Thursday, June 29, 2006


Now online in the Teacher's Lounge, you can learn more about the baby faces of the The Partnership. When you sign on, click The Partnership, then Peer Advisory Board.

The cutie pictured here is Chairman and Liason Jane Hendrix.


I love days like this, when another email pops in my inbox from a Kindermusik Educator saying, "I started my own blog!"

InJoy your day.

Summer camps on flickr

If you’ve never uploaded photos to flickr before, now is a great time to try. This idea came from Kindermusik Educator and Maestro Stephanie Bartis, who said more educators would like to see pictures of the crafts from the new summer camps.

So … I started a summer camp photos page, and you can upload photos there, too.

Here’s how:

Go to
In the upper right corner, click the “sign in” link
Then, “Sign into flickr using your Yahoo account”
Yahoo ID: kindermusikcamps
Password: adventures
Follow the instructions to upload

If you have any questions, email me. If we get enough photos up there, I’ll look into purchasing more space so we can all share photos in one place.

Now, you might be asking yourself, "Molly, why in the heck would I want to do that?" It's simple. Loading pictures in one place lets us all share the photos, no matter what kind of computer you have. Plus, every time someone searches "Kindermusik" in flickr, these photos will show up. That makes Kindermusik's online presence even stronger. Plus, it's free.

What would Schroeder say?

Can you imagine Schroeder bent over this piano while Lucy leered over all those wires? Watch MooT BooXLe, inventor and improviser

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Need quiet time? Lift this skirt.

This little yellow skirt gives a girl all the privacy she'll want or need: in the buffet line, at a pool, on a subway. The dress that comes with its own inflatable personal space was reported today in Iconowatch.

Maybe a good choice for those bashful breastfeeders?

Meet Mrs. Davis

The Lovely Mrs. Davis Tells You What to Think.
This blogger mom is one of best music critics on the new Kindie Rock genre. She writes with a direct "Choosey moms choose Jif" attitude. Like her frank delivery or not, she knows her stuff.

Read her letter to Laurie Berkner. I love it.

No bigger than a penny

Click through the pictures and watch these baby birds hatch and grow in a nest no bigger than a penny.

Via musik4kids

Xander's Kwips

When hard core goes soft

There’s so much I could say about this, that I don’t know what to say. Even though I never bought a ticket for the hard core summer festival "Lollapalooza" back in the Jane’s Addiction and Pearl Jam days, I was a fan.

Turns out many of those rockers and their fans are starting little bands of their own, which has likely inspired the little brother to Lollapalooza, called “Kidzapalooza.”

On tour, kids can play instruments in cool tents, hear Ella Jenkins sing, and when it all gets to be a little too much, chill with some yoga.

See it all and more in this video.

Tip courtesy of green mama Mollie G.

Tilly and the Wall

Listen close. The percussion you hear in this music uses neither hands nor drumsticks.

The percussion section is a tap dancer. How cool is that.

Tilly and the Wall

Friday, June 23, 2006

If music could draw

It would look like Elisabeth Perotin.

See how they grow

A parent makes a picture gallery as his son, Liam, grows. Pictures posted on flickr.

Musical sprinklers

Materials needed:

  • A rotating lawn sprinkler hooked up to a hose
  • Someone manning the faucet who is prepared to sing and provide the "music."
HOW TO PLAY: Start with the sprinkler turned off. Players must move around the sprinkler area, jumping, dancing or striking funny poses. When the sprinkler is turned on, they must freeze in position and get drenched until the sprinkler is turned off again.

More cool ideas, like a water-filled piƱata, or pinaqua, made from a trash bag, here.
Water sprinklers on eBay
Sprinkler pictures on flickr

Musicians ashes buried in his clarinet

The ashes of a Minnesota music teacher and long-time clarinet player now rest in his favorite instrument. He was 88 years old.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Xander's Kwips

Simply the best CEO

Michael Dougherty would never admit it himself, but he's one heckuva a CEO. That's probably what makes him so good. Able to bridge creative and accounting in a single bound ... he's a businessman with a big heart.

If you've ever seen him at Convention, talked with him on the phone, or emailed him about a breakthrough in your marketing program, you'd know by the tone of his voice that he's for real. If you haven't seen him, he'll be speaking this year at the first annual Kindermusik Convention in November, here in Greensboro.

The reason Michael is wearing a tux in this picture above (he's smack dab in the middle, his head slightly nodding forward). Recently Michael was named CEO of the Year in the Services category in a North and South Carolina competition. Now, Michael advances as a nominee for the National Entrepreneur Of The Year Award which includes past winners Michael Dell, Dell Computer (1989), Richard M. Schulze, Best Buy (1999), and John Mackey, Whole Foods Market, Inc. (2003).

The national award ceremony will take place in Palm Springs, CA in November at a ceremony hosted by Jay Leno.

Go Michael go. We're so proud of you.

Online relationships

Remember Debbie Long? We profiled her in a Quick Tips email several summers ago when her camp enrollments jumped from 80 to 115 families when she started holding Creatures in my Backyard at a local nature center.

Now she’s jumping and doubling again—make that striding--and this time she’s using a ‘net. By simply approaching a local business owner about advertising and working together, Debbie now has a Kindermusik FREE Class Preview on the Web site of a local Stroller Strides franchise. And there’s more.

Here’s the story in her words:

“She is going to include one of my preview coupons with each new registration she receives and I am going to include her coupons in my mom’s packs that I give away at the beginning of each semester (local packs that I make up). We are also going to have links to each other’s sites (once we both figure out how to do this). We’ve also talked about hosting demos at various locations together.

It sounds like this is going to be a great relationship.”

More about

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Simply the Best cakemaker

New submissions from Kindermusik's CEO, Directors, employee-owners, Educators and more ... What's your Simply the Best?

Favorite instrument: recorder and rhythm sticks

This isn't so much for the kids, as it is for the Educators. John is someone I see around downtown a lot. The last time I saw him I had a video camera. Turns out he's more Kindermusik than he thinks.

Kindermusik on My Space

Really wasn’t expecting a thing when I typed “Kindermusik” into the My Space search field.

What I found were pages started by parents as online, interactive photo albums of their children. Other pages listed Kindermusik as interests. Another impressive page, complete with an imbedded "FREE Class Preview" coupon belongs to a pair of Kindermusik studio owners.

Now I know My Space has mixed reviews. “A few stupid people ruined it for everybody,” my 14-year-old niece said this weekend. So bashfully I’ll admit to starting my own page some time ago, which has transcended into “Music My Space” page. There I can post original recordings, pictures, and I’ve reconnected with folks I knew in high school. I avoid stupid people whenever possible.

Even odder is the new connection made with a music producer in Poland who is considering mixing my voice for some house club music tracks. Neat.

Regardless, I’m proud of the creative, Web 2.0, interactive-savvy ways Educators and families are reaching out to connect with each other. Take a look.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Relax, register before fall

In the hopes of getting families registered before the fall semester, Darcie sent around a list of top seven reasons to enroll before the leaves start falling. You can pretty much see the big reason why they early push for fall in the picture of Darcie here on the right. Aww.

Her email secured almost one new re-enrollment every hour after she sent the email out, as well as several inquiries.

Here it is, word for word:

7. Save $5 per class when you register by June 15th.
Classes start at $99 for signing and $119 for music and movement.

6. You'll get a class time that works for you.
Choose from 20 class times to work with your busy schedule.

5. You can spread out your payments.
Choose from our four, two or one payment plan options. All you need to pay now is the $60 deposit per class.

4. Our class sizes are limited and we have spaces available in all our classes.
Classes are filling fast with morning, evening, and Saturday options available.

3. Your child will receive his or her materials at the first class rather than having to wait.
Class materials include a take home book, CD, and activities you can use at home right away.

2. You'll make life easier for Darcie.
Baby’s due in only 2.5 more weeks.

1. Relax. Sign up now and you can take one more thing off your mind.

Friday, June 16, 2006

When you play by yourself, you make stuff up

The other night WUNC television showed a documentary on the Carter Family. For the first time "Single Girl/Married Girl" hit my ears and I understood why AP stopped in to hear Sara sing. The music would never be the same from that moment.

More impressive was learning that Maybelle invented the Carter style of strumming. Self-taught, she had to play the bass notes and the rhythm herself--a style that reminds of 8-string guitar player Charlie Hunter when he contorts and stretches his fingers as much he does his face to play a funky bass and gracious jazz melodies.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Xander's Kwips

The most complex-sounding bird song in the world belongs to the Lyrebird. A true performer, this bird can imitate the sounds of over 20 different species, such as the laughing kookabura. He's even sampled a few modern sounds, such as a camera shutter, a camera with a motor drive, car alarm, and a forest chain saw. Sometimes, he even sounds like R2-D2.

He does all this, to woo a girl bird.

Watch the bird in this video clip on
It takes a few moments to load, so you may want to have it ready if you're showing little ones.

PS. "Xander's Kwips" will be a weekly video feature, inspired by three-year-old Xander. It's meant for all little ones and big ones to watch in awe together.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

That's a Wilco Sock Monkey

Jeff Tweedy, Gillian Welch, Tift Merrit ... just a few of the Americana, experimental, and alt-country musicians pictured smiling with a sock monkey. This online gallery is on a diorama-inspired Sock Monkey Web site, where the grainy grey tube-socked stuffed animals come to life, spin records, go to school, and even pose for portraits.

Take a look for yourself before bringing the kids on the lap for a look. Otherwise, enjoy it for yourself as a new way to look at one of the land's oldest, beloved stuffed friends. Then make some sock monkey puppets of your own.

Make your own sock monkeys and order the special red-heeled socks.
Sock monkey's made from stripey socks.
A list of more sock monkey links than you can imagine.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Hola Lourdes!

Welcome to new Kindermusik Educator and blogger Lourdes Y. Tejeda Rodriguez, a 26-year-old Educator in the west area of Puerto Rico.

Math and music

Via Music4Kids, a yahoo email group.

We just completed a major update to our Fraction Pie Rhythms activity. It now includes new fractions, new rhythms from Central and South America, and new sounds. The Fraction Pie Rhythms activity connects your knowledge of fractions to musical notes and rhythms. Simply choose your fractions and press play - your fractions will transform into a musical composition you can see and hear! While you're there, click on the Songs button and listen to the Xocopa rhythm from Mexico played on Taiko drums, and the Flintstones played with the sound of water! The activity is free for you and your students. Check it out.

Phil Tulga

Heartachingly beautiful

Via The Little Brown Music Studio blog

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Monty Python style of parenting

Mother and Kindermusik Educator Darcie Brown wrote this morning about how she's using the "Ministry of the Silly Walk" clip (scroll down to watch it) to get her preschooler, Xander, towards the door.

"Xander requested to see your Silly Walk Kwip again today. He quite enjoyed it and I've used the concept a couple times to motivate him to get moving - 'Let's do a silly walk to the door!'

Heh heh."

That little laugh at the end is the laugh of a clever and creative mother. Xander also leaves "installation" art pieces around the house.

La La Ling

If the Ramones weren't your favorite you can find something else from the various kid-rocker choices at La La Ling.

Now. Where can I find a dress like that for adults?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Just in time for Zoo Train

Watch illustrator Jan Barrett draw a train. For more videos, look through Jan's "how-to-draw a ..." video archive.

Via Helen Peterson's blog, Kindermusik of the Valley.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Xander's Kips--Ministry of the Silly Walk

Make your own silly walk.

A "Joyous" new arrival

Welcome Joyous, a new blog for Kindermusik families in Kansas City. She recently posted some home made, age appropriate gift ideas for Father's Day.

A mother's coat, imagination, and frog eyes

Muppets and Mechanisms: Jim Henson's Legacy
May 19, 2006–September 4, 2006, Smithosonian, Washington CD. First floor west at the Lemelson Center and third floor west

Monday, June 05, 2006

There's no gnus like Gary Gnus

I about went out of my gourd when Aileen Quinn (from the movie musical Annie) appeared on the Great Space Coaster and sang about how great things come in small packages. Also a favorite, the Gary Gnu's news show. None of it got started without this song. Thanks Joseph for the reminder.

Calling all birds

I was looking for these bird callers on when I found the iPod transistor/turntable and got distracted.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

From Goodnight Moon to Art Dog

View the online slideshow of a new exhbitit at Rhode Island's RISD Museum, From Goodnight Moon to Art Dog: The World of Clement, Edith and Thacher.

The audio portion is a bit dry for kids. One idea is to listen to the history by yourself first, then re-tell it in your own words to your child. Just turn down the sound and click through the pictures. For imaginative preschoolers: flick through the pics and ask your child what is happening in the pictures, or the illustrations.


Ever since I sampled the hands-on turntable at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, I've been enchanted. Now this.

The sculpture is in

Our first attempts at a sculpture outside Kindermusik International were foiled. This week, the new sculpture was installed by Lyndon Street Arts Gallery artists Lois and Ernest Rich.

Much better now

All last week, I was down with Vertigo, turns out you can catch that. I have a whole new respect for the vestibular system.