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Entries in early childhood music (3)


Music Tools: The Tambourine Song... for improving gross motor and social skills. Bringing you music tools for early childhood & kids with special needs

In my history of music therapy, education, and training I have quite a few songs in my tool belt to use in my classes. Some of them I can't pinpoint who wrote it, but I know where I first learned it. That's the case with this fun song simply titled "The Tambourine Song"! When I was studying Music Therapy at California State University Northridge, I had the honor of working with Julie Berghofer, NRMT, a music therapist with over 20 years experience in the pediatric field, and Assistant Director of the Music Therapy Wellness Clinic at CSUN. She used this song is her sessions with kids with special needs, but I think it's excellent for many ages and abilities.

The lyrics are so simple and state exactly what is happening.

"What are we doing? What are we doing? What are we doing today? We're taking turns on the tambourine, taking turns today. (Billy) can play, (Andy) can play, and (Suzie) can play! We're taking turns on the tambourine. 1 - 2 - 3!"

With this simple song we are working on gross motor skills and social skills. The kids must extend their arms to hit the tambourine on the most basic level. For the older kids you can add variations such as right or left hand only, reaching high and low, and crossing body midline. Not only are we working on improving gross motor skills, we are simultaneously working on social skills. Many music interventions work on taking turns like this one, but I love that the Tambourine Song also helps improve kids ability to wait their turn. You can see how eager even the infants are in the video to have their turn to hit the tambourine! When using this song with preschoolers or older kids they most likely will want to play this "game" standing up. Give them a special marker on the carpet/floor that is their own place and part of the "game" is to stay in your spot and wait for the tambourine to be presented to them to hit. Use the variations above to make it more fun for them, let them take a turn being the leader if they can, and ask them if they want to go faster and faster!

Across many age groups and abilities my students love this song! It works in my classes and at home, and I hope it does the same for you.

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Thanks for being you and making music with me at!

Sarah jane


Music Tools: The Seatbelt Song.... to help with transitions and bonding - Bringing you music tools for early childhood & kids with special needs.

Hello! I have been talking about doing a video blog for a while now and this is my first official go at it! As a mom, small business owner, and busy bee in life I kept making excuses to not start THAT day. Today I am excited to begin and feel amazing support to help push me through. Thanks for reading! My goal is to share ideas and music tools that will help support kids in early childhood and their development. This blog is created with not only parents in mind, but also other caregivers, educators, and therapists.

Today's song is called "Wiggly Jiggly Car" by Elizabeth Schwartz, professor at Molloy College and co-founder of Raising Harmony, Music Therapy for Young Children. Raising Harmony is the home of Sprouting Melodies Early Childhood Music Program which I am proud to be a part of and offer classes for in Buffalo, NY.

This song is designed as a bonding song, but is also a great transition song. In my home I sing this to help ease the challenge of getting my son in his car seat, as well as to bond with him and reassure the safety I provide when my arms are wrapped around him tight. This song can be done with caregivers having the child on their lap, or in a group setting with just the kids doing the motions. They love the anticipation of waiting for the Wiggly Jiggly bouncing part and the curve so go ahead! Ham it up!

The idea is to use this song in a fun environment at home or music class, then reintroduce it as a transition song when you need it most in the car. This has been helpful in my house, I hope it will make the car ride a little bit easier for both you and your little one.

Want more music tools for ealy childhood & kids with special needs? Get what you need with our blog. Subscribe to the right!

Thanks for being you and making music with me at

Sarah jane




Give the Gift of Music! Gift Certificates available

Looking for unique gifts for your family this holiday season? Give the gift of music! Life Rhythm Music Therapy offers the gift that truly gives back. From individual music lessons, to our Kids Rock! lessons and birthday parties, to Sprouting Melodies Music Classes for the littlest ones... there’s something for everyone on your list. (Share this link with the grandparents with the button on the left!)


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* May not be combined with any other offer. Holiday promotions end December 20, 2014.