This month the free download on is  “Five Little Monkeys”.  You know the one… it has 5 pesky monkeys and one hungry alligator always trying to SNAP a monkey out of the tree, just for doing a little teasing. GEESH!  The kids love it because I use my “Aa” alligator puppet along with my 5″Dollar Tree” puppets to snap at 5 lucky kiddos. (don’t you just LOVE the dollar tree?) Squeals of delight!! I love it because my son CJ recorded it with some really nice guitar and we also added some jazzy trombone too!  Such fun!  If you have a bigger group of kids,  (for instance, your school or center exists in the real world) you might use enough laminated monkey cutouts for all of the kids.  Still lots and lots of fun!

Tunes and Tales is starting a new tradition in the Mid Michigan Area… Caregiver of the month.  There are so so many unsung heros doing great things every day for our kids. YOU are all included. You buy snacks and mittens for children who are not your own.  You help kids with homework so that parents who are tired or busy do not have to. You tie shoes… heck, you BUY shoes!  You drive kids places and you care for them on your days off.

If you know one of these “unsung heros”, please drop me an email or send me a message on facebook. Let me know who this person is  and why they deserve recognition. We will pick a new person each month to come to their classroom, do a quick music & storytelling program for the kiddos (every caregiver could use a quick break to use the loo) and bring along a few surprises as well.  Thanks for your help with my new mission!

Keep on singing!



The Dove Foundation – Dove Logos & Images | The Dove Foundation provides online family movie and video reviews and ratings and awards the Dove Family Approved Seal..


Guess What!?  Hard Rock Candy Mountain has received the Dove Foundation Family Seal of Approval! Hooray!

I was at a birthday party over the week end and had SUCH a great time… and so did my very good friend “Calamity Kate”.  You see, the theme for this very special 5 year old was cowboys and there were bales of hay, hot dogs over a campfire, and lots of friends and family to celebrate with her!  Good ol'”Kate” is my cowgirl puppet who, by the way, has been practicing her mind reading skills on rattlesnakes and cactuses and was very excited to be at her first birthday party party to practice on a real human bein’. Brenna (the birthday girl) told us what her favorite presents were before Kate’s arrival and it was the puppet’s job to read her mind and figure out what her gifts were. Poor Kate!  Guess # 1 : “Beans!”  No…. Guess#2: “Boots!” No….. Guess#3 “Cow patties!”  “Yes!”  trilled Brenna, having only recently found out what cow patties were.  You never do know how these things will turn out, but it is always fun for everyone involved!  In this case, we all celebrated Brenna’s “I sure am glad you were born’ birthday party.  Life is oh so good.

Puppets are something that I started using in the classroom many years ago and only in recent years got more comfortable using them in front of other adults.  I am not a ventriloquist, but the kids don’t seem to notice.  If I look a little eccentric to adults, I guess that’s just the way it has to be.  Over the years, puppets have proven a valuable teaching tool for  many skills academic and otherwise.  They have helped with getting splinters out, getting children to bed, and introducing story time. They sing, make children feel comfortable with mistakes, and distract children from what they need not worry about.  Come to think of it, they can do the same thing for adults.

The Children’s Music Guide.


I love blogging, but I also love reading other blogs. The kids music connection is truly, amazingly, wonderfully, awesome.  Do I sound smitten? There are some really dedicated and talented kids artists out in the world who are doing some marvelous things.  They could choose to do anything at all with their God-given, self-driven, talents.  But they are doing it for the smallest of God’s creatures. And they are doing it joyfully and well. And I , for one, am soooo glad that they are sharing it on the Kids Music Connection Blog.

When you get on to the site, you will find one artist after another described in detail and most of them have at least one song available for free download as well as a wealth of background information about the artist or band. You have to go quite a ways down the page before you get to the Children’s Music Guide, but it is well worth the scroll. When you get there, you are rewarded with 80 free music downloads in a variety of musical styles. There are artist profiles, videos, and contests throughout the site. It inspires me every time I go to this site.  Happy Monday!!




You gotta sing!!Hello all!

Sometimes you just gotta!  When I was a little kid… heck even when I got older… heck even now…. there are times when I just GOTTA sing.  I always hope that nowadays when I get the urge to belt my own  Broadway style version of  “Don’t Rain On My Parade” that I am driving down a country road with the windows securely shut.  It’s just better that way. For everyone.

This week’s song of the week is a traditional tune that you can find almost anywhere online (including my “Hard Rock Candy Mountain” cd) called You Gotta Sing.  I think one of the reasons I like it so much is because it is written in a minor key, giving it kind a “spooky” sound and just drawing you into it… nice. Another reason is because when I use it, it works like a “zipper” song.  It is never the same song twice in a row. You gotta dance when the spirit says dance… you gotta eat when the spirit says eat… you gotta twirl when the spirit says twirl… etc. Lots of fun and can keep going until next Tuesday if you have a long attention span or are waiting for those doggone buses to arrive.

Look on the Songs for Teaching website and/or google for more verses, but this will get you started:

P.S. The Songs for Teaching website gives you a big enough sound bite that you will be able to pick up the tune super quick! 🙂

You gotta sing when the spirit says sing;

You gotta sing when the spirit says sing;

When the spirit says sing you gotta sing right along

You gotta sing when the spirit says sing

You gotta laugh…dance….read…..sneeze…..wiggle…..shake….hug….smile…giggle….


Have a great week!




This week I have added more new stuff to my slowly growing span of knowledge of technology.  My son CJ introduced me to the idea of “bandcamp” to sell mp3 audios online and some kind of sound cards for downloading my music on cards the size of credit cards and selling those as an alternative to my cds. They would be cheaper for my clients and easier for me to carry around as well.  Whoa, baby!  One idea at a time for this old gal!  This week, bandcamp!  Next week…. digital download cards!  I feel a little like I am training for the never ending marathon, but loving every minute!  Life is so exciting right now and really really fun!

This month’s free download is from my first cd “Hard Rock Candy Mountain”. I have used this song at least 5 drillion times with little folks and my bag of musical instruments, because kiddos love using instruments so much and it helps with listening skills, waiting their turn, and is just darned fun! I actually learned this traditional country tune as a small child listening to my uncles play guitar and fiddle in my family’s living room at home. Here’s the link :  Mama Don’t Allow

Thanks for listening!



I just got an “audio – visual” postcard yesterday from an online kids musician named “Miss Leslie” who looks to be at least my age and way ahead in the techno- world… if she can do it, you can bet I am jumping on this train too!!!

If you want to work on learning kids names on those first days of school, here is a fun activity that the kids like to repeat over and over. (AND OVER!!) The tune is from the old nursery tune “In and Out My Window”… if you are under 30, you may have to check your “Wee Sing Songbook”.

To prepare for this activity, you will need an empty picture frame. No glass. I glued small plastic gemstones on the outside of mine, but you could use stickers, dots, paint, foam shapes, or just leave it the way it is! The kids will love the active participation! I wish I knew who to give credit to for this, but I’ve been doing it so long, that I truly cannot remember which book I took it from. (I apologize to the copyright police!) Please excuse my ignorance and poor manners.

Use the frame around your own face until you get to the last word of the verse: the child’s name— then frame the child’s face. You will get a big smile! That’s my favorite part! Enjoy!
“I’m Looking Through My Window”

I’m looking through my window
I’m looking through my window
I’m looking through my window
And I see my friend ________!

That’s all there is to it!
It will take awhile if you have a large class, but you will just sing: And I see my friend _______ and ______ and ______!!

Happy singing!


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