Tag Archives: music

Super summer playlist

The first day of summer is here!  It’s time for fun in the sun.

I like to have the perfect soundtrack ready to accompany summer activities – relaxing by the pool, cooking out on the patio, cruising in the car, whatever.  Today I put together my new summer playlist for about an hour of listening time.

This summer playlist is a mix of older and newer songs with a cheerful vibe.  I think these tunes are the perfect accompaniment for a lovely summer day!

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1.  Happy – Pharrell Williams

2.  Good Feeling – Flo Rida

3.  Good Time – Owl City and Carly Rae Jepson

4.  Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves

5.  Brighter than the Sun – Colbie Callait

6.  Say Hey – Michael Franti & Spearhead

7.  Feel Again – OneRepublic

8.  Happy – Natasha Bedingfield

9.  These are Days – 10,000 Maniacs

10.  Praise You – Fatboy Slim

11.  Better Together – Jack Johnson

12.  Beautiful World – Carolina Liar

13.  Island in the Sun – Weezer

14.  Somewhere over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

What are your favorite songs for a summer playlist?

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Discovering helpful music for kids: The Listening Song

Sometimes you find beneficial things in the most unlikely places!

While catching up on an episode of Parks and Recreation on my DVR (the “One in 8,000” episode from April 17, 2014), I heard a cute song for kids. It was new to me, and I had to rewind and listen to it again. I wanted to make sure I caught the words so I could look it up.

The Listening Song

Scroll down to link to a free printable of The Listening Song.

See more resources on Pinterest

I immediately thought that The Listening Song would have been a useful tune when my older kids had been younger.  I would have loved to use it when I was sitting them down to go through preschool concepts to make sure they were ready to start kindergarten. My next thought was that it may be a helpful tool when I’m volunteering to work with kids at our church.

Early in my journey as a parent, I learned that music is a great way to connect with kids. We have often used music – listening or singing or both – to change the mood and redirect energy.

Once, in a burst of sleep-deprived silliness, I made up my own song to convince my son to go to sleep. To my surprise, it actually seemed to work. After that, I sang it to my kids regularly when they were little and was amazed at how well it seemed to help settle them down.  I don’t have a particularly good singing voice, though, so I suspect they may have just wanted to go to sleep to end the torture of having to listen to me sing! :-)

When volunteering to help with children’s programs, songs are often a good way to transition between activities. This song seems like a simple way to remind young children when it’s time to sit still and listen.

Get the free printable version of The Listening Song

The Listening Song – to the tune of Frere Jacques
Eyes are watching,
Ears are listening,
Lips are closed,
Hands are still,
Feet are very quiet,
You should really try it.
Listening well, listening well.

It’s a fun song for kids that’s helpful for parents, teachers – anyone who works with children!

I looked online to find an author and give proper credit, but couldn’t find who came up with this little song.

Have you heard The Listening Song before? I wish I would have learned it sooner, but I’m glad I know it now!

You may also like fun, free printable lunchbox notes to encourage kids at school.

See The Listening Song and other helpful information on my Mom Sense board on Pinterest. Come pin along with me!

Music lessons for kids with life-long benefits

Don’t you love when your child chooses something that is good for him or her? Like when she decides that she loves to eat green beans? Or he realizes that he prefers reading over watching television?

I’ve always hoped my kids would love music and want to learn how to play. I played the clarinet for a short time as a child, and as an adult I’ve regretted giving it up. I wanted my kids to have the same opportunity to at least try music lessons, with the hope that they would stick with it.

Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music - Ronald Reagan quoteFrom the earliest mention of music lessons, my daughter jumped at the chance to play piano, and she has been taking lessons for a year.  Meanwhile, my boys weren’t interested. 

Until now.

My son has now decided he wants to play the violin. I have to admit, I had kinda hoped somebody would want to play the guitar since seems more practical.  But he chose the violin so we went out and rented one over the weekend, and he’s ready to get started with his lessons.

Since my son got his violin, my daughter has stepped up her piano practicing. The idea that they can play songs together seems to have renewed her excitement for playing.

Beyond their enjoyment of music, I’m thrilled that they’re getting other benefits from their music lessons. I’ve read several articles recently about the long-term boost from childhood music lessons.

An article on PBS.org cites research that found childhood music education increased language development, improved spatial-temporal skills involved in math, enhanced  memory and test-taking skills, and may even provide an IQ boost.

Another article from Medical Daily notes that research shows childhood arts and music may help promote future success.

These are all great potential benefits! My kids are also learning personal responsibility for keeping up with their practicing and caring for their music books and instrument.

I’m looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish as musicians! It almost makes me want to try playing the clarinet again.  Did anyone else give up music as a kid and then regret it?