Yo- Ho, Pass the Anchor! A music therapy activity social skills game for elementary aged students

Ages: Elementary School

Variations can be done with children as young as 3 and 4.

Purpose: To improve social skills. To attend, cooperate, take and relinquish turns

and share with a friend.

Yo-ho pull the anchor. Yo-ho pull it now.

Yo-ho pull the anchor. Who is the captain now? (I am the captain now.)

We modify the song and sing “Yo-ho Pass the Ring.”

and “Stop. You’re the captain now.

Link to melody is below.

Equipment: A drum, xylophone or other instrument/toy to share.   Lyrics. A buddy band or elasto band threaded through a ring or other “threadable” object. (Mental picture: a bead on a necklace.)   The ends of our buddy band detach and we put a ring from a toddler ring stacker toy through it and pass that from person to person. You can put rope or paper around the buddy band if you need.

Sit class in a circle and have everyone hold the buddy band with the ring.   Practice passing the ring from child to child. When the children can do that, then sing the song while the children pass. Sing the song through and Stop as the lyrics cue.   Invite that child to play the instrument in the middle of the circle while the children sing and pass again.   Continue until each child has a turn.

Variations:

Ask a question to the child who has the ring on a topic relevant to the needs of the group.

Ask the child to share with a friend. Make sure everyone has a turn to choose and friend and to be chosen.

Have each child answer the question “Who is the captain now?” by answering

“I am the captain now.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLB-M4ZKEKk

 

 

 

by Margie La Bella of Music Therapy tunes.

The Bird Song; a quieting calming activity song with motions for music therapy / education for young children by Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes

cute head shot with head feather2

Up in the Sky Song Activity

This is a nice quiet centering song that tends to focus and calm the children.

It’s good after a more active activity or toward the end of a session.

Way up in the sky (jump high)
The little birds fly (flap arms)
While down in the nest (form nest with arms)
The little birds rest (hands next to head like napping)
Shhh! They’re sleeping. (stage whisper shh! say quietly they’re sleeping)

With a wing on the left (fold left arm under)
And a wing on the right (fold right arm under)
The little birds sleep (hands next to head like napping)
All through the night.
Shhh! They’re sleeping. (stage whisper shh! say quietly they’re sleeping)

The BRIGHT SUN COMES UP! (as in itsy bitsy spider)
The dew goes away (hands like tinkering on a keyboard)
Good morning, good morning, the little birds say (point to class members)

 

Optional 3rd stanza: Up comes the sun. Down comes the dew.

Good morning,   good morning, good morning to you!

or Good afternoon to you, you and you.

 

Melody is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2IfK86PZvI

I learned the melody with a variation in the second line that goes like this:

g c e a,   d dc d c   or sol do mi la,   re re do re do where the 5th and 6th go lower than 1/do/c

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Birthday Song for children’s or elderly Music Therapy Group by Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes

This was a spontaneous, group song that happened during a group instrumental “jam.”

The teacher called out “It’s Luke’s Birthday today” while we were playing “Skinamarink” for Valentine’s day.

We suddenly joined in (WITH Luke’s permission!!) a verse of a birthday version of the old standard.  It went like this:

G

Skinamarinky dinky dink. Skinarmarinky duke.

G………….. Am

We love Luke.   (Rhyme likewise for other people’s names.)

Am…………….. D7……………. Am……………….. D7

Skinamarinky dinky dink. Skinarmarinky duke.

AmD7….G…G7

We love Luke.

G……………………………………………….G7

We love you in the morning and in the afternoon.

C………………………………….A7………………….D7

Happy happy birthday underneath the moon!

G…………………………………………………………E7

Skinamarinky dinky dink. Skinarmarinky duke.

A7…D7….G

We love Luke.

 

 

 

TOP 10 (plus) HALLOWEEN Songs for music therapy and music education activities for children

My top ten Halloween Activity Songs

1. The Monster Hoedown (slowed considerably) I have a video explaining how to do that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNir80Pj_hU
2. On Halloween Day on Halloween Night (changing some words depending on age group) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxXH-M3jIrQ
3. It’s a Halloween Party by Frank Ledo http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003HJAJYS/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp
4. Spooky Loo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifjdkVrBlEI
5. The Dark Dark House (sometimes I change the last word Ghost to Toast to make it less scary for little folk.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x7ewDWR6NQ&feature=player_embedded
6. Laurie Berkner’s Monster Boogie Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi33uHCI51E
7. Werewolves of London (It has a Sweet Home Alabama feel and is great for vocalization on “ooOOooo.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhSc8qVMjKM  Also good for the “ooOOOoos” is “Skin and Bones” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOhYGxg460k
8. Mr. Billy’s “His Name was Jack.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpq1544B2UA
9. Moving to Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRpzxKsSEZg
10. On Halloween Night by Peter Allard and Sesame Street’s Monster in the Mirror https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNMwRH5UGYY

****Bonus songs *****are my two Halloween Song videos with 6 songs total. Check out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unDO0B-5i38

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXkzTy7h72o

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Lastly, here is a list of Timeout NY’s  TOP 20 Halloween Songs http://www.timeout.com/newyork/music/the-20-best-halloween-songs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This has been a blog by Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes on Halloween songs for use with  children, adolescents, and adults who contend with autism, add, adhd, down’s syndrome, down syndrome, ptsd, trauma, psychiatric issues,  learning disabilities, ld, cp, and all the rest of us on our journey. That about covers us. Thank you for reading.

How to play a song by Ear aka: How to figure out the Chords by Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes

ON PLAYING BY “EAR”

This is a topic I’ve been very curious about and I’d love feedback from both trained and self-taught musicians, schooled, unschooled, classical, improv, other-taught etc

First of all, some people just have the “knack.” I started out on the clarinet at age 9 and played by ear two weeks later and was hooked.  Playing by sight is less natural and sometimes painful to me. People who can fluently do both may have it made in the shade.

Here are a few analogies that happen in my brain. I’d love to hear about yours. (No pun.)

 

In one way, it’s like walking. If I go into the spare bedroom, it’s a short walk and must be and is that way. The TV set is just further and to go there I have to cross a wide gap, but not as far as the garage.  It’s about mental placement.  Or it’s like sorting mail. The “A” letters go in this top pile because they just do.  The “Ms” go in the middle and they must. The “Qs” go a little further down the line.  Things have their place and they just must go there.  Spoons don’t go in the fork compartment.  Enough with that analogy.

 

Here’s how I approached picking out a chord progression from the radio before I took music theory.  Most songs just have patterns of chords. If a C goes to an F then a Dm, then there will probably be places where the same sequence of chords appears later in the song – –  Often over and over.  I guess my ear tried to pick out the bass notes and then used  the related chords (either major or minor); whichever the song sounded like. The Bass note is key here. The little bass decorative bass note runs are not in this mix. The louder, longer, more on (or nearest) the beat are the ones I’m talking about here. The bass line often plays the name of the chord.  A “G” chord will have a G bass note and so on.

 

After taking music theory and learning about I, IV,Vs and other chord progressions numerically, I saw the greater system.  This explained why Cs,F, and Gs were often together in songs just like As,Es, and Ds.  Most songs on the radio follow a 1,4,5,1 progression.  vi, VI, IV is also popular. Now, there are lots of  IV,V, vi,V in popular songs.

 

I’ll try to write about all those numbers later on.  But I don’t think in terms of numbers when listening to a song I want to figure out. I listen to the bass line. The introduction itself is like a little microcosm of the whole song. It usually contains both the majority of chords in the song and how they are strung together.

Once you have the intro figured out, most of the song will  be those very chords played over and over – or at least the chorus. Then you will have the sequence of verse-chords which stay pretty much the same from verse to verse.  Songs often have a “bridge” portion; that interest piquing different part after two verses that brings you back home to your beloved chorus.  Those chords may be different from the chorus or verses.

 

I sing along with the bass line then take it to the guitar or piano.   Those notes are usually played over and over and they often carry the (name of the ) chord. And that is your song.

Internet site song chords are often correct for the most part, but some leave a bit to be desired.  Try singing the bass notes to see if the chords are on the correct words and are based(!) on the correct note.  Fiddle around with some different related chords and that may bring the song to life for you.  Try using a chord from further on down the song.

 

[Shoot; that’s a whole other topic. How do you know when to even switch the chords if they are poorly placed on the screen? The new chord is often on the first beat of the measure or on the emphasized or longest word. Sometimes at the beginning of the sentence. On the word that the sound becomes different or moves. My ears just hear it. The color of the picture changes. Suddenly, there is a new shape, or texture.  One is a glass, one is a plate. Things just shift. How would YOU describe this?? Margie is curious! ]

If I’m really stumped by a chord I just find the bass note and play around with any chord containing that note.

I’d really like to hear how you all figure out melodies and chords. How do you get the job done??  What mental pictures can you sort of use to help explain your method?  Do you prefer reading or playing by ear?  And what do you use your music for/ to accomplish?

What’s your end result??  What technique do you use to improve your skills? And all that Jazz??  🙂

 

 

 

Submitted by Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes. com.

How to play songs by ear, playing by ear for musicians and “non-musicians” and is there such a thing, really…..

Pete the Cat: Make you own music therapy video! Great for Literacy, language, teamwork activity idea / lesson plan

Hi friends:

I found this video on youtube and think it is amazing idea!  Create your own Pete the Cat Video with your class IF and WHEN proper consent is given by the appropriate personnel. I work with little tykes so I love this version.   http://youtu.be/0qjOVw-v3d4

Here’s another one: http://youtu.be/stJTVOZh8X8

And this is an Orff presentation with older students: http://youtu.be/uRaatxumTFo

Goals of this activity would include:

1. Language Skills.

2.  Attention, focus, and cooperation.

3. Memory.

4. Self-control (impulse control)

5. Pre- literacy / Literacy

6. Multiple Concepts (colors, numbers, vocabulary, etc.)

7. What do you come up with?  Are there other stories you could use in an activity like this one? Let me know.  🙂

My TOP 10 St. Patrick’s Day Music Therapy / Music Education activities for kids by Margie La Bella of MusicTherapyTunes.com

Top 15 Saint Patrick’s Day Activities

1. Seated folk dance using the song “Samsia” from “Lord of the dance.”

Here’s my write up of the moves:  http://www.musictherapytunes.com/wp/?p=1300

Seriously, this dance is good for preschoolers to geriatrics.

Here’s the video: http://youtu.be/ijNW-gd0SU4

2. Dancing like a Leprechaun. Post:  http://www.musictherapytunes.com/wp/?p=1292

3. John the Leprechaun. This song will be on my upcoming CD entitled “Songs at my Speed” under the name Dan, Dan invisible man. Here’s the post: http://www.musictherapytunes.com/wp/?p=1277

4. I love to use this holiday, as well as April fool’s Day to use songs that are about absurdities and use them as a language and concept building activity. Examples are

“The Elephant Song” by Eric Herman – truly magic for the kids. They love it. They “get” it. They discuss it.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yihq8BIhL9c

5. My own “Miss Mary Makeover” is great for silly absurdities. It’s on my Sing CD track#6.  http://www.musictherapytunes.com/musicPlayer.html Short phrases can be either echoed and/or discussed.

6. TDNL Do-wop on Sing’s track #8.  Good for artic and any discussion on yummy/healthy/gross/inedible food.  http://www.musictherapytunes.com/musicPlayer.html

7. Music Together has a great song called “Allee Galloo.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hEKKI2B1Tw  You can dress it up for different ages. Good for vocal play and copying motor / vocal activity.

8. The Unicorn Song: Act out the animals in the chorus. And the phrases in each verse can be echoed.  http://youtu.be/h4bc9UwZsYs

9. The Rainbow song. Good for colors and signing.   See http://youtu.be/WD3-8ANlP58

10. And of course, all the old standards like “When Irish eyes are smiling,” “I’m looking over a 4 leaf Clover,” “Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-rai,” ” Macnamara’s band etc.

“It’s Thanksgiving” viral song for older kids gr8 for music therapy / education by Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes

-Age: 6-12 (+ or – depending on population,)
-Goal Area: Expressive language skills, discussion of Thanksgiving, Families, What really happens during the holidays, feelings, socialization, etc….
-Name of Activity: It’s Thanksgiving by Nicole Westbrook,
-Objective: Kids will sing the words, and/or discuss the holidays.
-Materials: Song
-Method: Sing and/or discuss
-Adaptations: Rewrite the lyrics, draw a Thanksgiving scene from their lives, talk about gratitude and/or wishes, make your own video of the song components, play the chords of the song, record it with the kids, give each child/group an instrument sounding one of the four chords in this song and play it as a group.   What can you think of? 
-Submitted by: Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes.
Here’s is my home made video of the song lyrics and chords. 
 
This song is very repetitive and predictable and a bit monotonous – BUT it’s cheery and the words are positive. This all makes for a great song choice for my particular kids who have difficulties with language.  The teachers get into the pop feel of this, too.  
 
http://youtu.be/NGPxnYVjnD0
 
Chords by MusicTherapyTunes.com
A……………D ……….F#m……………E
Oh oh oh. Oh oh oh. Oh oh oh. Oh yeah.
A……………D ………F#m…………….E
Oh oh oh. Oh oh oh. Alright. Come on
 
.A……….. ………..D ……………………..F#m……………. E
I’m wide awake. And I should take. A step and say thank you, thank you.

 

A………………….D …………………..F#m……………. E
The things you’ve done. And what you did. Oh yeah. Uuu, yeah.

 

——————————————————————————————A………………….. D…………….F#m…………..A/E……….A…………. D
December was Christmas. January was New Year. April was Easter.
 ………….F#m………….. E
 And the 4th of July, but now it’s Thanksgiving.

 

————————————————————————————————
A…………………….. D ……..F#m………………….. E
Oh oh oh it’s Thanksgiving. We we we we are gonna have a good time.
A……………………..D ……….F#m………………… E
Oh oh oh it’s Thanksgiving. We we we are gonna have a good time.

 

A………………………….D …………………F#m…………………… E
With a turkey, eh mash potatoes eh, and we..we we are gonna have a good time.
A……………………..D …………………….F#m………………… E
With a turkey, eh mash potatoes eh,  It’s Thanksgiving.  It’s Thanksgiving. (alright)

 

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A………….. D …………F#m……………….E
School is out, I can shout, thank you, thank you, thank you.
A…………………………D ………………………..F#m… E
No matter how you do, no matter what you say, this is my favorite.
 
A…………… D…………….F#m…………..A/E……….A…………. D
December was Christmas. January was New Year. April was Easter.
 ………….F#m…………….. E
 And the 4th of July, but now it’s Thanksgiving.
A…………………..D …….F#m…………………………. E
Oh oh oh it’s Thanksgiving. We we we we are gonna have a good time.

 

A……………………….D ………………..F#m…………………….. E
Oh oh oh it’s Thanksgiving. (alright) We we we are gonna have a good time.
———————————————————————————————————

 

A………………………………………………………..D
Yo. It’s Thanksgiving giving giving and I’m trying to be forgiving. (come on girl)
…F#m…………………………… E
Nothing is forbidden. You know we I gotta have.
A……………………………
I gotta give thanks to you, and you, and you.
D……
Can’t be hateful, gotta be grateful.
.F#m
Gotta be grateful, can’t be hateful.
E
Mash potatoes on my – on my table.

 

A………………………D
I got ribs smelling up my neighbor’s cribs. (alright)
…….F#m…………………………………………..E
Can’t deny  Havin’ good times  We’d be laughing till we cry
A…………………………………………….D
It’s Thanks Thanks Thanks Thanksgiving
………………….A………………………………………..D
Come on It’s Thanks Thanks Thanks Thanksgiving. Give em Thanksgiving Yo! 

 

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A…………………………D …….F#m………………….. E
Oh oh oh it’s Thanksgiving. We we we we are gonna have a good time.
A………………………..D ………………..F#m…………….. E
Oh oh oh it’s Thanksgiving. (alright) We we we are gonna have a good time.
A………………………………D ……………………F#m………………… E
With a turkey, eh mash potatoes eh, and we we we are gonna have a good time.
A……………………………….D …………………..F#m……………….. E
With a turkey, eh mash potatoes eh! It’s Thanksgiving.  It’s Thanksgiving

“Halloween Echo Song” for older kids. Short sentences. Good for Music therapy activities. By Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes

Goal Area: Turn taking, or group singing via expressive language Objective: Kids share the microphone and moment in the spotlight.
Materials: Mic and song
Method:  Sing a phrase in the mic, hold mic to child and have child repeat.
Adaptations:
1. I use this song as an echo song. Rather than repeat the last word of each phrase 3x, we repeat the whole phrase.   Shy children might just say “pass” or sing in a spooky voice. I don’t have trouble getting my kids to sing, but I never make a child sing solo. The alternative voice may be a little less stressful to some children. I also put little effects on the mic, such as echo, reverb, or chorus, to make a shy child’s effort more rewarding and less “intimate.”
2. You can have the children repeat the last word after you. But beware in both instances that you do not want to reinforce echolalia!!  You can talk about the song and Halloween costumes and safety afterwards and ask the children questions to stimulate real language.
3. This makes a cute performance piece.
4. Make up your own verses about the children’s fave Halloween characters.

 Source: “His Name was Jack” by Billy Grisack

Melody: Miss Mary Mack

 ……………E

His name is Jack, Jack, Jack.

 

………………….B7
His eyes were black, black, black.

 

………………B7
His face was orange, orange, orange.

 

……………….E
And that’s a fact, fact, fact.

 

Inside his head, head, head.
a flame was red, red, red.
and in the dark, dark, dark.
the children said, said, said:

 

“Trick or treat, treat, treat.,”
along the street, street, street.
They knocked on doors ……(continue to repeat twice as above.)
for something sweet…

 

to charm the hosts….
they dressed a ghosts,
monsters and ghouls….
to get the most….

 

All through the night….
under this sight….
he sat and watched….
still glowing bright\….

 

And that’s a fact, fact, fact.
His eyes were black….
His face was orange…
His name was Jack….

“Halloween Day, Halloween Night” Action song for older children by Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes

Goal Area: Holiday energy release, and behavioral control.
Objective: Children will move like the character depicted in the lyrics. What’s nice about this activity
is that there is time after each verse to quiet down and pretend to sleep. This provides a structure
and helps kids gain control after vigorous movement.
Method:  Children are encouraged to move like the character and calm down and pretend to sleep.
Adaptations: Certainly change the lyrics if they are too scary! I do NOT sing the verses about scary things in their homes. Let the kids think of characters and how they move.  This song is requested over and over.
Source: “On Halloween day; on Halloween night”, by Steve Blunt.
Melody and Motions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxXH-M3jIrQ
……..Dm………..C…………Bb**…….A
1.The ghosts are sleeping in the attic,
……..A……………………………Dm
On Halloween day, on Halloween day!  (Repeat these two lines.)
………Dm…….C………Bb…..A
They all come out to float around,
…………………………………………….Dm
On Halloween night, on Halloween night!  (Repeat these two phrases.)
 
** (If you can’t play Bb, try a Dm)The skeletons are hiding in the closet,
On Halloween day, on Halloween day!
They all come out to dance around,
On Halloween night, on Halloween night!The witches are stirring up their brew,
On Halloween day, on Halloween day!
They fly their broomsticks all around,
On Halloween night, on Halloween night!The mummies are wrapped up in their tombs,
On Halloween day, on Halloween day!
They all come out to walk around,
On Halloween night, on Halloween night!

The bats are hanging in their caves,
On Halloween day, on Halloween day!
They all come out to fly around,
On Halloween night, on Halloween night!

The kids are all sitting down so nice,
On Halloween day, on Halloween day!
They all come out to trick or treat
On Halloween, on Halloween night!