The Happy Birthday Story

When they hear "Happy Birthday to You," children's eyes light up like candles on a cake. It's the same light you see in class as the "Hello Song" begins, as the instruments come out at play‐along time, or when mom pops in a Music Together® CD on a long car ride. "Happy Birthday" 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, "Good Morning to All," for their kindergarten classes. By 1912, it had evolved into the now‐famous birthday song "Happy Birthday to You." 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 "Happy Birthday to You" 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 children's 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!