How to Help Your Child Be a Memorization Whiz: 44 Presidents in Three Suzuki Songs

April 29, 2016, 10:05 AM · If there is any question that music is central to learning, here is a case in point: five-year-old Annabel Blake happily singing the names of all 44 U.S. presidents, to the tune of Suzuki songs:

The prospect of memorizing those names from a book would likely demoralize even the most determined academic. But learning a song? Fun! Easy!

Annabel, of Omaha, Neb., has been studying the violin since she was about 2 1/2 years old from member William Wolcott.

"She has been singing the Fifty Nifty United States song since she was 2 years old," said her mother, Alice Kim. "I recently read a book that described how children between pre-school and fourth grade have incredible memorization skills, and they actually love it. I never learned the presidents in order and thought this could be the next big memorization project."

Annabel liked the idea, but Kim could not find an existing song about the U.S. presidents that she liked. "Annabel is constantly humming 'Song of the Wind' and other Suzuki songs, so I said, 'Let’s try to do the presidents in order to the Suzuki songs!'"

That's exactly what Kim did; she has synchronized the names of all 44 Presidents in order, to the tunes of Song of the Wind, Go Tell Aunt Rhody and O Come Little Children, all from Suzuki Book 1. Here is a PDF of all the words, with the music.

"When I started to write in the names of the Presidents to correspond to the rhythm of the song, they just flowed so easily," Kim said. "Of course there was some tweaking here and there, but in the end I realized if I removed some of the first names and just tried to use the music to guide the list, there would be some natural rhythmic results."

At this point, Annabel may know the presidents better than her mother does.

"Embarrassingly enough, Annabel is the one who can tell me the next president in the song when I stall, trying to remember!" Kim said. "I would love for it to become a teaching tool because it really is easy to learn. Annabel had the Presidents Suzuki Song memorized within a day!"

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April 29, 2016 at 06:10 PM · That's why she's going to be better at violin than me. I'm old and just starting. And I don't know all the presidents at all! Good job!!!!

April 29, 2016 at 06:18 PM · This is great! The link with the PDF of the words and music won't open for me??

April 30, 2016 at 02:51 AM · I've fixed the problem with the PDF, it should open now!

April 30, 2016 at 07:04 PM · Thanks, I will try that with my kid, and include 55. Donald Trump !

May 2, 2016 at 03:22 PM · Gabriel, I don't mind if you're right because I'll be long gone by the time we get around to President No. 55.

May 2, 2016 at 03:51 PM · lol

May 3, 2016 at 02:49 AM · LOL,, sorry I meant 45...

May 3, 2016 at 03:26 PM · She won't be able to recite the presidents backward, at least that's my experience from the alphabet song. But then, reciting the presidents backward isn't a drunk driving test, so good to go.

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