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Adding Music To Story Time: Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

Storytime is an amazing opportunity to add rhythm and musical elements into your children's lives. Check out how I turn the classic story Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do you See? into a groovy song.


How To Do It

Let's take a deeper look into how I do this. Try clapping where you see the accent in the photo or the capitalization below. If you want to make it even groovier, add a soft clap on the other words. So using a soft STRONG clapping beat, the story becomes something dance worthy!

Brown BEAR

Brown BEAR

What do YOU see?


I SEE a red BIRD

Looking AT me.


A BONUS challenge is to add an even louder clap followed by a pause at the end of each part (words SEE? and ME.) Pause for as long as you want until you are ready to start the rhythm again. You can see I do this sometimes in the video above.

When The Older Kid Wants To Get Involved

My 6-year-old heard what Beaudry and I were doing and naturally wanted to get involved. The beautiful thing about this is that it is way easier than saying, "Hey Hux, let's do music time!". Guaranteed that approach would be rejected in my family.

So here is a bonus video of Huxley helping me. I left the ending in for your own personal entertainment. :)

Here are some things to notice in this video:

The Count Off:

After your child understands TEMPO (how fast or slow something is), they can then be introduced to the count off. Huxley loves counting off and being able to control how fast I sing.

Know When To Back Off:

Since I was making a video, I really felt the desire to control how fast Huxley turned the page. But I also knew that over-controlling would create a negative experience. So I decided in this video to create a drum roll cue to help Huxley to turn the page faster. Drum rolls create such a wonderful sense of anticipation!

Adapting To The Child

At around 30 seconds, you will notice Huxley starting to change the page. I try not to force the kids to wait until I'm done reading all the words so I will adapt the song as the kids control the turning of the pages. The extra challenge this brings to me is really fun and stimulating.

Adding Soft-Loud Dynamics:

Notice how I start to whisper at times of transition and get louder when the rhythm starts up again. Doing this not only adds another musical element, but I used this with the Drum Roll to keep things moving along.

RIE Parenting Bonus:

Okay so this is not anything to do with music but you might find it interesting. At 2 minutes, Beaudry gets frustrated. I tried to set clear limits (this is Huxley's time with the book) while acknowledging Beaudry's frustrations and being physically present to manage this.

Want To Learn More About How You Can Integrate Music Into Your Child's Life?

I am currently creating a course just on this! Sign up to my newsletter on my homepage to be the first to know when it is released!

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