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Let's Play Music Podcast

Let's Play Music Podcast

By Shelle Soelberg
We enrich lives with the power of music. Our music programs for children harness that power and go beyond just teaching music. Our podcast focuses on reaching dedicated parents and teachers who value the development of the whole child. We explore music education, early childhood education, music history and music theory to provide both insight and methods for teaching children through music.
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Ep. 13 - The Making of a Soundtrack with Jess Soelberg Productions
Jess Soelberg is an artist, arranger, composer and producer.  In this episode, Jess walks us through his process as he builds a soundtrack. Listen in as he selects the instruments, harmonies, rhythms, and countermelodies and combines them into the soundtrack "Tinga Layo" from the 2nd Year of Let's Play Music.  Jess is the owner/founder of Jess Soelberg Productions where he is able to turn musical ideas into stunning reality. 
October 01, 2021
Ep. 12 - Music and Brain Development with Sharlene Heybermeyer
Sharlene Habermeyer, M.A., the author of Good Music, Brighter Children, was inspired to write the book after finding out that music helped her severely learning-disabled son. As a result, she researched the effects music had on the developing and mature brain. She has spoken at various conferences, seminars, and schools across the United States as both a keynote and featured speaker. She holds a master’s degree in education from Pepperdine University, California and has taught college.  Mentioned in the podcast: Sharlene's website: Good Parenting Brighter Children Tomatis Auditory Program  Dr. Minson - integrated learning
September 18, 2021
Ep. 11 - Motivation is the Secret with Aaron Garner
Want to motivate your child to practice piano but don't know how? Aaron Garner, PhD in Piano Pedagogy and CEO of Piano Marvel shares his secrets he's used with his own children and with students over the years.  "Motivation," he says, "is all about relevancy. If you can make piano practice somehow relevant to the student, they will be motivated to practice."  Join as we discuss the sneaky and supportive ways to get your child motivated to practice piano! (links discussed in podcast below) FULL BIO Aaron Garner studied piano performance at Brigham Young University and the University of Southern Colorado. He did his graduate studies in piano performance and pedagogy at the University of Northern Colorado. His diverse experience of teaching music in the public schools (K-12), 2 universities, several large studios and a private studio helped him create a unique system of teaching.Some of Aaron’s significant contributions to the field of piano pedagogy are SASR (Standard Assessment of Sight Reading), Piano Marvel (teaching and assessment software), Scale Ninja, Learn to Play the Hymns Boot Camp, and a collection of hundreds of student compositions. Currently Aaron is CEO of Piano Marvel and does seminars across the country on student motivation, sight-reading, group teaching, student ensemble performance, composition, and performance video creation. LINKS Piano Marvel Home Page SASR - Standard Assessment of Sight Reading -  The SASR has been developed over the past 5 years into a sight  reading tool, unlike anything you’ve seen before. The SASR features over  2,000 sight reading excerpts divided into 90 levels.  As you take the SASR test, Piano Marvel will  automatically select excerpts that will challenge you. It’s like an  intelligent sight reading test that gives you an amazing sight reading  workout at the same time! Family Ensemble  Christmas Challenge  Keep Focused Game 
August 23, 2021
Ep. 10 - Developing Musicianship with Jason Neumann
Join Jason Neumann and I as we discuss musicianship, musicality, talent, growth, and the educational approach to developing each of them. Jason’s perspective as a piano teacher, high school choir teacher, and most recently, a Let’s Play Music Presto teacher, gives him unique insight into developing musicians. In this discussion, we dig into solfege, rhythm & movement, dictation, audiation, tonal memory, and adding chords to a melody, as well as developing young musicians from an authentic place and connecting to the way the music lives in each. 
May 30, 2021
Ep. 9 - More than Just Baby Talk with Kelsey Fenn
Have you wondered what you can do to facilitate language development and bonding with your child? Have you felt concerned that your child's language development might be delayed and what you can do about that? Join me as I discuss language development with Kelsey Fenn (pediatric SLP) and the role that music plays!  Kelsey will walk you through strategic exercises you can do within your daily routines to encourage language and also gives benchmarks for typical language development along with what to do if you are concerned with your baby's language/auditory development.  Kelsey is a speech language pathologist who earned her master’s degree from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Her education and work with private clients in a pediatric clinical setting has developed passion for working with parents with tips to encourage language development in their little ones. She loves learning about all things child development and positive parenting. Kelsey currently lives in Mesa, Arizona with her husband and three young children. She uses her experience as pediatric SLP (speech/language pathologist) and stay at home mother to educate parents through social media on her Instagram  @speakingwithintention. Be sure to check it out to see many of the things we discussed in this podcast!
May 03, 2021
Ep. 8: A Study on Musical Learning in Utero with Dr. Krystal McCoy
Have you wondered what your fetus can hear? What he/she can learn?  Science has discovered that ears develop at 14 weeks gestational development and can process auditory input at 22 weeks gestation. We are delighted to have Dr. Krystal McCoy on this episode!  Dr. McCoy holds a doctorate of Musical Art in Music Education and is currently the Director of Choral Activities at Southern Utah University. Recently, she conducted a study of the effects of music on her own fetus and tracked the results. Join us for an amazing discussion! 
March 29, 2021
Ep. 7 - A Deaf Music Teacher works her Magic - Annalee Dinkel
Annalee Dinkel, creator of Presto, joins me on this episode!  Listen as we discuss her deafness, how she has overcome obstacles with positivity, and how creating a version of Let's Play Music for older beginners became her passion. It truly is magical to hear her story and see what she has created.  Watch the Galileo "Time Travel" set to Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor Watch a full Presto Sample Class taught by Annalee. Visit our website to learn more about Presto and Let's Play Music
March 15, 2021
Ep. 6- Solfege for Adult Musicality with Christopher Sutton
Let's Play Music programs have unlocked the power of Solfege for children and given them rich musicality.  Musical U, founded by Christopher Sutton, has done the same for adult music learners with courses that open up a world of musical skill.  The 'trifecta', as he calls them, are instrumental skill, theory knowledge, and ear training and all are accessible and learnable.  Listen in as Christopher discusses his own frustrating journey as a music learner and how discovering Solfege unlocked his own musicality.  Discover him at Musical U. 
November 10, 2020
Ep. 5 - How music is suicide prevention with Marsali Hancock
Today's guest, Marsali Hancock is a nonprofit executive, with twenty years of experience working with leading national and international policy leaders, top-ranked Fortune 100 companies like Google, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Target, Intel, Microsoft, Facebook, and Dell, along with highly respected organizations, maximizing technology to improve the quality of life, education, and economic opportunities. Recognized for her online safety initiatives, Ms. Hancock is dedicated to creating safe and healthy digital learning environments. In this episode, Marsali shares with us what is needed for children to enjoy mental and emotional health in a digital age.  As a musician, she explores the benefits of music and music instruction as it pertains to suicide prevention.  She mentions one foundation in which she works, Save Somebuddy, as a resource that uses music for treating emotional trauma.  We are amazed at the expert perspective Marsali offers to the Let's Play Music families and teachers. 
October 26, 2020
Ep. 4 - Singing in Tune with Topher Keene
We all know someone (or maybe it's you?) who 'can't carry a tune in a bucket', right? In this episode, our guest is Topher Keene, Grammy quarterfinalist, conductor, educator, mentor and - you guessed it - singing coach.  Topher shares with us the mechanics behind singing in tune, then shares with us how to teach someone to sing in tune.  Parents of infants and young children will love what he has to say about early exposure. Older children and adults who haven't yet learned to sing in tune will love what he has to say about them too!   Have questions for Topher, or want singing coaching? Contact directly at  For a deeper dive into this topic, enjoy these YouTube videos: Topher's lectures on Singing in Tune  A demo session on pitch matching with a volunteer 
September 30, 2020
Ep. 3 - The ABC's of Making Piano Practice FUN! with Jenny Smith
Making things fun is our business.  We have it down to a science.  Join Jenny Smith and Shelle Soelberg as we discuss 3 simple things - the A-B-C - of making piano practice fun at home! If you've ever heard your child say "I don't want to practice!" this episode is for you. 
September 10, 2020
Ep. 2 - The Dilemma: When to Start Piano Lessons? with Julie Fischbeck
Everyone wonders, there are many opinions, there is much experience. The dilemma is, children are ripe for music instruction many years earlier than they are ready for piano lessons. Delaying music lessons will waste much of the 'music learning window' which research has shown is ages 0-9.  So, what do we do?  Let's Play Music solves the piano playing dilemma by teaching music and piano in age-appropriate methods. Listen in as Julie Fischbeck discusses this dilemma amid her experiences as a piano student, piano teacher, professional pianist, and Let's Play Music teacher. 
September 01, 2020
Trailer - The Let's Play Music Podcast
Here's what you can expect from us!
August 31, 2020
Ep. 1 - The Inception of Let's Play Music with Sydney Soelberg Thornton
Shelle and her daughter, Sydney, discuss how it all began!  How a young mother of five started a music program that has grown to a million dollar business, with 450 teachers and 11,000 students nationwide. It may surprise you that it didn't start with that end in mind - at all. 
August 31, 2020