Everybody needs a little music in their lives. Some of my most special childhood memories involve the people I love sharing songs with me.

My granny taught me all the tongue-twisting words to “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” when I was three. When I was a little older and spending the night at my grandparents house, my grandaddy would serenade me on school mornings with “Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella.” This never failed to elicit a just-woke-up grumpy growl from me, which he thought was hilarious.

Singing with Grandmama

These days I wake Sierra, my 4-year-old, by singing Jason Mraz’s “Who Needs Shelter.” “Good-day sunlight. I’d like to say how truly bright you are. You don’t know me, but I know you, see. You’re my favorite star…”  She usually smiles instead of growls (usually).

My mom remembers her mama and daddy singing to each other when she was growing up: Hank William Senior’s “Hey Good Lookin’” and “I Love You a Bushel and a Peck.” Now she sings both those songs with my girls.

I laugh to think that my own kids will have memories of me singing my heart out along with Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews and Maroon 5 on my iPod. Or listening to Sirius Hits 1 with daddy on the way to school.

Of course, that’s not much different from the way my mom shared her music with me when I was a little girl. I remember her singing along to Elvis songs on the stereo and playing Willie Nelson’s version of “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” on her autoharp.

As an adult, there are so many songs that are meaningful to me because of their lyrics… but when I think back to the songs of my childhood, it’s the feeling of the music that I remember, the love and connection inspired by singing together, even with imperfect voices.

At Sunflower, we celebrate that feeling weekly at Circle of Song, our signature family sing-along. Susan plays the guitar, kids play shaky eggs and bells, and parents and kids dance and sing along to songs that have been shared for generations: “Little Red Wagon,” “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” “Baby Beluga,” “Here We Go Loopty Loo.”

Check out our website calendar for upcoming Circle of Song dates.

We’d love to share our music with you!

What songs do you share at home with your children? Do you have fond memories of special songs from your childhood? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

© Jaime Greenberg and Sunflower Creative Arts, 2011