Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Song 3: White Christmas

Merry Christmas everybody!  I hope you are having a wonderful holiday with friends and family.  I know that I have a had a great relaxing break with TONS of food.  I have broadened my horizons a little bit and learned and new dessert.  I learned how to make Banafi which is a toffee and banana pie that originates in Europe.  It is very delicious but very rich and sweet!  I also am excited to say that I am currently a graduate from Sam Houston State University!  It was a long ride but I finally finished my music therapy degree!!

So for today I wanted to post another Christmas song for you.  I had the privelage of singing with my sister Erica Lane over the last couple weeks and different churches and venues.  She gave me a solo in which I sang "White Christmas" in the style of Michael Buble.  Listen below for this jazzy rendition.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

There's an App for that.....Christmas Music Tree

Before I continue to talk about this great holiday app, I must tell you that I have officially finished my internship!  Yesterday was my last day ever!  It was very strange as I went through my day because it seemed just like any other.  But then it was time to go and I was thinking, "Wow, that's it".  After six long months of hard work, I have finally reached the end of the tunnel.  How great it feels to have accomplished this goal.  I had a wonderful internship director who taught me so much.  I am very grateful to her for everything she did to prepare me.  She actually had a hand in getting me the job I will have starting at the very beginning of January.  I will be working under the same therapy agency in the Houston area serving clients within their homes.  I am very excited to start this new step.  But I have to admit that I am terrified of this upcoming Monday.  I have never been so nervous for a test.  I am taking the board exam for music therapy to receive my credentials of Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC).  No four letters of the alphabet have ever meant so much to me.  So please wish me luck as I take this test that determines my entire future!

So after all of my ranting, finally here is the app I was supposed to introduce to you in this blog. :)  Christmas Music Tree is a very fun holiday app that you can't help but love.  There are three Christmas songs to choose from to play or not play in the background.  You can also choose to see regular ornaments on the tree or letter note named ornaments on the tree.  So if you chose letters, you would see A, B, C, D, E, F, G repeated a couple places.  So basically, you can touch the ornaments and they have a bell-like sound.  It's really fun to touch them in all the different spots and can be quite challenging.  That is part of the reason I love this app.  It is fantastic for hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.  It's not some easy touch app, it requires a little bit of concentration.  Another way I use this with clients is by taking advantage of the letter names and having them spell words with me.  Granted, you are limited to the general C scale but you would be surprised at how many recognizable words you can make out of those few letters.  Some examples of words I had a client spell with me are:  bed, fed, bag, gag, fad, had, etc.  So I hope you enjoy this app during the holidays as much as I do!  Another plus is that the lite version I use is FREE!  Enjoy my video demonstration:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dancing Around the Christmas Tree

This week I have been doing several holiday interventions.  One of my favorites was my adaptation of "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree"  I realized that this song is already perfect for incorporating movements due to the lyrics.  I went through the verses and changed up the words to add in several different movements.  As you will see below, I sang through the whole song with 4 different movements.  Then, I sang through the song again singing the 4 additional movements in parenthesis.  Here is an explanation of the movements I used:

1. Rocking=  Alternating arms up and down vertically in front of you with fists closed
2. Clapping= Clap to the beat of the music
3. Twirling= Arms up like a ballerina and spinning in circles
4. Dancing= Sliding feet side to side
5. Prancing= Skipping in place
6. Rolling= Clench fists and roll them in front of you horizontally
7. Twisting= Do "The Twist"
8. Flying= I tell them to fly like reindeer with their arms out

I had come up with several movements for this intervention and then I read Stephanie's blog at The Rhythmic Mind and got some great ideas for additional movements.  Make sure you check hers out as well for another great movement song she created.

Dancing Around the Christmas Tree

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Song 2: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

For my second Christmas Song post, I am not technically singing.  My beautiful and talented sister allowed my husband and I to take part in her music video, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."  It was a very neat experience and kind of strange and exciting for us to see ourselves on a music video.  It was really neat and special to reenact my husband proposing to me.  This post is mainly for your entertainment so I hope you enjoy.  To hear more from my sister, find Erica Lane on her website, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

There's an app for that....Holiday Bells

Today I want to share a great holiday app that I discovered while searching "Jingle Bells" on the App Store.  It is called Holiday Bells.  I love this app because it allows anybody to play several familiar Christmas songs using bells.  It also has the option to play single bells at a time, or play specific notes in a scale.  This is great for fine motor skills, sequencing, and reading.  The cool thing about it is that it places a snowflake and words above the next bell that is to be played.  I use this with my clients all the time!  Here is a video demonstration below:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Must Be Santa

This week I had the pleasure of introducing my Christmas interventions into the schools.  I have been looking forward to this for a long time!  I love Christmastime and will incorporate it any way that I can.  One of the interventions that I introduced this week incorporated the song "Must Be Santa" in the style of Raffi.  One day last week I walked into a preschool to carry out an assessment and heard this song on the CD player.  A flood of memories filled my mind as I went back to my childhood singing that same song.  I had no choice but to use it!  This song is so great because it requires memory of different clothing and activities Santa Claus participates in.  I created laminated pictures of each clothing item or activity to help the children remember what came next.  Students are forced to remember what comes next, verbalize correct words, point to pictures at the correct time, and participate by singing repeated phrases.  Here are the lyrics:

Who's got a beard that's long and white
Santa's got a beard that's long and white
Who comes around on a special night
Santa comes around on a special night
Special night, beard that's white
Must be Santa, Must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus

(The song continues to add the following)
Boot and a suit of red
Long cap on his head

Big red cherry nose
Laughs this way Ho, Ho, Ho

Very soon will come our way
Eight little reindeer pull his sleigh