Jammin' With You! - JWY! Music Blog

Easy Popular Songs To Play on Guitar, Ukulele, and Piano!

Posted by Merrily James on Nov 7, 2014 5:34:00 PM

 Check out these awesome pop songs that can be played on guitar, piano, ukulele, and bass!

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1. Pumped Up Kicks (Foster The People)- 4 chords!

Pumped Up Kicks moves between Em, G, D, and A chords. Each chord gets 4 beats.

Notes in Em chord: E-G-B
Notes in G chord: G-B-D
Notes in D chord: D-F#-A
Notes in A chord- A-C#-E




viva la vida, coldplay, easy guitar songs, easy piano songs, park slope piano, park slope guitar, kids music lessons

2. Viva La Vida (Coldplay)- 4 chords!

This song moves between the chords C, D, G, Em. Each chord gets 4 beats.

Notes in C chord: C-E-G
Notes in D chord: E-G-B
Notes in G chord: G-B-D
Notes in Em chord: E-G-B




3. It's Time (Imagine Dragons)- 5 chords!

imagine dragons, easy piano songs, easy guitar songs, park slope guitar lessons, park slope piano lessons, fort greene, music lessons, kids music teacher, learn guitar, jammin with you This song moves between D, A, Bm, Em and G. Each chord gets 2 bars (8 beats).

Order of chords on verse: D-A-Bm-G
Order of chords on chorus: D-Bm-Em-G

Notes in D chord: D-F#-A
Notes in A chord: A-C#-E
Notes in Bm chord: B-D-F#
Notes in G chord: G-B-D
Notes in Em chord: E-G-B




4. Bubbly (Colbie Callait)- 3 chords!colbie callait, bubbly, park slope, fort greene, upper west side,

This song uses the pattern G, D/F#, C, back to G (each chord gets 4 beats)   

Notes in G chord: G-B-D
Notes in D/F# chord: D-F#-A (instead of playing a D in the bass, play an F#)
Notes in C chord: C-E-G




5. Clocks (Coldplay)- 6 chords!easy piano songs, easy guitar songs, park slope guitar teacher, park slope piano teacher

The verse and chorus of this song follow the pattern D (1 bar), Am (2 bars), Em (1 bar)

The bridge follows the pattern Fmaj7 (2 bars), C (1 bar), G (1 bar) 

Notes in D chord: D-F#-A
Notes in Am chord: A-C-E
Notes in Em chord: E-G-B
Notes in Fmaj7 chord: F-A-C-E
Notes in C chord: C-E-G
Notes in G chord: G-B-D



Tags: guitar lessons, piano lessons, Brooklyn, in-home music lessons, jamminwithyou, kids music lessons, voice lessons, kids music classes, singing lessons, boston ukulele, wellesley music classes, massachusetts guitar lessons, wellesley guitar lessons, newton drum lessons, boston music lesson, guitar lessons newton, wellesley piano teacher, coldplay, colbie callait, imagine dragons, bubbly

Cough, cough: Singing With a Cold!

Posted by Merrily James on Nov 7, 2014 5:26:00 PM

 voice lessons singing with cold


It seems like colalicia keys grammyds always have a way of hitting right before a big performance. Those first few sniffles days before a show can bring a feeling horror. Unfortunately colds are a fact of life that not even superstars can escape. I recently saw a world famous band play a sold out show where the lead singer was complaining of a cold, and watched an interview with Alicia Keys who came down with a cold days before her Grammy Award performance. Do not fret, there are measures you can take from the first sign of a cold to ensure the speediest recovery.

If your cold is in your sinuses (i.e you just feel "stuffed up") and not in your lungs it means your vocal chords are probably healthy enough to sing. If you start getting a bad cough and are getting hoarse it's best to rest your voice and if at all possible cancel your show. 

singer warm-upsThe best way to deal with phlegm is with light vocalizing. This will keep your voice supple and flexible and cause the phlegm to vibrate off. Practice singing at a low volume on EE vowel scales and glissando's (start from you highest pitch and slide down to your lowest pitch).

Try to move the the keys of your songs down. When you have a cold you lose clear access to your high falsetto notes and passagio notes (notes in the "break" of your range between chest and head voice). The voice will tend to be shifted lower, with a thicker tone. If possible, move your songs into a lower key.

You know the drill when you're sick: sleep tons, drink tons, have some chicken noodle soup, and wash your hands. Here are some other tricks of the trade: 

1. Neti Pot- A neti pot looks like a small teapot. You fill it with special salt and warm water and  gently rinse out your nasal passages. This is a great natural way to clear out your nasal passages. It is recommended that you use a neti pot regularly even when your not sick. It clears

neti pot singing with cold

 out bacteria to help prevent  you from getting sick and also helping with allergies. Make sure to only use the special salt intended for neti pots.

2. Inhale Steam- Inhaling steam is a very effective soothing method for you vo

cal cords and lungs, especially is you have a lot of phlegm in your lungs. Remember, drinking tea and water is great for hydration but it does not touch your vocal cords directly. The only way to get moisture directly onto your chords is by inhaling it. 

3. Zinc- Take zinc as soon as your first symptoms occur. Zinc can shorten the duration of your cold and make you less contagious. You can also try zinc spray for your throat and zinc swabs for your nose. 

4. Mucinex (Guaifenesin)- Guaifenesin is in a class of medications called expectorants. It works to relieve chest congestion by thinning the mucus in the air passages to make it easier to cough up the mucus and clear the airways. Remember to drink lots of water with this medication. If possible, avoid "cough suppressants" and stick with expectorants like mucinex. Cough suppressants will just make the phlegm stay in your lungs for longer delaying recovery.

In the end, there is nothing fun about singing with a cold. Do your best to prevent sickness by getting proper rest, plenty of fluids, washing your hands often, exercising to circulate blood, and monitoring stress. If you have to sing with a cold, be sure to go home and rest your voice straight afterwards. Rock on!

Tags: Jammin' With You!, jamminwithyou, voice lessons, jammin with you, vocal health, warm ups, vocal range, exhale, singing lessons, New York voice lessons, alicia keys grammy, zinc, steam, mucinex, neti pot, singer, cold, winter, wellesley music lessons

Learn To Read Music With Online Games

Posted by Merrily James on Nov 7, 2014 5:25:00 PM

It is always fun to mix up practicing with fun games. The best way to become skilled at reading music and other musical concepts is to drill the information regularly. The more times your brain has to recognize and identify the notes, the more automatic it will become. Playing the games below will improve musical knowledge, sight-reading, and rhythm. These games are easy to access on your browser and a great supplement to practice on any instrument.


compose your own musicCompose Your Own Music- Drag notes into the staff, and create your own song that you can send to your friends! This is a great and creative way to practice your musical notation skills.




learn rhythm readBe a Rockin' Rhythm Master!- Copy the rhyhtms to the parrot and drummer! This game is great for rhythm and transcribing.




learn to read notesNote Name Game- Drag the note names to the wiggly notes!




musical memory gameMusical Memory Game- Play back the notes that are played. This game helps students to memorize patterns.




learn to read musicMission To Magmamon- You get sent to the musical planet of Toness where the inhabitants only communicate through music and tones. Get through volcanos, pirates, and trpas with your music skills! Very fun.



learn composersComposer Time Machine- Scroll through time different time periods and find the composers of that time. Hear their music and learn about different styles such as Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern.





Tags: read music, Jammin' With You!, jamminwithyou, jammin with you, park slope music lessons, sightread, kids music classes, brooklyn music classes, fort greene music classes, read music game, music game, online music game

How To Make Piano Practice Fun!!!

Posted by Josh Shriber on Sep 11, 2011 5:14:00 PM

Make It Into a Game

Learning piano for the first time takes a lot of practice and can feel tedious at times. However, there are many ways to make it fun! Here are 3 games for the piano that will be sure to bring some smiles to your practice session!


The Pennies GamePenny Game

Objective: Learn the notes on the keyboard and staff

Step 1: Place stickers on pennies with each of the note names (A through G)

Step 2: Put the pennies face down on the notes they belong to (don't put them in order)

Step 3: Say the note before you turn over the penny, do it until you get them all right!


Draw your own large staff paper with the spaces between the lines big enough for the pennies. Place the pennies on the staff to write your own song!


The Safari GameMake Piano Practice Fun

Objective: Quickly recognize different keys on the piano (in preparation for sight-reading)

Step 1: Buy 2 plastic animals at your local toy store.

Step 2: Start with the two animals placed 5-8 white keys apart from each other.

Step 3: Tell your student which keys the animals need to run to not to get caught by the other one (in this case we will use a rabbit and jaguar) i.e "The rabbit is going to run up to the key Ab to get away, but now the jaguar is going to jump to the key B to try and get him."

This game can be quite fun and help with quick recognition of the piano keys!

The Tip-Toe Game

Objective: Recognize different tempos and learn to feel the beat in your body

Step 1: Either at the piano or on a CD player, play very fast music and have your student jump around the room at the beat of the music.

Step 2: Without warning, switch to slow music and have your student quietly tip-toe around the room to the tempo of the music.

Step 3: Vary the tempos and have your student recognize the changes. Fall down at the end!


Please post your favorite beginner's music games!

Tags: fun, pennies, student, piano, new york music, music teacher, piano teacher, Jammin' With You!, jamminwithyou, Kids music, lessons, with you, jammin, practice, beginner, music

2nd Annual Jammin' With You! + Dave Matthews Band Donation

Posted by Josh Shriber on Oct 25, 2010 9:00:00 PM

Jammin' With You! teams up with the LoVE Foundation to auction off two amazing tickets to the Dave Matthews Band concert on 11/09/2010 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, MA. The tickets also come with VIP hospitality lounge passes, and an author-signed copy of the soon-to-be-released Dave Matthews Band book. To read more about this event, please click here: www.jamminwithyou.com/dmbdonation

To go straight to the auction to bid, click here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180579259457

Jammin' With You! - Dave Matthews Band - LoVE Foundation

Tags: Boston music lessons, ma music lessons, music lessons in ma, childrens music, boston music therapy, concert, Dave Matthews Band, piano lessons, in-home music lessons, jamminwithyou, jammin with you, bass lessons, josh shriber, concerts

Kids Music- Top 10 cutest kids songs!

Posted by Beth Pacione on Aug 19, 2010 9:07:00 AM

Kids Music- Top 10 Cutest Songs Ever
Here are some of the cutest kids songs I have heard! In no particular order.

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Bear to the Left - Billy Jonas
A very clever song about using animal names to give directions. It’s a very easy song to sing together and my students love it. This would be a great song to learn as a family and sing together all you need is a leader to remember the words. This song will surely be a family favorite to “Horse Around” with!
Billy Jonas: http://www.billyjonas.com/

All I Really Need - Raffi

Such a beautiful song about the basics that we need in our life, “song in my heart, food in my belly, and love in my family.” Sometimes we get caught up in what we “need”.“Mom, I need that new toy”, “I really need a vacation” , “I really need, a new car” but this song reminds us that we really need love, music and food to survive. I think this is a great song to sing together as a family.

Raffi Singing on Broadway! Who knew Raffi was on Broadway?


Red Red Robin - Rosie Flores
Red Red Robin is an older song, but Roise Flores puts a country, rockabilly feel to it. It makes this song upbeat and fun! I love the mix of the guitar and her vocals. I found this song off of the album  Sing Along With Putumayo. Rosie Flores is a fantastic artist and her new album “Girl of the Century” is worth a look!

Check Out Putumayo: http://www.putumayo.com/
Rosie Flores: http://www.rosieflores.com/index_2.html
Me Singing Red Red Robin: http://www.youtube.com/user/BethPacione#p/u/3/sz_b0KN9u2o

Be Kind To Your Parents - Pete Seeger
So the first line may not seem so cute to parents “Be kind to your parents, though they don’t deserve it...” but this song is very cute. This song helps children remember parents once were kids too! I had a student sing this at this years SuperJam and it went over very well with our audience. I really enjoy the last line, “Someday you may wake up and find your a parent too!”
Pete Seeger-http://www.last.fm/music/Pete+Seeger/_/Be+Kind+to+Your+Parents

Sunny Side of the Street - Fox and Branch
“Grab your coat and grab your hat, leave your worries on the doorstep now, direct your feet to the sunny side of the street” What a positive message this old classic song sings!  Fox and Branch give it a fun groove using such instruments as the washboard, spoons and a kazoo. This song makes me smile everytime!
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Smile Smile Smile - Dan Zanes
Speaking of smiling... “Every time I think of you I smile for a while, that’s the one thing you always do is smile smile smile” What a great message to any family member or friend. “Your big heart circles the world every time you smile!” This song fills your head of fun and crazy things we do together like singing broadway songs and passing the baton as we run. Another song that just makes my heart grow every time I hear it!
Smile, Smile,Smile: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9RXgP1nAk8 SO CUTE

Belly Button Song - Music For AArdvarks & Other Mammals
How fun is this guys voice as he is singing about Belly Buttons! Enough Said!
Music for Aardvarks: http://www.musicforaardvarks.com/

If You Wanna Sing Out, Sing Out-  Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem
Originally written by Cat Stevens, this version is a bit more upbeat and still sings the positivity of the original. The vocals are clear and harmonize lovely together. This is the first track on their album Racky Tacky which also has alot of other great tunes!

I Will Be Your Friend- Guy Davis
Very cute friendship song! This song is all about taking care of one another and reminding each other of our love. What a great message for anyone at any age.
Make sure to send this to the friend that takes care of you.

Sunflower - Flooky & the Beans
Local Boston kids band Flooky & the Beans has many great songs, and their shows are great fun for all! This one is about beautiful Sunflowers. It is a very soothing song. The harmonies that the band really helps you enjoy the lyrics. “Add a little sunshine, grow so high, add a little rain, grow so high, add a little food, grow so high, add a little love, grow so high” Oh and that is Josh Shriber, our Director singing! Go Josh!



Please post some of your cutest kids songs too! We would love to hear from you and learn some more great tunes!

Photos by: HLIT & epSOS.de

Tags: childrens music, children's music, jamminwithyou, Kids music, jammin with you, josh shriber

Jammin' With You! Summer Fun!

Posted by Beth Pacione on Jul 8, 2010 12:05:00 PM

Summer has arrived! And this summer we would like to take a moment to interview our teachers and see what their summer fun includes! First up Rob Morrison!

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Jammin' With You!: What do you teach at JWY!
Rob Morrison: Guitar, piano, theory + voice (plus life experience)

JWY!: What have you learned from teaching lessons to JWY! students?
RM: I have learned that there are many learning styles and personalities and therefore there must be alternative teaching methods to accomodate each student.

JWY!: What do you think is different about teaching in a studio vs. in-home music lessons?
RM: The student is generally more comfortable learning at home, but the teacher has to work harder to keep their attention.

JWY!: How have you influenced kids while teaching? AND How have they influenced you?
RM: I feel like I have broadened the horizons of my students by introducing them to improvisation and songwriting at early stages of their musical education. My students have taught me the untrained ear has a lot to offer musically and can produce fresh ideas without the impedence of too much conventional wisdom.

JWY!: What is your favorite summer tune to Jam out to?
RM: Here Comes The Sun by the Beatles

JWY!: What was the best summer concert you went to?
RM: This year, it was Jethro Tull at the Bank of America Pavillion.

JWY!: Is there anything exciting that you are doing over the summer?
RM: I'm taking little vacations to Martha's Vineyard, Vermont, the Cape and Montreal.

JWY!: Where is your favorite place to play music during the summer?
RM: Anywhere outside. Last year my band, Stroamata, played the outdoor festival Harpoon Summer Session, but this summer, you might find me busking (musician-speak for playing for tips in the street) in the public parks of downtown Boston before or after lessons. Barbeques, pool parties or roofdecks are just as good.

Tags: piano, piano lessons, Rob Morrison, In home guitar lessons, in-home music lessons, jamminwithyou, voice lessons, jammin with you, voice

Suceed at music recitals! Conquer Nerves!

Posted by Beth Pacione on Apr 15, 2010 2:18:00 PM

photo by: Maxwell GS

Photo: Maxwell GS

As spring concerts, recitals and shows start filling our calendars your child may start getting a case of the dreaded nerves. When I first started playing at recitals, I would be so nervous everything I learned from my piano lessons went out the window. I would seem to forget everything, including how to sit at the piano to how to play.But when I learned some easy ways to get rid of my nerves I started playing my best.

Here are 5 ways to help your child calm down and rock out at their performance! 

Accept and redirect: 

When we are nervous it normally shows that we care about what we are about to do. We don't want to mess up because we have worked hard and are ready to show the world our talent! Instead of thinking of nerves in a negative light, look at them in a positive light. 


*nerves mean you care 

*nerves give you a little adrenaline that keeps you alert 

*nerves are natural and you can get through them


When a person is nervous they tend to clench their jaw, wring their hands or move their legs quickly. Anxiety causes tension.  Do a few simple stretches to relax and get the blood flowing.

*Shrug your shoulders toward your ears and rolling your head from side to side

*Bring one arm across your body and pull and do the same with the other side.

*Rotate your ankles and stretch your legs

* Shake your hands like you have just washed them and their isn't a towel around to dry them.

Silently Sing or Play: 

Mentally review what piece you are playing or singing. You can even pretend you have the instrument in your hand and practice the motions. Doing this will allow your mind to relax and take focus to the task at hand. 

Don't Go Bananas!:

Whenever you feel like you are going to get upset start to focus on your breathing and think happy thoughts. Say phrases to yourself like: 

* It's OK to be upset, but I am in control 

* I am great at what I do!

* I am going to conquer this 

You can also think about a time where you did really well at something or a time when you where very relaxed. Close your eyes, take a breath and imagine you are there. 

*Also, speaking of bananas, eat a banana, it helps lower anxiety.


Show off those teeth. Smiling helps relieve tension in our jaw and overall makes us feel happier. When we smile we are shrugging off the nerves and showing a confident exterior which will slowly come to the interior. 

Remember "When your smiling, the whole world smiles with you." 

So before your child starts to worry about how they will sound at their recital remind them that they are great, smile at them, rub their shoulders and hand them a banana! They are going to be wonderful this recital season and I am sure many people await to hear their talent!


Tags: boston music blog, boston flute lessons, boston music blogs, recitals, guitar lessons, piano, piano lessons, In home guitar lessons, in-home music lessons, jamminwithyou, piano lessons for kids, voice lessons, jammin with you, guitar, music lessons, performances, singing, drum lessons, bass lessons, flute lessons, instruments, concerts, Super Jam

Cheap Guitar Lessons - Can You Really Learn Online??

Posted by Josh Shriber on Oct 12, 2009 1:48:00 PM

If you google “guitar lessons”  hundreds of pages will come up.  The Internet has allowed us to learn any song we want at any given time.  But can you really have success, learning guitar online?   This depends on a few things. 

in-home guitar lessons


Age- I don’t think any kid under the age of 10 is going to know where to start when it comes to learning online.  Sure, a 7 yr old can Google “how to play Nirvana” but what comes up is not very educational or motivational.  Even a teenager or adult will have a hard time jumping right into their favorite songs without the help of a teacher walking you thru each step.  

Current Ability- Total beginners of any age will be very frustrated if they are looking to learn online.   It is human nature to jump right to the good stuff ie songs, solos ect.

If you have at least a few months of guitar lessons under your belt, you can look up some songs and slowly begin to improve your skills.  However, a lot of time is wasted if you come upon certain chords that you don’t know and aren’t explained within the tutorial.  
Intermediate to advanced players will benefit from looking up tabs, chord charts  and “how to play…” on Youtube.  If you have a good base knowledge of your guitar, you can learn any song you want online today.  
cheap guitar lessons
Motivation– If you’re one of those people who gives up if things don’t come easy, learning online is not the way to go.  Private music lessons are the best way to stay motivated as you will have goals, assignments and deadlines each week as your lessons approach.  

Photos by Bob n Renee and Steven Parker

Tags: boston music blog, Boston music lessons, ma music lessons, music lessons in ma, children's music, In home guitar lessons, in-home music lessons, jamminwithyou, piano lessons for kids, kids piano lessons, music lessons, cheap guitar lessons

Boston Music Blog: "Is My Child Too Young For Music Lessons?"

Posted by Josh Shriber on Sep 23, 2009 8:41:00 AM

Is My Child Too Young for Music Lessons? 


Absolutely not! There are many great programs out there designed to develop your child’s musical abilities, even at a very young age.   Programs such as Music Together, Kindermusic and Jammin’ With You! have all had amazing success developing young musicians.   The question really is not if the child is too young but rather what are the parent’s expectations?


Of course none of these programs are going to have your child singing operas or rippin’ mean guitar solos before the age of 5 but they will give them a base to build on.  This invaluable exposure will allow them to make huge strides as they enter the 5-10 yr old range. If kids get the basics out of the way at an early age, music will become a part of them and building on top of that base will feel very natural. 


Aside from mommy and me programs like Music Together, In-Home lessons from companies such as Jammin’ With You! provide quality music lessons in private or group settings.   Taking In-Home Music lessons keeps the child in their own territory.  Children tend to “be themselves” at home vs. in a big group.  When engaged in a music lesson, it is important for thechild to be free and expressive. 


When your lessons take place in-home, you don’t need to settle on guitar lessons, piano lessons or voice lessons.  If you can find the right teacher, an overall music lesson can be provided assuming the right equipment is available.   This is what makes Jammin’ With You! such a great program.  All of the in-home music teachers on staff are full time, professional musicians with teaching and music degrees.  Many are multi-instrumentalists and all are young, fun and patient.  If music lessons are presented as an exploration and a fun activity rather than straight from a textbook, children will be engaged and doors will be opened. 

Check out these websites and decide which program is right for you.




 Josh teaching keyboards

Tags: children's music, guitar lessons, piano lessons, in-home music lessons, jamminwithyou, voice lessons, music lessons, rock star