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"
She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round
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.
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
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.