Category Archives: Music

Happy Kids Songs Review

We have been having fun finishing out the end of summer and getting started back to school with a review of Happy Kids Songs.

Happy Kids Songs Review


Sometimes my younger kids are impulsive and not so happy. Happy Kids Songs has a lot to say about our attitude and how we treat each other. This is a great tool for parents to teach younger kids about behavior and focussing on the right things. This product is geared for kids 4-8 years old, but I had my 2, 5, 7, 9, and 11 year olds do the activities and had the 14 year old assist as a teacher’s helper. He helped me set up a play list on the computer and print off worksheets and organized the craft materials. This way I was able to include all 6 of my kids in using this product. We all can use some lessons in how to be happy, no matter what age.

Happy Kids Songs was created by Dr. Mac who is the song writer of the wonderful TV program for kids called Jay Jay and the Jet Plane from PBS Kids. He is a talented song writer, accomplished musician, child psychologist, school consultant and has won numerous awards for his talents and skills. He has won the iParenting award, Teacher’s Choice award, The National Parenting Center’s Seal Of Approval award, and many more.

Happy Kids Songs currently has 8 Volumes to choose from. Each Volume contains 5 songs, and retails for $4.95. The lyrics to each songs help your kids develop good character trates, treat others the way they want to be treated, and become happy people. For this review, we received three Volumes as a download, pdf lyrics and worksheet for each song (download), and a physical workbook /songbook was mailed to us for this review.

Vol. 1  Friends And Sharing
Retails $4.95


Happy Kids Songs Review
Songs include:
Sailing on the Seven Cs; Everybody Wants to Find a Friend; Sharing Friends; Happy as Happy Can Be; Together

There are a few YouTube Videos of some of the songs being made, some interviews with Dr Mac, and a couple of music videos too. Here is a video of the song Together from Volume 1 Friends and Sharing:

Volume 6 Happiness and Attitude
Retails for $4.95

Happy Kids Songs Review
Songs include:
Shake It Out and Dance; Who Knows What’s a Kudo?; I Don’t Understand; Be Good to Yourself; Better Together

Volume 7 Manners and Character
Retails $4.95

Happy Kids Songs Review
Songs Include:
H-O-N-E-S-T-Y; The Magic Word; Quirks; The Golden Rule; Six Little Kids

Songbook / Workbook Happy Kids Songs Workbook: Hands On Activites To Build Character, Social & Emotional Skills
Retails for $12.56

Happy Kids Songs Review
The workbook has over 100 lessons.  It includes all the lyrics and worksheets, coloring pages, and lesson plans and activity ideas for all 40 songs in the Happy Kids Songs 8 Volumes.

Our family has enjoyed sitting together at the table and listening to the songs, learning the lyrics, coloring pages and completing corresponding activities (word puzzles, coloring pages, arts and crafts).


We downloaded the songs to our computer to listen to at home, and also burned them on a CD so we can take them on the road in the van too.


The workbook has all of the song lyrics organized by Volume at the front half of the book with a corresponding worksheet. In the second half of the book, it has lesson plans also organized by Volume.


For me, the workbook was indispensible and very easy to implement. You just find the lessons for the Volume you are listening too, learn the lyrics, do the activity sheets, and optional activities and arts and crafts.


The kids really enjoyed making crafts while listening to the songs. Here they are making a friend puppet.


Happy Kids Songs products are great! Kids enjoy using them. The songs are catchy and easy to remember. They are handy for adults because they have everything organized in the workbook and come with a license to re-produce the lyrics and coloring pages and worksheets, and you can use them in your family or group settings with multiple students. This makes them a great option for Sunday School, clubs, and Homeschool Coops too.


Be sure to follow Happy Kids Songs on their social media links for all the latest news and updates.

And be sure to sign up for the monthly news letter and receive a free song of the month and other special information. Samples of songs and more are also available on their web site.

Click to read Crew Reviews


Check out what other homeschool families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using Happy Kids Songs products in their home.

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Teaching Kids To Sing

I have always loved to sing.  I have very early childhood memories of singing in church and at family gatherings.  Singing is a significant part of who I am.  Singing has been a valuable part of my development. It helped shape my personality as a young person and allowed me to have many valuable experiences that helped shape the adult that I have become.

I am very excited about a curriculum resource that is helping me teach my kids how to sing and do it well.  It is called Teaching Kids To Sing by Vocal Coach.
Description of Teaching Kids To Sing (below in red) from their website:

Teaching Kids to Sing 2-DVD/1-CD Set is the perfect way to teach your children and their leaders about the child’s voice. All the foundations from Posture, Breathing, Tone, Rhythm, Diction and much, much more is explored and demonstrated. The cast includes Chris & Carole Beatty and a group of children ages 5 to 13. The CD contains all the music used on the two DVD’s in two versions: With vocals and track only. This allows your young singers to learn, then perform the songs.

Set Contains:

 1.Building Foundations That Last DVD

 2.Essential Skills For Growing Voices DVD

 3.Accompaniment Tracks CD

With this product, teaching my kids to sing is painless! 

EASY Steps
Step 1: Just pop in the DVD into your VCR for your TV or into your computer.
Step 2: Watch the instruction.
Step 3: Repeat the skill shown in the instruction. 
Step 4: Learn a song about the skill to help you practice it and remember. 


That is all there is to it!  The kids can easily replicate it.  It requires no musical skill or background knowledge.  Just put the DVD in and go.  Your kids will develop musical vocal skills as they progress through the program. 

Here is a list of topics and skills kids will learn with Teaching Kids To Sing:

DVD Teaching Kids To Sing Vol. 1 Building Foundations
        Warm Ups

DVD Teaching Kids To Sing Vol. 2 Essential Skills For Growing Voices
        Vocal Health

DVD Teaching Kids To Sing TKS Accompaniment Tracks CD
        26 Demo and Accompaniment Tracks

We are using this program in our homeschool and it is adding a fun way to learn vocal techniques.  It brings back a lot of memories of voice lessons I took as a young person.  I am looking forward to 
visiting nursing homes and singing these songs and using the techniques the kids have learned using this program. 

We have almost finished the first DVD and will be learning with the second DVD soon.  I can already see and hear the progress they have made. They enjoy singing these songs and doing the fun gestures that go along with them.

Check out the video below of my kids singing (without accompaniment) one of the songs they learned from Vol. 1 DVD  about learning to stand up tall when they sing:

Teaching Kids To Sing is a great music curriculum to add to your homeschool.  Teaching Kids To Sing by Vocal Coach retails for $44.99 and is for kids ages 5-13.

Vocal Coach offers a variety of products for kids and adults.  Find out more about how Vocal Coach products can be a benefit to your homeschool and to your praise and worship

You can read about Vocal Coach’s 
free resources including free classes through out the year on thier website, and also check out the Vocal Coach blog with lots of FREE and helpful resources and encouragement.  Vocal Coach has a few FREE videos by Vocal Coach on Youtube.

Stop in at the
Schoolhouse Review Crew  blog to see what other homeschool families had to say about this product.


Disclaimer: I received a copy of the above mentioned product in exchange for writing an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own honest opinion.

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Music Together

Are you a little intimidated to teach music to your children?  Does the idea of teaching music seem outside your abilities?  What if I told you that there is a program that can help, in a simple way, share the basics of music, at home together with your kids?  Would you consider giving it a try?


Music Together is a fun music experience like no other.  It is a “hands on, feet on, get the beat on” curriculum for parents and children.  It encourages actual music experience and music competency.  You are not just learning about music, you are experiencing it.

Music Together has won numerous awards since its beginnings in 1987.  It is used in various settings with children, parents, and teachers in many settings including homeschools, daycares, preschools, elementary schools, churches, and therapeutic settings.  You can read more about the specifics of the Music Together  program on their website.


For many years, Music Together has offered classes in communities across the USA and internationally.  But they also have a simple product that can bring this same music appreciation and exploration experience right into your home with you and your family. 

As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, our family was sent the Family Favorites CD and the Family Favorites Songbook For Teachers which contains lesson suggestions and activities to go along with the CD.  We used this program with our children ages 10 months, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 12. 

The Music Together materials are intended for parents and teachers to use with children from birth up to second grade, or around age 7.  However, my older children in 4th grade and 6th grade enjoyed the music just as much as the younger ones and they also helped the younger children when needed and interacted with them.  Everyone loved the cool beat, harmony, and catchy songs.

The song book is full of ideas for lessons in music appreciation and really enhances the songs on CD. You can also sing or play the music without the CD because the song book contains the sheet music too.  There is tons of information to help you.  There is also a section for helping you work with children with special needs too.  This is a very adaptable product and very useful in my opinion.

Check out 6 different samples of the music here at this link.

Check out this fun game to guess the instrument and hear several more samples of songs at this link.

If you have got 8 minutes, you can check out a sample video of my kids banging on various items, keeping a beat, and singing along to several of the songs.  This video was made on one of our first times to listen to the CD.  It was a little loud, sometimes off beat, but they were learning while having fun, which is the most important thing to me.  We are improving as the kids get more familiar with the program.  But there were some funny moments, and I was glad to capture their “first” with the Music Together CD on video.

And if you are interested, there are lots of other videos of folks using Music Together on Youtube.  Check out just a few and you will see how much fun this music curriculum can be.  There are tons of ideas of how people are using this curriculum with kids.  I am so excited to use this curriculum, and I believe you will be too.

My kids love music and movement.  This program brings the best of these together to enrich a child’s learning and appreciation of music.  We had a blast sitting on the living room floor and tapping out rhythms, singing a chorus, and dancing through the house to the beat.

I searched through the closet for some instruments, looked in the toy box and found lots of silly toys that made interesting sounds, and raided the kitchen cabinets for pots and pans too, and WALLAH! we made our own band. 

We had a bongo drum, a snare drum, a cymbal, a shaker egg, a guitar, a recorder flute, a whistle flute (it only whistles), and the rest of our instruments were items we thought had great sound to add to our band.

We created our own rhythm instruments out of railroad track, lincoln logs, baby rattle toys, empty containers filled with small objects, etc.  Any pot, pan, jug, bucket, spoons, windchimes, or utensils will work too.  The Music Together program has several suggestions for items around the house you can make into fun instruments if you don’t own any actual musical instruments.

Are you convinced yet?  I hope so.  Music is something we can all enjoy and appreciate no mater what our age or background is.  Just playing with the kids with music on in the room, car, garage, or where ever can spark a love and interest for music that will last the rest of their lives.  You don’t have to know how to teach concert piano, or any instruments, to develop a love and appreciation for music in your family.

Music Together retails for $29.95  for the Family Favorites Songbook for Teachers and $14.95 for the Family Favorites CD.  There is also a $9.95 download version, and also for .99 cents for individual download songs.  Or you can order the bundle Songbook and CD combo and save $5 off your purchase.  If you purchase the combo, Music Together is offering an additional $2 off with you use the coupon code “Schoolhouse” at check out from their online store.

Check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read what others had to say about this product.


Disclaimer:  I received the product mentioned above, as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, at no cost to me in exchange for writing an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own honest opinion and my children’s opinion using this product.

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Music From The Heart

I love music.

I believe reading music and participating in music (vocally, instrumentally, or listening appreciation) is an important skill and experience to learn.  In addition to my own personal beliefs about the positive aspects of music, I have read many studies that talk about proof in improvement in test results and many other areas such as math and logic, when music is part of a young persons interests.

I have shared my love for music with my children.  Since they were in my womb, I would sing to them.  As they grew, through out the day we would spend time singing a song or listening to music.  They have grown up with music around them.  Not performances.  Just simple, enjoyable music.

I have set up a corner of the living room with a guitar, piano, drums, violin, and stereo.  I am teaching the children how to hold a tune, keep a beat, read music, harmonize, and  more. 

My father loved music.  He could play 20 different instruments though his favorite was the guitar.   I remember the first time I seen my dad play a french horn.  I was in total shock that he knew how to do this.  His mom was a skilled musician, vocally, and played the piano, organ, and fiddle. She continues to write music and perform with the Golden Follies.  She is now in her 80’s.    She sang professionally on the radio just before getting married and World War II.   She shared that love for music with my dad.    He used to lead music in church when I was growing up.  Latter, he used to perform at the Saturday night Granby O’l Opree, (it has another name, but it escapes me at the time of writing this.  But its a place that serves up all sorts of County, Blue Grass, and Old Time Gospel Music).

One day, Dad stopped to help a fellow who broke down on the side of the road.  He helped him get his vehicle fixed.  The fella wanted to pay my dad.  Dad said “No money necessary, but it that a fiddle I see in the back seat?  Could we play a few songs?”  As they visited, he learned the man played professionally with the Roy Clark band from HEE HAW.  Dad recorded their time they spent playing their instruments and singing.  A few years later, when dad died, my brother gave us each a tape of the music.  What a treasure.  Dad was so happy when he was singing and playing.

When I was a child, besides singing to us and playing his guitar, he encouraged us children to choose an instrument and learn to play it.  My sister and I chose the clarinet.  My brother chose the violin and later the trumpet.  We all enjoyed music.  Our favorite thing to do as a family was to sing.  We would each harmonize acappella with each other achieving three and four and sometimes five part harmonies if Grandma and Dad were with us.  It was a beautiful family tradition to sing when ever we were together.

I took lessons in childhood, in highschool, and as an adult.  I played in band.   I vocally performed in high school and college.  I have performed for free, and for money.  I have sang in choirs.  I have sang in musicals.  I have sang in an opera.  I have played my instrument at ball games, and sang in talent shows.  I have sang at weddings and funerals.  I have sang and played my instrument in church as part of the praise team.  For years I lived and breathed all things music.  My husband played the trumpet in elementary and highschool.  Later he ran the sound board for the praise team at church.  He comes from a musical family too.  It seems just natural that we would want to pass on our enjoyment of music to our kids too.

I want my kids to learn music and feel free to chose an instrument to learn, if they desire.  Other than voice and clarinet, I don’t feel qualified to teach the other instruments.  So I have kept my eye out for lesson opportunities.  Unfortunately music lessons are very expensive, and at this point, my budget does not have room for them.

My older boys have requested to learn the guitar to start with.  Guitar lessons in our area run $80 and up, a month for 1/2 hour weekly lessons. 

Recently, I found out about a wonderful guitar teacher who offers the first six one hour beginner lessons free.  Then leaves it up to you to decide if you want to continue.  He truly wants kids to be exposed to music and get a taste for this instrument.  How wonderful is that?  I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity to get professional lessons for my older boys.

Michael Ridenour, owner of the Guitar Academy Of Western North Carolina offers this special program to new guitar students.  You can read more about his company here:

We took the first one hour lesson yesterday.  Wow.  I am truly impressed with the level of patience, and clarity of his teaching he gave the children. 

He seemed to intuitively recognize my boys had two different learning styles.  One is a left brained learner and one is a right brain learner.  One learned visually and auditory by watching and listening and copying what he heard, and the other learned by reading facts and details and applying them with guidance from the teacher when needed.

He kept their attention the whole hour (wish I could always do that).  It was like he reached into their mind and turned on a light bulb of understanding about this wooden object with strings and nobs.  Suddenly they could associate the note on the page with the sound singing from their guitar.  It made sense. 

I was one happy mommy.   He did in one hour what I, and a DVD, have been trying to do off and on for the past six months.  He knew the instrument and how to convey learning to play it right down to the smallest details.  I am so glad he offered this class, and we are able to participate.

The three younger children and I hung out in the sitting area listening to the lesson with other homeschooling families.  It was a very good experience for all.

Music From The Heart

Though I am excited to be able to get lessons for my children, I want most of all to teach them about music from the heart.

I don’t believe I have to force my children to daily practice a musical instrument for multiple hours to excel in it, and be “the best” at it.  I don’t plan to take them to competitons for the purpose of beating the sox off of the next guy who practiced till his fingers bled, because his parents needed to justify paying out a fortune for his lessons.  Or win against the girl who lost her voice from practicing over and over only to have it barely come back for the competition.  Nope.  Not interested.  There is no freedom in any of that.  Yes there are skills they can learn from practicing and
from competitions.  But for me, the music goes beyond the trophy from the win and name recognition.

I don’t seek any gratification from what my children can do to impress others with their talents, including music.

That statement may offend some, and to each his own.  I am not dogging anyone if that is the path they choose for their family.  

I have been there and done that, first hand, and I know what it is about. 

This is how I believe.

You see, I believe music comes from the heart. 

These things, lessons, practices, performances, and the like, are all fine. 

But that is not the true music I want to ultimately teach my kids.  Those things (professional lessons, performances, competitions, paid gigs,  a job in the music field, etc) may happen one day for my kids, but I want them to be just a side effect, so to speak, of the true music I want to teach them.

I want something more.  I want to teach them about music from the heart.

Music from the heart is not from a performance.  It is not from a competition.  It is not from expensive lessons.  It is not from anything other than time alone with Father God, singing and playing your instrument for Him, and to Him.

Ephesians 5:15-20

Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.

Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                        verse is from

May we all learn to make music from the heart to the Lord!

Be blessed!!!

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