Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Beatbox flute and Peter and the Wolf

Hap tip Kindermusik at Sound and Motion.

Kindermusik in Wondertime's April/May issue

Wondertime writer Rani Arbo writes about her experiences in Music Together and Kindermusik classes in an upcoming issue of this magazine. Keep your eyes open for the April/May issue.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Still as a blackpaper silhouette

I'm out Monday and Tuesday, finishing the recordings for the RPM challenge. In the next two days we'll record the final 6 or 7 songs with a guest stand-up bass player and lap steel guitar player. That's the hope anyway.

Sean asked if I was going to blog the lyrics, and I thought, "Why would I want to do that?"

That's when I realized I've been writing without thinking people would really hear them. That makes the songs feel a little more vulnerable for me, I guess. Some are old stories that I've been wanting to tell for a long time. Some are new ones about my struggles with faith, and the day that all changed at the Wright Brother's Memorial at Kill Devil Hills. Another song just got me through a tortuous couple of days, waiting to hear back from an old boyfriend I should have never contacted again. And another song just wrote itself, basically: An ode to the beautiful, ugly men like Jeff Tweedy, Jack White, and Ray LaMontagne.

Plus one really fun song for the ukulele.

That's the risk I guess. Don't know why I forgot about it. But I did.

Fast friends

Nothing gets a reaction around here like the impromptu visit from a child. And with these two out from day care and school with the sniffles, I got to play around with the camera, some instruments, and these two.
They wouldn't say a word to each other the first 3 minutes, then you couldn't get them to stop talking.
Leido's Mother, Adesola, is from South Africa.
Emily's Mother, Angelica, is from Italy.
They're both 4.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Choices, choices, choices

For the first time this summer, you can offer one, or all of the Kindermusik programs to your families as a camp. So, what's in your summer program?
ABC Music & Me
Family Time
Sign & Sing

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Amazing Grace

The harder a funeral home tries to create a "comfortable" environment, the odder it is.

Still, yesterday, in a funeral home chapel carpeted in a kind of fushia-color that only exists in a nailpolish bottle, one woman stood up at the end of my friend Teri's funeral, and brought the whole thing home.

She sang Amazing Grace. She started just above a whisper, with the most restrained, distant silence. Suddenly, everything in that surreal, artifically-soothing environment, got very real.

What a gift.

The song has a fascinating history. This morning I heard the story behind Amazing Grace is the subject of a new movie, and the Web site holds an archive of history, trailers, and more. (It's down right now and I couldn't pull it up).

It was a song loved by both sides in the Amercian Civil War.
It is also considered the Cherokee National anthem, as it was frequently sung as a burial song for those who died on the Trail of Tears.

Not sad today, ladies. Happy to be alive.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Yes, that's a video camera

Thanks all, for your comments on the video. I'm making the fixes today, and we'll upload the final version in the Teacher's Lounge.
Video Landing Page. We created a video landing page in the Teacher's Lounge, which is intended to help you download the high quality version of the litte moving pictures, so you can upload them to the video sharing service of your choice.
Here's how it works. It works in a very similar way as the graphics and photo pages in the Teacher's Lounge. Only slightly different. Basically, you find the video you want, save it to your desktop, and just like you insert the graphic into a Word doc., or some other flyer-creating program, you will insert this video file into a video sharing program, like You Tube, Video Egg, or Vimeo.

Try it out.
Log on to the Teacher's Lounge.

Click the "Marketing" graphic, or the link on the left-hand side of the page.

There, you'll find thumbnail pictures of the videos, plus a brief description of what's in the video, and a Web address.

This is important. Don't right click the link and open the file. Instead, left click on the link. You don't want to open the file, you only want to save it to your desk top.

Then upload the .mov or the .wmv file to any player you want.

Make sense?
A quick note, though, to say that I'm in and out today, and was in and out yesterday. A good friend passed away this weekend, and I've been saying goodbye. She was a nurse, and an angel. Where would we be without those?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Village video

Kindermusik Village on Vimeo

Peter Ellenshaw dies at 93

"People never knew how he accomplished his visual feats. Darby O'Gill and the Little People remains one of the most amazing, eye-popping achievements in all of film history. And when you think that Mary Poppins was made without anyone ever setting foot outside a soundstage—let alone visiting London—you get some idea of what he was able to pull off."

Animation Magazine

Songwriter's Round tonight

Tonight, 8 pm, The Green Bean. We've been doing these in Greensboro for almost a year now, and I credit the first one, held at The Green Bean for introducing me to Laurelyn Dossett. She's performed on the Garrison Keillor show, produced music for two successful local plays, is a wife, and mother of three, beautiful curly-haired girls. Laurelyn constantly scoops up tender, creative souls, brings them under her wing, and gives them a stage on which to perform. She could have inspired the Beatles lyric, "the love you take is equal to the love you make." She can also be seen walking around the Westerwood neighborhood stealing figs from unprotected trees.

Tonight, she'll debut a new songwriter, Caitlyn Watkins. The senior at Weaver is a musical, creative threat with startling guitar rhythms, and edgy lyrics for any girl, never mind those doe-shaped eyes.

Also joining us is Rebecca Stevens, a fiddler, singer, songwriter herself. Rebecca hired me to sing with her band, Thacker Dairy Road. Each week we practice in a barn without heat while the boys squint and dangle cigarettes from their mouths as they play.

Also, I'll get a chance to squeak out some these new tunes I've been writing.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

This woman will teach you the uke

New this year in Kindermusik Educator Kathy Morrison's class, Ukulele camp.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A love of learning

A few years ago, my big brother, Danny, told me this story about Valentines Day, and I've chosen to believe it about this day ever since.

Valentines Day didn't start with romantic love at all. The very first Valentine was written some umpteen years ago, when a woman wasn't supposed to know the same things as a man. Probably some time in a century when they would even kill a free-thinking man, like Socrates.

Still, there was a young woman who sought a tutor of her own. In secret they would meet under a tree on a hill where he taught her how to reason, read books and world maps, and he taught her the rhetoric of politicians and scholars.

It wasn't long before the girl's father found out. This being a punishable and scandalous crime, the man was sentenced to die. On the day of his execution he sent the girl a note, which was, in fact, the very first Valentine.

On the front was a hand-drawn picture of a tree where they used to sit, with the following words on the inside:

"Never stop learning. Never stop growing."

Thank you to all of my Valentines, past and present. I'm so glad you won't be "offed" for what you've taught me.

I'm in love

I'm in love with this artist's eye, who uses a combination of knitting needles, typewritter hammers, and inky kisses for these creations.

Monday, February 12, 2007

If they could all be like this

Happy Birthday, Abe

Abraham Lincoln grew his famous beard when an 11-year-old girl wrote him a letter saying that he'd look better with whiskers.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Inchworm shoes

Musical wind doth blow

Adding another Kindermusik blog to the blogroll: Kindermusik Sound and Motion with Diane Colin in Raleigh, North Carolina. She's posted snaps of the kids with their homemade wind chimes in her class for preschoolers, Imagine That!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Alright (Mr.) Rogers, you've got the floor

"In 1969, Mister Rogers appeared before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Communications. His goal was to support funding for PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in response to significant proposed cuts. In about five minutes of testimony, Rogers spoke of the need for social and emotional education that public television provided. He passionately argued that alternative television programming like his Neighborhood helped encourage children to become happy and productive citizens, sometimes opposing less positive messages in media and in popular culture. He even recited the lyrics to one."

(Connect the Dots, Neatorama)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Toddler's have class

Our Time on Vimeo

Keep your eyes out for one new video per age group. This is the first of four, and features Our Time.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Joyful sight

Welcome Kindermusik with Joy. Also, if you're a regular Kindermusik blogger, and you don't see your blog in the blogroll, let me know. I'll happily add you.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

27 days

Today also marks the start of songwriter's contest the RPM Challenge. Basically songwriter's from around the world will write, record, and produce and album in the shortest month of the year. That's about one song every two days.
So if the postings get all little odd, sparse, or unclear from here on out, chalk it up to the creative process. The working title for the album is "Girl with slingshot" with some loose ideas on songs about the Wright Brothers; a voice; and trying to write and drive at the same time.

February 1, 1960

About a block from where I sit is the Woolworth's drug store where four black college students from A &T University sat down at the "whites only" lunch counter and asked to be served. That was Feb. 1, 1960. Today, the building's windows are boarded up while it undergoes a much hoped-for, and long-delayed transformation into a national Civil Rights Museum.

Timeline of events.
Children's book: Freedom on the Menu
My local newspaper's multi-media presentation.

Why Kindermusik?

Because saving the world is a lot more fun when someone else is there to share it with you. See what Kindermusik can do for the super-learners in your life. The first class is on us.

Whenever I do a photo search on I always find something that sparks a "caption" for me. Flipping through the pics is a great way to inspire creative marketing ideas, and you can use those photos as a model for your own photo shoot, or email the photographer who took the picture and ask if you could use it. Plus, I think they'd love to hear someone like you (a Kindermusik Educator) who likes the snaps.

The photographer who took the picture here, also took the picture of the child in the guitar case.

The music inside

More research on the importance of music in a young life. The picture is much more mesmerizing in full size, but I couldn't download it.