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)

 

————————————————————————————————-
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! 

 

——————————————————————————————————

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!

 

Pop Pop fourth (4th) of July song for kids with a bonus chant

Goal: to improve auditory memory, language skills, oral-motor skills, sequencing skills, number concepts, fine motor skills
Materials: could include glow in the dark strips, and 5 pictures of different fireworks
Method: Show the children the 5 picutres of fireworks, count them slowly and tell the group to raise 5 fingers, Count them. Then sing the rhyme with the children adding in the motor component (tap and clap rhythms.) After the children are familiar with the chant, leave out the words “bang” and “pop” and have the children fill in the blank.
You can even have the children be the fireworks by lining them up and asking them to jump with the words “bang” and “pop,” Another variation is to have them play one instrument for those words, for example bang would be the cymbol and pop would be the drum.
This chant is a variation of the little chant:
5 little sausages cookin’ in the pan. One went pop and the other went bam. And so forth with 4,3,2, and 1.
4th of july rhyme. Dress this up for “older” kids by making all kinds of rhythmic variations on the bang/pop verse. If your kids giggle at the word bang, change it to pow or boom.
Examples of the variations include: bang bang bang pop rest (ta ta ta rest), or bang bang bang pop pop (ti ti ta ta ta) This turns it into an auditory memory drill.
5 little firecrackers shooting/flying to the top.
One went bang and the other went pop.
bang bang (tap knees) Pop pop pop (clap hands 3x)
repeat the above line three more times. (ta ta titi ta)   or last time: Noisy, noisy make it stop!!
4 little firecrackers shooting/flying to the top.

One went bang and the other went pop.
bang bang bang pop pop pop (titi ta, titi ta)
3 little firecrackers shooting/flying to the top.
One went bang and the other went pop.
bang bang bang pop pop  (titi tah, ta ta)
Here’s a bonus song:
Fireworks go snap,snap,snap!                               
c-r-r-r-rcrack!  Zap,zap,zap!
Fireworks make me clap,clap,clap
On Independence Day!
—  —  —  —  —  —
I was Born in the USA! Born in the USA!
I Was Born in the USA! And it is Independence Day!
 
Please send in any activities or musical processes  that you use with children, adolescents or adults of all ages and abilities. These could be activities for use for kids, adolescents or adults that have autism, adhd, add, down’s / down syndrome, speech language delays, oral-motor issues, physical disabilities, mental health issues, conduct disorder, cerebral palsy and other issues that we human have to contend with.  I’m also interested in any activities for people dealing with health issues, dementia, Alzheimer’s, chemical dependency, other addictions, grief, cancer, pain management and any other life issue.  I have just installed a “spam” locator which means that I’ll actually get the mail as mail. Please email me at margie@musictherapytunes.com and put activity in the subject line. Give yourself (or the author/composer)  all the credit you want or remain anonymous. Thank you!! – Margie La Bella at music therapy tunes
 

“John the Leprechaun” St. Patrick’s Day music therapy idea for kids

Goal Area: Receptive and Expressive language
Objective: Children will vocalize during the chorus and discuss the absurdities in the lyrics.
Materials: The Leprechaun adapted from the verses of “Old Dan Tucker”  (Check out the melody on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEQshqLxTss 
Method: Sing. Discuss.
Adaptations: (optional) If March 17 is not near, then change the name to anything you want. Have the children write new lyrics with their own absurdities. Have pictures available.
The chorus is good for oro-motor skills and vocalization and the verses for language.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie La Bella of musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, music, solfege…:

C                  G            C
Chorus: Ya, ha, hah. Eyo, ho, ho. (repeat)
mi sol sol      mi    re    do
C                     F            C                                      G               C
Verses 1. John, John the leprechaun. Went to school with one shoe on. (to chorus.)
1. He went to bed in a coffee can. He washed his face in a frying pan.
2. He combed his hair with a wheel. He got a headache in his heel.
3. He took a bath in a lake. He brushed this teeth with a rake.
4. He wore his socks on his head. He washed his clothes in his bed.
5. He played outside on a chair. He washed the table with his hair.

“Shadow Dancing” music therapy activity for Groundhog’s day

-Age: 6 to 12
-Goal Area: social skills (leading and following)
-Name of Activity: Shadow music.  Great for Groundhog’s day.
-Objective: Clients take turns going behind the screen and having the rest of the group imitate their movement/dancing.
-Materials: overhead projector or other light source, sheet, music of a variety of styles.
-Method: Hold the sheet perpendicular to the floor in front of the light source. Have the kids move between the sheet and the light to create shadows. Practice ways to move and make shadows. Have kids come up one or two at a time, or in small groups, or make a parade with everyone going around the sheet. Hold other objects behind the sheet and have the children name the object.
-Adaptations: “Greg and Steve” have a song called “Just like Me,”  which is great for this.  This activity is great for groundhog’s day.
Try it with short excerpts from a variety of musical styles, genres, orchestrations, and time periods. This is good for helping to establish
a relationship between what is heard and a related physical response.
Submitted by: (optional name and email)  Margie@musictherapytunes.com

“The 12 Days of Song Writing” for music therapy with children and teens

-Age:  6 to 12 and older
-Goal:  cooperation and cognitive skills
-Name of Activity:  The Twelve Days of Whatever (you’d like.)  First day of school,   Halloween, -Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Arbor day….Vacation.
-Materials: Pen and paper, instruments to accompany each verse and represent each character.
-Method: Write it. Assign instrument parts. Have the students play when their character is mentioned.
-Draw pictures to symbolize each part of the song and each corresponding instrument.
-Submitted by: Margie la Bella of musictherapytunes.com
-Melody: the 12 days of Christmas 
Sample words: On the first day of Halloween my ghoulfriend gave to me.
1. An owl in a haunted tree.  (The instrument could be a whistle, blowing into a bottle, an ocarina….)
2. Two trick-or-treaters  (Say it in an obnoxious voice.)
3. Three scary skeletons  (play a guiro or clatterpillar)
Make up your own with your own creatures.  

“The Witch Flew High” Halloween music therapy / education poem to echo and act out

-Age:  6-12 and younger
-Goal Area: Halloween– Expressive language,  vocal inflection and imitation, conceptual
-Name of Activity:
-Objective: Kids echo the short phrases after the therapist or take turns reading the lines in a spooky manner or in the manner suggested by the lyrics.   Kids move as the song suggests.  Kids modify their voices as the song suggests.  
-Materials: song, optional mic
-Method: Sing and do.
-Adaptations: Make up a sound track or sound effects. 
-Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: This one is chanted.
-Source unknown. Please let me know who the author is if you know! Carol Bitcom?
 
The silliest thing  (echo)        I’ve ever seen   (echo etc.)          is wacky old witch (etc.)     on a flying machine. 
The witch flew high.    The witch flew low.    The witch flew fast.      The witch flew slow.
The witch flew up.       The witch flew down    She circles all around the town.
Then turning left           and turning right,      she disappeared         into …the…night.
 
 
 

“3 Great Sound Poems” – music therapy social skills interventions for teenagers and thereabouts

-Goal: Cooperation, working as a team
-Name of Activity: Indians  (change as you wish.) Sound Poem
-Materials: Drums (2)  cymbols, whistle, sand blocks
-Method: Review the poem with the kids. Assign each child (or group thereof) an instrument.  Kids play their instruments at specific times providing a musical background for the poem. 
-Source: Byrd Baylor (I think)
-Adaptations: If the children can not read, make up drawings whereby they can
 “read”  the sequence of instruments.  Put your own instrumentation in. Record it. I have a video of this activity.
 Draw pictures and make a video. 
-Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
 
Ka-trum. Katrum. Ka-trum. (drum 1)      When Buffalo run (drum 2)
They darken the sun. (cymbal)       They cover the sky as they pass by. (drum2)
Tall grasses lie flat (sandblocks)      and wild birds cry. (whistle)
And dry earth trembles as they pass by. (drum1)
Native Americans stay quiet as the grass. (sandblocks)
Quiet as the shadows where buffalo pass. (drum2)
Until the zing of an arrow (cymbal) and the shish of a spear (slide whistle)
tell you they must be somewhere near….. (all read/say together.)
 ——————————————————————————————-
 
Goal: Cooperation
Name of Activity: Native American Sound Poem (Works well with Thanksgiving)
Materials: poem,  guiro, bells, clatterpillar, drum, sand blocks.
Method:  Speaker reads the poem, instrumentalists play their instruments at the specified time.  Jam up a melody for it.
Namely, after each sentence.  
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Source: Carol Bitcom
Instrumentation: Moccasins-guirro, bells, fire-clatterpillar, drums, brushes-sandblocks
Words:  Get your….
Moccasins creeping.   Ankle  bells ringing.  Fire spitting.  Drums beating. Brushes swishing.
Here We have a tale to tell.
Moccasins creeping. Bells ringing. Fire spitting. Drums beating . Brushes swishing
What will happen?   None of Us know. 
 
 
Goal: Cooperation, group contribution and participation.
Name of Activity:
Materials:  Silence  (a sound poem)
Method: The group creates background music/ sound effects  after each line of the poem is read.
Adaptations: Have the group read it emphasizing the last word of each sentence in a way that relates to that word.  Certainly, you can create your own image and sound poem.
Source: Eve Merriam – The inner city mother goose
Submitted by:  Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Hark, Hark the dogs do bark.  The neighbors yell. The babies cry. The busses grind. The bongs bong.
 The telephones ring. The jet plans fly. The car horns honk.  The taxis screech. The radio’s on. The TV’s high.
The rock and roll pours from the CD stores. The subway roars. The old women mutter in the gutter.
The rats squeak. The flies buzz. Only the roaches quietly crawl.