Ask a Storytime Ninja: Forgetting Songs

We’ve all been there- You’re transitioning to the Itsy Bitsy Spider when suddenly you can’t remember the tune. Even worse, you forgot the words! Check out the great ninja advice for what to do when it happens to you!


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The Question:

How do you remember how a song goes (it’s tune) in the middle of your storytime? If I’m a total blank, I’ll try to chant it or just skip it. I’d love to hear some advice!


Shelley says:

I create a Power Point for every storytime and I embed the songs into the Power Points.  Before I did that, I used a cd player for all of my songs.  If you cannot do that one of those things, skipping the song is fine because it is your program and they don’t know what you planned.


Valerie says: 

If I don’t have a CD or other accompaniment, I tend to use the same few melodies over and over again and just use different words based on my theme. Pop goes the weasel, Mary had a little lamb and 10 little Indians are all surprisingly adaptable. I hope this helps!


Lisa says: 

You know, everyone blanks out now and then. It happened to me when I was doing a draw and tell story the other day, and I just laughed and said whoops and started over! I’ve also stopped a song and changed the key when I sound awful!


There’s nothing wrong with forgetting or messing up occasionally. in fact, I think it’s probably good for our patrons to see us making mistakes. Just relax and try again.


On the bright side, as I told some families a few weeks ago, an awful lot of children songs work perfectly well to just a few tunes, like “Twinkle, twinkle little star” ,”Skip to My Lou” and “Frere Jacques.” that is why there are so many dreadful piggyback songs out there from teachers and librarians, but it is helpful if you need them!

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