Eric Ode
Children's Songwriter, Author, Poet



What role does music play in your work?
"I have the privilege of “working” full time as a children’s author and songwriter. It doesn’t matter if the event is a workshop for educators, an author visit for K-6, or a gathering of preschoolers and their caregivers, the guitar comes along for the ride, and songs are sung."




What is the one thing you want people to know about singing with young children?

"We all have favorite memories that tie to our early experiences with music; sing-alongs in the car or around the campfire or in the classroom, bedtime lullabies, bathtub silly songs… Life gets busy, but our children deserve the same memories"

1. She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain

About the Song This is a terrific “We’re all here together” sort of song. Adults enjoy singing it as much as the kids, but the repetition of the lyrics makes it easily learned.

Personal Comment: I enjoy this song on so many levels. There’s a heritage behind the lyrics and a silliness to the story. There are hand motions and an accumulation of sound effects as the verses build. And there’s always room in this song for adding new ideas.

2. Sun Sun Ba Ba E

About the Song: Hand motions and movement, call and response, cultural diversity… A terrific little song!

Personal Comment: I discovered this song through the book/CD by Jose’-Luis Orozco “Diez Deditos” and present it in a similar style. You can find more up-tempo versions as well. My Spanish is pretty weak, but the lyrics are simple enough to learn when you take the time.

3. There Was A Tree  (Green Grass Grew All Around)

About the Song: Call-and-response songs are real confidence builders. This song gets busy and a little complicated for the youngest, but it’s a terrific song to teach preschoolers on up.

Personal Comment: I often use this song as an opener. Like many of my favorite songs, this one is cumulative. We make up hand motions for each verse.

4.  An Owl Sat Alone (On the Branch of a Tree)

About the Song This is actually a fingerplay rather than a song, but it’s easily learned and brings things to a quieter place very quickly.

Personal Comment: I always share this fingerplay at least two but most often three times in a row. The kids enjoy it more as they begin to master the words and the motions. The “Whoo, whoo, whoo” part is always a favorite.

Head And Shoulders

About the Song: A standard, and a terrific tool for teaching body awareness.

Personal Comment: This is a wonderful song for playing with tempo, presenting the first time slowly and methodically and then building in tempo with each additional time it’s sung. I enjoy adding unexpected body parts as we wrap it up.