Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Five: Books to sing

Many books written for young children can be adapted for your music therapy sessions to meet a wide range of objectives. Many books are already written in rhyme. Simply add a melody or chant rhythm to make it musical.

The most important to remember when singing a book is that kids' attention spans are usually very short. Choose a book that is also short in length (or skip the repetitive pages if possible). Engage the child by using a variety of facial expressions or voices, turning the page, pointing to something in the book, acting out a character in the story, etc.

Below is a list to get you started:

Five Little Moneys Jumping on the Bed
Already a popular tune, this book can add a visual to something the child is already familiar with. There are other books in this series as well, like FLM Bake a Birthday Cake, FLM Wash a Car, and FLM Play Hide and Seek. Rachel Rambach has offered some helpful advice for FLM Play Hide and Seek on her blog.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Another wildly popular book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom teaches the alphabet through a cute story. It is great for singing because the story rhymes and frequently repeats, "chicka chicka boom boom." In fact, the songs already has a melody out there that some kids may be familiar with. Watch it on youtube.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

This is a beautiful picture book that was very popular in my own elementary school days. Great for teaching colors and animals. As you sing, ask "What sound does a bear (or bird, frog, horse, dog) make?" As an added bonus, if you google Brown Bear, Brown Bear lesson plans, you will find some great ideas that have already been used in the classroom that could potentially be adapted to fit your MT session. Here is an example of one of those pages. I especially love the idea of just showing the tail of the animal as you turn the page, letting the child guess what comes next.

Down By the Bay
This song was one that I remember singing in preschool to practice rhyming. It is super silly and with a little help, kids can easily improv the next line of the song. Raffi has a number of other songs to read, of course. Some examples are Baby Beluga, If You're Happy and You Know It, and Five Little Ducks. See the top ten here on Amazon.

The Seals on the Bus
I really like this silly, mixed up version of wheels on the bus. If you're not ready to sing about seals, rabbits, lions, and monkeys, then the regular old version of Wheels On the Bus will also work just fine in your session!

Of course, there are many more singable stories out there. A google search will bring up many more ideas, like the page I found here. Or else go to your local bookstore and search the racks of books for something similar.

For those of you that have favorite singable stories of your own, please post them here!

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