When they hear ʺHappy Birthday to You,ʺ childrenʹs eyes light up like candles on a cake. Itʹs the same light you see in class as the ʺHello Songʺ begins, as the instruments come out at play‐along time, or when mom pops in a Music Together CD on a long car ride.
ʺHappy Birthdayʺ and Music Together also share a special link in their histories. It all started in 1893 when sisters Patty and Mildred J. Hill composed a greeting song, ʺGood Morning to All,ʺ for their kindergarten classes. By 1912, it had evolved into the now‐famous birthday song ʺHappy Birthday to You.ʺ It was subsequently copyrighted in 1935 by music publisher Birch Tree Group, Ltd., where Ken Guilmartin—grandson of original owner John Sengstack—worked as an associate editor in the 1980s. The royalties from ʺHappy Birthday to Youʺ funded the early childhood music education research on which the Music Together program is based. How wonderful that a song written by kindergarten teachers would help create a pioneering childrenʹs music program nearly a century later! We think the Hill sisters would be pleased to know that their kindergarten song led to children and the grownups who love them making “music together” all around the world!