5 Transition Songs to Use with Your Kids Today

Transitions can be hard for young children.  From waking up and starting morning routines, to getting out of the bath and ready for bed, life is full of transitions.  Here are 5 songs you can use today to make these transitions easier for your kids, and in turn, easier for you.

Good Morning Song

Do your kids take a while to wake up?  I’ve found that even if I’m in a rush, taking the time to sing a short good morning song lets them transition into the day more smoothly, and we overall save time in the morning because they are more compliant.  I usually sing a song my mother used to sing to me, a version of “Good Morning” from Babes in Arms and Singin’ in the Rain.

Clean Up song

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5 Simple Ways to Make Music with Your Kids

All children are musical!  You can make music together as a family, even if you don’t have formal music training.  Making music with your children when they are young can help them learn and grow, develop a healthy bond with you, and foster a love of music that will last a lifetime.  Here are some simple ways to make music with your kids:

Repeat their noises

This technique works even with the youngest infants!  When your baby coos at you, coo right back and smile.  This helps your baby learn the basics of communication!  Older babies and Continue reading

Happy Mother’s Day!

I hope you were able to enjoy some time with your loved ones on Mother’s Day!  My oldest and I got matching hair cuts on Saturday and spent some quality time with my mom.

On Sunday, we went to Eagle Creek Park, where we (accidentally) saw the end of the Big 10 rowing championship, played on a playground, and had a picnic in the back of my car.

We also got to watch the reptiles get fed at the Earth Discovery Center.  Who would have guessed that my 3 year old would be enthralled with the snake?

I hope your Mother’s Day weekend was filled with love and laughter!

With joy,


Music Tip: Picky Eater

Do you have a picky eater in your house?

I know how frustrating it can be when your child refuses to even try certain foods!  In this video, I explain how to use a silly song to encourage your kid to eat.

The sillier you are, the more likely it is that your toddler will play along.  And I don’t want to hear you say, “Oh, I don’t have a good voice…” because you don’t need a beautiful or trained voice to be silly with your kids!  Just give it a try.  You can do it!

Do you ever sing songs at the dinner table?  Let me know in the comments!

With joy,


Intervention Spotlight: Encouraging Vocalization Through Singing

Intervention Spotlight-Have you ever seen the  movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”

One scene depicts the bad guy trying to get Roger to show himself by tapping the rhythm of “Shave and a Haircut…” on the walls.  Roger tries to resist, but in the end he can’t help but to jump out and complete the phrase: “Two Bits!”

We all have a natural inclination to complete unfinished musical phrases.

Music therapists use this to our advantage, especially when we’re working with clients who need some encouragement when it comes to vocalization.  Watch the video below for a demonstration with my sweet daughter:

I remember being fascinated with this concept in my college music theory classes.  Certain Continue reading

Music Classes Build Social Skills

Joyful Melodies Music ClassesI had a very proud mama moment in our Intergenerational Music Class last weekend.  My daughter, Mary, attends the class with my husband every week.  This was the sixth music class of the summer session, and Mary has come out of her shell more and more each class.  This class is held in a retirement home, and we call the older adults “grandfriends” and encourage them to join our class every week.  I often ask the children to interact with their grandfriends by waving hello, asking their names, and taking them small instruments.  Mary has always been shy around the grandfriends and has needed to hang onto one of her parents before she would approach a grandfriend.

This time, when I asked her to take an egg shaker to a grandfriend, Phyllis, she happily took it from me, ran over to Phyllis, and plopped it into her hand!  I was so proud of her and happy to see that she was learning to form relationships with her grandfriends.

The other children have been building social skills in the Intergenerational Music Class, too!  It has been wonderful to see them interact with each other and the grandfriends in more and more meaningful ways throughout this class session.


Do you have a child who would benefit from this type of socialization?  Sign up for our next session!  We start in August.  Learn more and register here.

With joy,


Feel the Beat

Feel the Beat Joyful Melodies Music TherapyI use a lot of improvisation in my music therapy work.  This week I had many music therapy sessions with infants in the hospital who were falling behind on their developmental milestones due to their medical circumstances.  This song, Feel the Beat, stuck with me after it arose spontaneously during a session.

With these infants, I used this song while gently tapping them on various specified body parts.  This helped them become accustomed to positive touch – touch that isn’t painful, like much of the touch they experience during their medical care.

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Lessons Learned at 10,000 Feet

Lessons Learned at10,000 Feet



Joyful MelodiesI recently traveled with my husband and some friends of ours to Great Basin National Park, where we attended a friend’s wedding on a mountain.  It was the most unique wedding I’ve ever experienced, complete with mountain hiking, a cave tour, s’mores around the campfire, and no cellular service.  There was an excess of nice cameras, so I was invited to play amateur photographer, too, which was a lot of fun!

After two nights in the park, we drove a few hours and spent a couple of days visiting Salt Lake City.  We explored the city, did even more mountain hiking, and just enjoyed spending grown-up time together without kids. Continue reading

Joyful Melodies cares about you!

Joyful Melodies Intergenerational Music Classes

I’ve heard from many of you that you want to enroll your child in an intergenerational music class, but that the current 8-week summer offering doesn’t fit into your schedule.   My two year old and I spent some time today making contact with additional retirement communities on the west side of Indianapolis to explore the option of adding additional summer and fall groups!  Subscribe to the blog to stay updated on future opportunities for your family.  We care about you, and really want you to be able to join us!

If it works in your schedule, there are still a few spots open in our current class offering that begins in June!  You and your 0-3 year old will have so much fun playing with other young children and building relationships with older adults in this special class.  Don’t miss out!

Until we see you in a class, make some joyful melodies at home!  Sing silly songs with your kids.  Don’t know where to start?  Try singing about something simple – what you are eating for dinner.  “Mary likes to eat, eat, eat, yummy strawberries!” was our dinner song tonight.

What’s the silliest song you’ve ever sung to your kids?  I’d love to hear from you!  Let me know by leaving a comment below.

With joy,


Busy September

Hi everyone!  It has been a while between blog posts, but Joyful Melodies has been busier than ever.

Joyful Melodies Music TherapyOne of my bucket list items was checked off recently when I was interviewed for the Guitars & Granola Bars podcast.  The podcast is hosted by Rachel Rambach, a music therapist in Illinois, and is about music therapy and motherhood.  Find out more and take a listen here. 





Joyful Melodies has begun contracting with a mortuary to provide music therapy groups to older adults in assisted living and other senior facilities.   It may sound strange, but it has been a fantastic partnership!  It’s such fun to sing oldies and play instruments with these wonderful seniors.Joyful Melodies Music Therapy

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