MaryLee Sunseri
Singer-songwriter of children's songs
Early music specialist
Winner of 2 American Library Notable Children's Recordings and 4 Parents' Choice Awards



 How Singing Enhances My Work 

"I perform interactive music programs in preschools, K-6, libraries and parent centers and give workshops on music and its effect on brain development in babies (pre and post natal) and very young children. The songs I use in performance are chosen for quick response from young children and the caring adults in their lives. I look for familiar, sing-able songs that get everyone moving and singing along."


 The One Thing I want You to Know

"Singing together creates a bond between parent and child. Familiar songs form a language that is common and useful in situations from driving in the car to walking in the park to cuddling at bedtime—and so much more. A good song is a well-loved, completely portable and educational toy that supplies learning and joy far beyond any toy bought at a store and lives in the memory of the child long into old age. "

1.  Open Shut Them

About the Song: Develops vocabulary, fine motor skills

Personal Comment:  Easy to sing, easy to do! This one gets baby involved right away! And it’s fun to add the tickle on “creep them, creep them” going slowly then—surprise- fast! I, of course, do a slightly different version of this song than Nancy—but that’s what happens with songs. Play around and make them yours!

2. When Ducks Get Up In The Morning

About the Song: Develops vocabulary, builds strong sense of rhythm, animal noises

Personal Comment:  It’s funny, but true, that the very first language a child speaks is often the language of an animal! Moo, quack—and here in Monterey we bark like sea lions! This song has a nice steady beat, good for tapping, clapping, bouncing along. I turn my hands into the animal’s “mouth” when I’m quacking—and if a little one is in my lap, I turn my “quacking” hand in her direction.

3 . Egg Shaker Song

About the Song: Helps develop being able following directions, colors, fine motor skills, and rhythm.

Personal Comment: The children love the egg shakers, the colors and the sound. I fill mine with popcorn, some prefer rice or dry beans, and I’m lucky that my husband Frank actually welds the plastic eggs together—although tape or hot-melt glue also do a good job of keeping these together.

4 . Henry The Dog

About the Song: Introduces an unusual rhythm instrument, listening skills.

Personal Comment:   I dance the limberjack dog (available here ) and it is so fun to see children say “good dog” in total belief and love of that little dog and the marvelous tricks she can do!  (Watch a video of me using it here.)

5. Dancing Rainbow Colors

About the Song: Gross motor skills, builds listening skills and following directions

Personal Comment:  This song is good to use from toddler age right through elementary school. The children love to dance, jump and sway with colorful scarves. Definitely a rainy-day winner—or bring the scarves outside in the sunshine. Pure joy!