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Our Collection of Children's Songs


Learn with Music

Playing with Music at Home: Tips to explore music and connect it to children's learning

10 Ways Babies Learn When We Sing to Them: Listening skills, new words, and so much more

 

Featured Artists and Songs

We are featuring a fun selection of songs about animals! Be sure to come back soon to hear a new selection of children's music—and don't miss the growing archive of children's songs.

La Golondrina

Sonia De Los Santos

 
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Tell us about your music:

Latin American Folk Music for all ages! I’ve been touring with the Grammy Award winning group Dan Zanes and Friends for the last 9 years and on my first solo family album Mi Viaje: De Nuevo León to the New York Island I reflect on my experiences growing up in Mexico, moving to another country, learning about other cultures, and in the process, feeling closer to my own heritage. All the songs in my album tell little pieces of that journey from my hometown Monterrey in México, all the way to New York City!

About your song (e.g., any unique instruments used, the origins of the lyrics, what inspired you, etc.):

A “Golondrina” is a swallow bird and I wrote this song thinking about the afternoons I spent as a child sitting on my grandmother’s porch. We would watch these birds as they would make their nests and stay for a while, and then fly away only to make their nests again in new places. Some people like to call them migrant birds- their pilgrimage sounds very familiar to me! Inspired by the Mexican Son Jarocho style from the state of Veracruz, the instrumentation follows this tradition. You can hear the “requinto jarocho” playing the introduction and the violin introduces the melody. There’s also two different sizes of “jaranas” - small 8 string guitars- and the “leona” and “marimbol” - a plucked key box bass- are in charge of playing the bass notes. You can also hear a rattlin’ donkey’s jaw and the “zapateado”- a percussive dance done over a wooden platform.

What you hope children & families will get from this song:

The song is about an adventurous bird that flies to faraway places but never forgets where it’s coming from. It’s an analogy of my own journey and I hope it inspires other people -young and old- to follow their own dreams wherever they may be...

Photo © Quetzal Photography

soniadelossantosmusic.com

If I Were An Octopus

Michael and the Rockness Monsters

 
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Tell us about your music:

Music is our vehicle. A vehicle that can take us on a variety of journeys and teach us many things along the way. When we are writing material for children, their ideas and curiosities are guiding the song lyrics, as well as the structure. A hook, a great chorus and thought provoking lyrics (as silly as songs may get - like this song) are integral in grabbing the attention of the young child, the parent and the teacher!

This band is a spin off of Preschool of Rock, an award winning early childhood education program combining STEM, Movement, Language and Emotional Development that serves many NAEYC schools in NY and NJ. Although the Preschool of Rock catalogue of music is targeted primarily at children under 5, we hope you hear small lessons and similarities poking through Michael & the Rockness Monsters from our preschool based enrichment classes.

About your song (e.g., any unique instruments used, the origins of the lyrics, what inspired you, etc.):

This was a fun song to work on. It’s silly and it’s simple. There is a library of really cool sounds coming in to set the underwater scene. You can hear some twinkling synthesizers and organs creating a vibrating underwater setting. If you listen close you will hear the lyrics supported by very subtle sound effects in the background. Like all of our songs, this song was inspired by a child. In this instance the child asked me to make the sound of an octopus. Obviously this led to the discussion of - “If you were an octopus, what would you be like?” - and there we have it!

What you hope children & families will get from this song:

This is a fun, silly ditty. Some of our songs have very clear messages. In this song we want the listener to dance and have a good time. That’s it!

There is always a hidden message though. This song is an exploration of imagination. The drifting melodies, countermelodies and variety of sounds bring us to this magical place where anything can happen. “If I were” can be applied to many imaginary contexts. Where can you picture yourself? In Space? On a mountaintop?

In the end, we can do anything we put our minds to - just as the octopus in this song can do anything: wear purple pants, sing, and play in a rock-n-roll band. Obviously the octopus may have a problem with these tasks, yet we can do anything we put our minds to - can’t we?! We would like our listeners to enjoy the song, enjoy music, and inspire a new generation of musicians and music aficionados.

Photo © Audrey Blake

http://www.michaelandtherocknessmonsters.com/

Thelma the Cow and Bozo the Dog

Connie Kaldor

 
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Tell us about your music:

Connie Kaldor is a Juno award winning artist who has sung for royalty (Joni Mitchell, the Queen) and is a member of the Order of Canada. Her touring has taken her across North America and around the world. She has fourteen albums to her credit; three award winning children’s book-CDs, a musical and more.

About your song (e.g., any unique instruments used, the origins of the lyrics, what inspired you, etc.):

The song was initially written in French in the 1990s for Carmen Campagne, a children's performer who was very popular in Canada, and known as the "Quebec's Daycare Diva"! It's a tongue-and-cheek hurting country flavoured tune about lost love and yearning for the one in your heart. The English version of this song is featured on the book with music: It’s Raining Cats and Dogs (The Secret Mountain).

What you hope children & families will get from this song:

That the song will bring parents and children together so that they can have a bit of fun singing along. Hopefully, they'll dare themselves to imitate Thelma or Bozo, and end up laughing those blues away!

 http://www.thesecretmountain.com/ItsRainingCatsAndDogs

Fly Like a Bird

Dean Jones

 
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Tell us about your music:

I’ve been making music for kids (and their pets and families) for about 17 years now, with my band Dog on Fleas, and solo as well. With every new album that I record my songs seem to get simpler and shorter, and I end up asking more questions and giving fewer answers. I really believe in engaging kids by asking questions, and writing songs that are thought provoking, open and generous feeling. And I love to leave space for daydreaming within the songs, as well as dancing and singing along. I like to use a really big sonic palette of colors when I paint and sculpt my music; lots of different instruments from around the world, and every kind of texture and flavor I can imagine.

About your song (e.g., any unique instruments used, the origins of the lyrics, what inspired you, etc.):

“Fly Like a Bird” is a little dream! It’s very simple and repetitive, and hopefully evokes a feeling in listeners. I’m mixing up drum machine and live drum playing with some funky synthesizer sounds and wah wah guitar. I wrote this song while sitting on the top of a mountain looking up. What do you think I saw?

What you hope children & families will get from this song:

When I’m performing for kids I always ask if anyone has written a song. A lot of kids say that they have. Then I might play a really simple song like this one and say “look, you could do this!!!” I like to encourage kids to be creative, and confirm for them that writing a song is not rocket science.

Photo © James Fossett

www.dogonfleas.com

The Bumble Bee Song

KB Whirly

 
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Tell us about your music:

My music is “feel good” music! It’s clap your hands and dance, music. Hopefully it makes you smile, makes you laugh, and it warms your heart. For the adults, I want the songs to reflect the joys and struggles we all feel as parents. For the kids, it celebrates the amazing wonder that IS being a kid. Both of us, old and young ­ are in this amazing thing together called “Family," and music is that universal language where we can talk about, and share with one another our feelings and experiences.

About your song (e.g., any unique instruments used, the origins of the lyrics, what inspired you, etc.):

The Bumble Bee Song​ ­ is another “one of those songs” ­­ and my daughter was singing it a lot over the summer. If you listen closely you can hear this instrument “buzzing” in the background... it’s called a Rhumba Box ­and if you can imagine a “thumb piano” ­ this thing is 10 times the size! .... While Pat and I were working on the song (Pat Hanlin from Josh and the Jamtones produced the album) ­ we wanted some fun ideas from other kindie folk ­ so we sent the track to (producer and ‘Dog on Fleas’ founder) Dean Jones ­­ who added that rhumba box ­ and also the trombone line.

My favorite things about that song ­ is you REALLY FEEL like there’s bee buzzing around. Pat’s Bumblee Bee sound that he makes is amazing! It’s also another example of trying to capture a vocal performance that has “real emotion”, and hoping that the emotion translates, and adds a dimension of fun and adds another dimension to the “character” who is singing.

What you hope children & families will get from this song:

In a weird way, this is a sad song because The Bumble Bee gets squished! But just like "The Littlest Worm" the child overcomes the sadness. This too is a familiar song that I think families will love and discover anew in this version.

Photo © Marty Nee ​

www.kbwhirly.com

Bison

The WhizPops

 
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Tell us about your music:

Our most recent album has focused on endangered or threatened animal species of North America. We have combined a wide range of musical styles to highlight each of these animals and provide an enjoyable background while listeners learn about what makes each of these creatures so special!

About your song (e.g., any unique instruments used, the origins of the lyrics, what inspired you, etc.):

“Bison” originally started out as a spaghetti western country song, but we felt that it took away from the sincere message we were trying to convey about how majestic these creatures are. Our drummer wrote a really amazing part for the song towards the end and it mimics the effect of a bison stampede barreling through the Great Plains!

What you hope children & families will get from this song: We hope listeners will take some time to reflect on the historical significance of bison and also get inspired to learn about ways they can help preserve their legacy through conservation. Families can learn more about bison at www.nwf.org and even find ways to help other species in need!

Photo © Libby Sielski

www.thewhizpops.com