Aah, “What a Wonderful World” sung with the soothing sound of Louis Armstrong resonates deep in my soul. My whole body seems to relax as I picture the many beautiful places I have seen. As you and your child watch this spectacular photo slide show together, you will see full color images highlighting the visions of these words. When we watch it several times, it gives our children a mental image that is likely to come to mind whenever they hear this song.
This song is a beautiful beginning for your family’s Wonderful World PLAYLIST of music that gives us a bigger scope of where we live, and how important it is to see and protect all our world has to offer. April is a perfect time to create your playlist in coordination with Earth Day on April 22 this year, and you’ll find some good recommendations below.
You can actually get a great start of 10 recordings for your playlist when you join our family style interactive music making during our April Playdate, “Dear Earth, We Love You!” Check out the details below, and Register right away for our Playdate April 25th, and I’ll email you the download information so you can start listening, along with the code to join us online.
Do you have a favorite playlist you listen to at home, perhaps with your smart speaker, or in your car? Does listening to the music with your family affect your interactions?… set a good vibe?
The words to the songs we listen to most gel in our minds, and we find little bits repeating in our head, or we may find ourselves singing in the shower. We want our children’s minds filled with beautiful thoughts and images, things that make them feel good about themselves, their family and their world. At 16, my daughter is excellent finding the right songs that connect us with things we enjoy and value most, which get added to one of our playlists.
Of course, now in 2020, there are many music streaming services with their own playlists. I have my favorites, but they are not quite as delightful as ones I create myself and with my family, specifically picking and choosing the songs that plant the seeds of thoughts that we want growing in the minds of my children. And I’ve been doing this for a LOOOOONG time, with music on iPods, or even burning my own CDs. I seriously started with compilations I recorded on cassettes. I still have them, but they don’t sound the same. For creating playlists, digital dominates.
Do you create your own Playlists? You might soon find yourself calling out “Alexa, play my Wonderful World Playlist” and connecting with your family and your world in your own unique way. I suggest starting with about 10 – 20 songs, depending on the age of your children, so you can get familiar with them and sing along. Then add more to mix it up a bit as you go.
You may be like our family who loves to sing along to our favorite music as we are driving, especially on long cross country road trips, and this song has been the beginning of our Wonderful World playlist on our old iPod for over a decade. At first, we would repeat a song again and again as we learn the words. With some songs, or learning styles, it is easier to print the lyrics. You can find the lyrics to “What a Wonderful World” here. (Copyright prevents me from listing them on my site.)
When my children were young, it was amazing how singing this song, even without the music can transform the moment from tension filled “independent concerns” to a calm feeling of cohesion… not immediately, but as I sang, their sounds quieted, until they were both just listening (and often sulking). As I finished the song, I always tell my children that they are a part of what makes this world so wonderful to me, and it helps them to feel like they are a part of the love that abounds in this song. Then I’d have them each choose a favorite upbeat song from the playlist, and sometimes the edge just melted away. Of course, Not always. Sometimes they would at least agree on one thing… “Mom, just stop singing”. Grumpy grumparoos sometimes like being grumpy.
What would YOU add to your Wonderful World playlist? I just found a NEW one for mine!
Just this month, Kindermusik International created this beautiful version of “This Little Light of Mine”, compiled by families in households around the world. The familiar faces of my Kindermusik educator friends, along with their families, singing together, while apart during this quarantine, brings tears to my eyes… every time. It fills my heart with connection and hope.
The following suggestions are some of our favorites we enjoyed with my family as a child, and some additional ones we added with my children as they were growing up. It looks a little different now in our teen and young adult years, as you will see from some additional lists of songs below.
- This Land is Your Land – Woodie Guthrie – Lyrics
- Pick It UP – Woodie Guthrie – you will love this clean up song
- Grassy Grass Grass – Woodie Guthrie – mesmerizing simple words tell a story
- We’ve Got the Whole World In Our Hands – adapted from a spiritual folk song
- The Garden Song – sung by Mary Miche Hear it and watch the video HERE. Wow… when I just listened to this song again, my heart overflowed with memories, and my eyes started leaking. I have read and sung the lyrics along with The Garden Song book too many times to count.
- Don’t Dump Your Trash – A campfire style sing-a-long and ensemble – Lyrics , Video and Download available HERE on Mamalisa (scroll down for 2nd set of Lyrics)
It is a big world, and it is important to introduce it to our children in so many ways… a little taste of music from different places around the world opens their ears and minds to a bigger world, with different languages, both verbally and musically. EVERY culture has their share of music about this Wonderful World. We can only be motivated to make a difference in saving this world, when we are raised to appreciate and deeply love all that it has to offer.
Of course, as a Kindermusik educator of 20+ years, I have a HUGE selection of high quality recordings from which I have gathered as my favorites on this wide ranging topic as well. Music about the sunshine, the mountains, the sea, songs about nature from our Native American heritage as well as cultural songs from around the world. Each unit of Kindermusik comes with it’s own album of music you can only get when you are a part of our music making experiences.
BUT, here’s a secret… You can find all of the following to purchase and download in one place at play.kindermusik.com instead of looking all over the internet. Some of these are ONLY available at this music site.
- I Like to Sing – When the sun is shining… I love to do so many things
- I Love the Mountains – folk song for singing and possibly hiking
- Sally Go Round the Sun – folks song that makes a perfect circle dance game
- Island Paradise – instrumental Caribbean style featuring steel drums
- Spirit of the Sun – steady drums and strong song of Native American origin
- Drover’s Dream – instrumental delight from Australia, featuring a digeridoo
- Skinnamarink – A joyful song for dancing and singing “I Love You”
- Go Well and Safely – a Zulu farewell song
- Rocky Mountain – Campfire style Folk song – Lyrics
- Little Feather – a Native American story with musical and sound opportunities
- World of Wonder – instrumental orchestral delight
- Estaba La Pajara Pinta – instrumental from South America
If you are purchasing them, and downloading them into iTunes, they will be listed separately, and you can gather them into a playlist you create.
Let’s Celebrate our Earth TOGETHER !
When you register and join us for our Dear Earth, I Love you Playdate, on April 25, it includes your access to DOWNLOAD 10 of these recordings in a compiled album format.
- 9:30 – Playdate for babies 2 – 22 months old and their families
- 10:30 – Playdate for full families with children 8 m. to 5 years old.
PLUS… you get to join me and a small group of other young families for 45 – 60 minutes as we enjoy many delightful ways to interact with each other along with this music.
Yes, in April of 2020, we are staying home to stay safe, so we join with each other online through ZOOM. We”ll sing hello to each other, letting each child choose the action we will enjoy as we sing to them. During different activities, we’ll ask for ideas for movements. But the true beauty is in the joyful interactions that are happening within your family, with just a bit of guidance and music from Ms Debbie.
Your child will love bouncing to a new rhyme on your knees, playing native rhythms on the drum, expressively dancing with colorful streamers (which you can make at home in advance), creating sound effects along with our storytelling, and sooooo much more. You will also have a print out with the lyrics for these songs, and filled with ideas of ways to engage your children with this music.
Register NOW to save your spot for this Playdate in April, and I will email your album of 10 new recordings you will LOVE to have on your Wonderful World Playlist. You can start to listen right away, especially on Earthday, and get familiar with the music, so the songs are familiar when we enjoy them during the Playdate, and you discover delightful ways to interact and play with each other with each one.
Click here to register: Kindermusik Family Playdates – Spring.
These seasonally themed Playdates are offered every month, typically offered on the second Saturday of each month. Click HERE to see more details and the Annual list of Kindermusik Playdates.
To follow the conversation heading into these events, and get notifications by clicking INTERESTED on the Events in our Music Connections Facebook Page.
MORE Music for your Wonderful World Playlist
Oh, PLEASE, add in recommendations you would add your to Wonderful World Playlist below, so we can share ideas and find more songs that suit our families well. I’ll add a few more resources I found that I am not as familiar with.
You might see what your favorite music streaming service offers for Earthday recordings or Wonderful World. I wasn’t impressed with Amazon Music Playlist option for this theme.
Music can be such a magical experience to connect our emotions with the things that are the most important to us. That’s why I teach Kindermusik – there are so many ways music can do this, and Kindermusik offers parents a guide to making this happen in their own family.