottles!  Don’t throw them away – Recycle!

PaperPlastic!  Don’t throw them away – Recycle!

We’re on a mission to save the world.
Everybody: boys and girls!
Don’t put it off… Don’t wait,
Because tomorrow might be too late!

CansBottles!  Don’t throw them away – Recycle!

PaperPlastic!  Don’t throw them away – Recycle!

Stay tuned for a post from Lindsey relating to Earth Day — she’s got some great stuff in store! For even more Earth Day fun, check out our good friends friends Megan and Kim at Mundana Music Therapy.

Happy Earth Day to all! –Noa

What Makes A Garden Grow?

Audio: What Makes A Garden Grow?

Here is a piece I wrote for a session with a 5-year old client with multiple needs. Now that the weather outside finally reflects the fact that Spring is here (and has been for weeks now), I’ve been trying to integrate a bunch of Spring-related material into my session plans!

This client is just starting to use verbal expressive language, so the repetition of the word “grow” was implemented to address speech and language goals in the areas of oral motor control (forming the mouth shape required for “O”) and diction. Also, particularly with younger and developmentally-delayed populations, I have found that repetition plays a pivotal role in the retention of aural material.

This song outlines the basic steps to tending to a garden and/or plant life [in a very general sense]. It can also be used as an introduction to the larger topic of horticulture. It may be useful to incorporate movements (or ASL) with the underlined words or phrases to reinforce the concepts (e.g. making an upward movement with hands and arms for “grow;” acting out using a shovel or trough for “dig;” etc.).

After going through the song a few times, we drew pictures together that represented the important parts of the song: Planting a seed, and giving the Earth water and sun for the plants to grow. I found that these self-made visuals were extremely helpful for her as it not only gave her a “roadmap” for following the song’s storyline, but the depictions also held a personal meaning as they were a product of her own creativity.

Click on the link at the top of the page to access the audio — lyrics are pasted below. Over & out! –Noa

What Makes a Garden Grow?

Chorus:

What makes a garden grow, grow, grow;

Grow, grow, grow;

Grow, grow grow?

What makes a garden grow, grow, grow,

In the season of Spring?

You dig, dig, dig into the ground

And plant a little seed.

You cover the seed with lots of dirt

To make the seed a home! Oh…

Chorus

The Earth needs water, water, water

To feed the flowers and trees.

We can spray our garden with a hose

Or wait for the rain to come… (whoosh, whoosh << can be simulated with a rain stick!)

Chorus

The Earth needs the sun to shine, shine, shine

And light up the garden very bright.

The sun gives the garden energy

So the flowers grow tall and healthy!

Chorus

Butterfly Life Cycle

Here’s a sweet little ditty about the Butterfly life cycle. Around this time of year, my students are learning about various life cycles (plants, animals, etc.). I wrote this song to teach my students the specific stages of the Butterfly life cycle, with visual aid reinforcement as well. The visual aid depicts 4 stages, with a tactile velcro component where the students can match the pictures to the corresponding stages.

This song is also useful in addressing the development of listening comprehension skills and attending to tasks. I hope you find this material as useful as it was in my practice! –Lindsey

Audio: Butterfly Life Cycle

The Butterfly Life Cycle

Chorus:

We all go through steps and stages,

We all go through them in our lives.

It’s called the life cycle from beginning to end:

A frog, butterfly, bird, and all of our friends

 

A butterfly life cycle goes through 4 steps:

First comes the eggs; not a butterfly yet!

They lay them on the leaves and trees.

First come the eggs laid on the leaves.

 

Next in the life cycle after the eggs-

The eggs hatch and then come a caterpillar with lots of legs.

The caterpillar eats and eats and eats

To gain power and energy for his big wings.

 

3rd in the life cycle after the caterpillar

Comes the cocoon/pupa stage where he lives.

The caterpillar is wrapped way up tight

To help him grow with all his might.

 

4th and final stage in life cycle

Is the butterfly’s final arrival!

Out he comes with his beautiful wings;

He is a beautiful wonderful thing!