Monday Music & Movement: {Oh Mr. Sun}

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I don’t know what the weather is like where you live…but in MN we have had sleet, thundersnow, and rain for the last week or so. Naturally, I am dreaming of sunshine and temperatures that are higher than 38 degrees! Thus, the inspiration for today’s post on the children’s song, Oh Mr. Sun.

There are many ways you can use this song as a music therapist, teacher, or parent! I like to use Oh Mr. Sun when working with a client or a group of clients that has expressive language goals. I have used this in individual sessions and with a group of non-native English speaking children as well. You will need one tambourine, I prefer using one with a shiny head that is easy to hit. You can also stick a laminated “Mr. Sun” on the tambourine head as well.

The structure of the lyrics make it easy to use “sun” as the consonant vowel consonant (CVC) word that the child will work on during the intervention. Not only does the child sing “sun”, but they also get to hit the tambourine. In addition to the language goal, you can work on joint attention by using one tambourine. Since one friend gets to hit the tambourine and say “sun” at a time, the children will be focusing in on one object. The group will also work on turn taking and friends can be peer models. You may want to incorporate signs for please and me along with sun for children that may be non-verbal or selectively mute.

Showing the child that you want them to hit and say sun by example in the first line is a great way to get into the music without wasting time on explanations. If you are working with a group, then each time there is the word “sun”, another child can have a turn to say the word and hit the drum.

Oh, Mr. Sun (hit the tambourine), Sun (hit the tambourine), Mr. Golden _____ (opportunity for child to hit tambourine and say “sun”),
Please shine down on me.

Oh, Mr. Sun (hit the tambourine), Sun (hit the tambourine),
Hiding behind a tree

These little children are asking you
To please come out so we can play with you.

Oh, Mr. SunSun (opportunity for child to hit tambourine and say “sun”),
Please shine down on,
please shine down on,
Please shine down on me.

We hope you have some sunshine in your sessions or at home with this song today!

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Monday Music & Movement: {Old Blue}

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Pretty much every little one I know likes puppies. Today’s therapeutic music intervention uses the first verse of the traditional “Old Blue” to work on expressive and/or receptive color identification, joint attention, matching, turn taking, and fine motor skills.

Start by saving the image above or searching for a black and white clipart of a puppy. You will want to print off two for each color you are working on. Go ahead and laminate them too, because we all know there is a good chance these puppies are going to get chewed on!

Pass out the dogs with whatever transition song you like to use. This would be a great opportunity to incorporate a transition song during which you sing the colors once while holding them up and use PECS or sign if any of your little ones use them. Then, hold up one color dog using your thumb and pointer (pincer grasp to encourage use of fine motor skills) and encourage all of the little ones to do the same. Start singing using the color you are holding first.

The lyrics are very simple, I just changed the last line in to a question:

Had a dog and his name was _color_

Had a dog and his name was _color_

Had a dog and his name was _color_

Who has a _color_ dog too?

Wait for the correct answer and reinforce! Then to have even more practice association the color with the name, sing another time with the child’s name.

_____ has a _color_ dog

_____ has a_color_ dog

_____ has a _color_ dog

Come put it on the board!

The children are matching the dog they have with the one you will be holding (a pre-reading and pre-writing skill). The little ones will also be identifying colors receptively by holding up the green or using their words or sign to indicate that they have purple. Finally, your group will be turn taking and working on joint attention by attending to the dog you have and the color of dogs their peers have in the group.

Here is a link to the sheet music and chords.

We hope you can use this intervention with your clients or little ones. You can mix it up by using different animals or cutting animals out and placing them on different shapes to identify!