Each of the books in the Lucy McGee series has recorded songs with lyrics and music to encourage readers, families, schools, and libraries to sing together.
Here’s how I created those songs and recordings. First, I wrote all the music and lyrics for the songs (see my messy brainstorm page for one song below). Then I created demos (quick recordings) of me singing the songs. But I really needed to hear how the songs would sound with kids singing them!
I contacted my friends at Carpe Diem Arts (CDA), a nonprofit music and arts organization, and asked if CDA would be willing to get some kids together to sing two or three of the songs. Thanks to CDA and those kids who came, I recorded two songs during our first session and learned a lot.
Getting feedback is always important, so I asked musician and producer Alex Lacquement to listen to the works in progress. He critiqued my songs and suggested some changes. I revised the songs and he grabbed his beautiful upright bass and improvised bass parts for a number of the songs. We recorded these and added them.
Through Carpe Diem Arts and their Ukes on the Move program, I worked with several kids in recording sessions at my house to record vocals. The kids had no formal rehearsals or training and they did such a great job. Marisa James-Le, Nico Rasi-deMatties, and Noah Miatudila came more than once and helped me so much with harmonies and with experimentation. Nico improvised spoken commentary for the Cookies song on the spot and we laughed so much we decided to keep it.
Juliet Wade (my 9-year-old soloist) came to me through the recommendation of vocal teacher Deborah Benner. Deborah and Juliet rehearsed the songs just a few times before I recorded Juliet. She learned quickly and seemed to be fearless!
Dunya Siddique, Malin Ruynh Thomas, more kids from CDA, and my private students Meredith Crowell and Lyla Binsner also helped by singing.
Finally, I brought all the tracks to Cletus Kennelly at Urban Garden Recording Studio. He engineered, mixed, and mastered them.
If you enjoy these recordings please consider making a donation to Carpe Diem Arts.
Special thanks to:
- Alex Lacquement and Cletus Kennelly
- Busy Graham and Michelle Mosher at Carpe Diem Arts
- The kids and the parents of the kids who are listed above plus Lila Hutchins, Alex (Serena) Leach, Grace Williams, Anina Gonzalez, and Caya Kassaraba
- Deborah Benner
- The Washington Revels for use of the rehearsal space
- Luna Ukuleles for providing the gorgeous Pearl uke for the recording session and book tour.