Christmas music to get you moving and grooving!
It’s December, and most likely your focus has been on incorporating holiday music into your lessons and sessions. It’s a festive time of year, and in my opinion, adding holiday music to your music lineup brings a lot of JOY to you and your students and clients.
Here at Bear Paw Creek, since we focus on music and movement, we wanted to highlight how you can incorporate movement in your music classes and sessions. We’ve also included a handy YouTube playlist to inspire you in planning your sessions, lessons, or classes this holiday season.
Who doesn’t love the sound of jingle bells at this time of year? Besides the familiar Jingle Bells and Jingle Bell Rock, you can use your jingle bells with lots of different Christmas songs, as well. Two favorites of mine are Silver Bells and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town. These jingle bell scrunchies can be perfect to use when addressing fine motor skills, such as grasping.
If you are looking to stretch your repertoire beyond Jingle Bells, however, SKS Music Therapy has it covered here in this blog post entitled appropriately “Past Jingle Bells: Three Ideas for Palate-Cleansing Christmas Music.”
Music therapist Ryan Judd also covers a couple of easy to learn holiday songs for kids with special needs on his vlog — including using jingle bells. Watch his video here.
Stretchy Band & Connect-a-Stretchy-Band
When incorporating Christmas music with movement, you can’t go wrong with upbeat classics like Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree and Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride. The Stretchy Band or Connect-a-Stretchy-Band are excellent props that you can use to support your student’s or client’s movements.
If you are looking to slow the tempo a bit and really focus on slow and controlled motor movements, you can always incorporate the slow jazz version of O Christmas Tree by the Vince Guaraldi Trio or White Christmas for your older adults.
If you work with older adults, Rachelle Norman, MT-BC blogged about some “fresh” music ideas. She shares her post here.
Bear Paw Creek Christmas Playlist 2017
Scarves & Streamers
Skater’s Waltz & Skating by The Vince Guaraldi Trio
These two selections are perfect for pairing with scarves (I like using shades of pink, blue, purple and white at this time of year). If you work with younger children, you can add paper plate skates! Take a simple white paper plate, have your kiddos step on them, “lace them up,” and skate away. This works best on carpet.
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – Pentatonix
I really love this version of the Sugar Plum Fairy because of its’ strong beat. You can keep a steady beat with your streamers while having your clients or students mirror your movements. Read our post about why a steady beat is important.
An activity extension is to take turns having different leaders and see the creative ideas come forth from your clients and students!
Songs in ¾ time
¾ time in music lends itself well to smooth, sweeping motions. Just think of your favorite waltz dance. Do you automatically start to sway to the beat?
Grab your favorite scarves or streamers and sway, bounce, tap, toss and catch, roll, balance, and turn to these great selections that are in in ¾ time.
- It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
- Coventry Carol – Pentatonix
- Away in the Manger
- What Child is This?
- My Favorite Things – from The Sound of Music
Special Downloads & Printables
Movement Action Cards
You can pair these great movement cards with a freeze song of your choice. These great, colorful, and fun movement cards from the Oopsey Daisy Blog are a favorite of mine for the early childhood crowd.
Activity Ideas Download
Coast Music Therapy offers this great download of activity ideas that teach social, language, and motor skills.
Christmas + Literacy = A great combo!
There are so many great singable books that you can use at this time of year. I pull these books out every year with my own children, and we enjoy being snuggled together while singing these wonderful and beautiful books.
Click on each book image to purchase on Amazon.
Little Drummer Boy – Ezra Jack Keats
How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Dr. Seuss
Snowmen at Christmas – Caralyn Buehner
Jingle Bells – Iza Trapani
Take a look at some of our previous Christmas-related blog posts:
- 3 Christmas Song Lists for Memory Care
- 10 Christmas Gift Ideas
- Christmas Music & Movement
- Holiday Shopping Guide
What are your favorite Christmas songs that you use in your music therapy sessions or music classes?