Tuesday, November 28, 2006

She must be a musician

She is. Priscilla Dunstan was recently featured on the Oprah Winfrey show and talked about the language babies use to let you know they're hungry, uncomfortable, have lower gas, need to burp, or simply, are sleepy.

You can watch the video here.

The musical connection: (via www.dunstanbaby.com)
"Already an exceptional violinist by the age five, [Priscilla] could hear a piece by Mozart once, then play it back in its entirety, note for note. Her father, Director of the Educational Testing Centre at the University of New South Wales, found that his young daughter had an eidetic memory - a rare photographic memory for sound.

"During her teenage years Priscilla toured throughout Europe and Australia as an accomplished concert violinist. Priscilla then spent more than 10 years exploring the world of opera, where her talent as a mezzo-soprano deepened her understanding of sound produced by the human voice.

"When Priscilla gave birth to her son Tomas, her instincts as a mother and musician led her to believe that a baby’s cries had to be something more than just random sounds. Noting combinations of sounds in a journal, Priscilla explored various settling techniques and observed Tom’s reactions. Eventually she was able to recognize patterns, and identify how specific cries had a distinct need attached to them."

Three ways you can build Sign & Sing enrollments

On Wednesday, you can find the Sign & Sing Session B Parent Email Databanks online in Teacher's Lounge. Educator, mentor, and this session's email writer Debby Long had some great suggestions about how you can help parents feel a stronger connection to the class.

  • Find signing resources in your community. Look in your community for listings about signing clubs, workshops, or classes in your area to continue your Education about signing. Plus, it’s a great way to meet people in your community who are interested in signing, and perhaps, in signing up for your class.
  • Start a signing playgroup. It could be as simple as putting out a piece of paper in your studio with a suggested time for parents get together for a “signing” playgroup. Then these families can together at the park, the museum, or the zoo, and help each other use sign language through out the play date.
  • Connect the learning to the next semester. Make a connection to the signs you're learning now, this semester, to the stories, learning theme, or musical concepts you'll be covering in a Kindermusik class next semester in your Village, Our Time, Imagine That! and Family Time class themes.

More love for Elisabeth Perotin

Monday, November 27, 2006

Wish list item #48: Socks

Only trouble is that this funky designer and sock-making company, Eley Kishimoto, is based outside the United States.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Funny thing about that list

It keeps getting longer every day.

When I changed over to Beta Blogger (which I like, oh so much Betta), I lost all my Kindermusik links. I'm just getting around to updating the list of active Kindermusik Educator bloggers.

If your blog is missing, please email and let me know!

And happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Gobble, gobble.

Is there a Ben Zander in there?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Online children's art gallery

The mouse-drawn pictures you see here are the point and click creations of two 6-year-old children in opposite corners of the world: Berlin, Germany, and Boston, Massachussets. Their pictures hang together on the user-generated walls of "Artroom, Where Kids Can Make & Display Art Online."

Here, children can draw, submit, even go back and edit their pictures online, and see their pretty pictures hang on the virtual hall of refrigerators around the world.
Makes me wish this was around in my Lite Brite days.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Something you may not know about me

We've started a game here at Kindermusik called "Know the EO" (Employee Owner), where once a week we film someone here sharing an otherwise odd fact you probably don't know. We showed the first five in a series today. Give it a few seconds between each person for the pause.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another reason I heart flickr

You can make this movie-style poster in less than 15 minutes. It's another thing I saw on Sean's blog (see previous post). You can make your own class flyers, posters, and more using photos from your class and fd flickr toys.

"Design is the new black"

I read that on Sean Coon's blog the other day, and I've been thinking about it. Especially since I'm such a fan of black.

Then today I pop over to Damien Rice's not so user-intuitive Web site, where I found a link promoting his new album, "Damien Rice 9." As an aside, the musical style of this Dublin-born singer-songwriter actually makes me feel, in the realest sense of the world, a simultaneous sense of uplift and wilt at the same time. An uplifting wilt, if you will.


When I checked out the new album's Web site, I saw the new black. Pushed myself back in my chair. Not over what I saw, but rather over the design of the site (Rice's lyrics are explicit, not the Web site, but then again time was when Huckleberry Finn's language was considered "explicit.")


The Web site is the new black, and a new kind of design that didn't overwhelm me with choices. I went there to hear the music and that's all the page did for me: play the music. And yes, I could have listened to the entire album on the Web site. For free. Instead, I went straight to iTunes and bought it before I even finished listening to the first song.
That's the thing. If something's brilliant, you don't have to worry about not getting anything back when you give it away.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tölzer Knabenchor strikes Bach

Some people have their head in the clouds

Mine tends to hover more towards the stars. And while I'm finally nearing the end of a massive biography on Mark Twain, here is my where head hovers today:

"It's lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened. Jim he allowed they was made, but I allowed they happened; I judged it would have took too long to make so many. Jim said the moon could 'a' laid them; well, that looked kind of reasonable, so I didn't say nothing against it, because I've seen a frog lay most as many, so of course, it could be done. We used to watch the stars that fell, too, and see them streak down. Jim allowed they'd got spoiled and was hove out of the nest."

- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dance of the Sugar Sun Fairy

Squeeze this sun and you’ll hear Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. With two krinkly-layers of sunbeam rays coming from the center of this warm, smiling sun face, and a clip on handle that doubles as a teething ring, you can easily attach this little guy to almost anything: strollers, diaper bags, and cribs.

Find more gifts you can give to your Kindermusik families--or yourself--this year for the holidays. Find new boomwhackers sets and caps, a duck-bill whistle, and more new items online in the Educator store.

Sign in.
Click "New Items."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Adam Sandler, I am truly sorry

"His voice is the sweetest sound I ever heard"

This little red haired boy is Horatio, and nephew to Jessi Hagood here at Kindermusik International. She took this picture.

I'd like to use it in some email marketing pieces we send to parents and was wondering: What would the headline be? Would the voice be his, or his parents? Would the headline be the parent's voice, talking about what her hopes are for him? Or is this picture a conversation between a parent and child? If they are sharing a musical moment, what does it sound like?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

English accents, children's music

That's a "Ninja Dinosaur" chasing a toy-stealing, card-playing king, pictured above. Put that dinosaur in a rocket ship and I know at least one child who would likely launch himself into outer space out of the sheer thrill (Xander). It's spot-on in sound, too, and one of the tracks on "Colours are Beautiful," the newest "Save a Child" musical compilation. Already this record redefines, once again, what "children's music" means.

With its feel-good sound, and feel-good mission, this newest offering features a Franz Ferdinand, "you-don't-stop" modern sound with brit-pop accents and a Monty Python's kind of storytelling that's innocent enough for the little bright eyes peering up at you as you sing along.

Also, on a bad blogger note: I'll admit to a serious case of the grumps, being away so long from blogging, exercising, and playing music over the last week. This album is lifting my spirits. I'll be playing guitar with the band again tonight. I went for a run this morning. But I'd do it all over again to meet you at the Kindermusik Convention.

Thanks for showing up, laughing in all the right places, and giving us enough to go on ... at least until next year's Convention ... all year long. I can't wait to blog about all the lovely things you'll blogs, and myspaces, and the possibilities.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006