Thursday, May 28, 2009

What instrument (or other new thing!) are you adding to your "repetoire"?

As mentioned in my "E-news" of updates and events schedule, the ukulele was something new (for me!) that I recently got up the nerve to add to my performances. Total fun. I was a little nervous about introducing something new to my established format. But considering how rewarding it can be to try something new, I would say it was well worth it. And, come on.. the ukulele? You gotta love it!

Somehow, it brought up memories of taking up the violin when I was in the 4th grade. My dad had his old violin just sitting there gathering dust. There was an orchestra (of sorts!) at my elementary school, with Mr. Mareno. Why not? I gave it a shot. Mr. Mareno, through no fault of his own, I'm sure, turned out to be not the most patient guide for young aspiring artists. I remember the blackboard erasers and pieces of chalk launched at my fellow neophytes when we missed the mark. Not long after, I abandoned my violin career.

What are your music memories? What kept you going?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Woody Guthrie, Malvina Reynolds, & other musical heros

Woody Guthrie's song "Put your finger in the Air" got such a good response when I shared it with a library group Wednesday. A sweet, silly, simple little song, but it can do wonders when shared and sung together.

As Sarah Pirtle says, "Music builds community and directly fosters safety."

And Malvina sings, "I'm awf'ly nervous lonesome, but I'm swell when I'm a crowd."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Your Early Music Influences

Very moving and fun to read others' comments about early music memories, and the kinds of music you listened to while growing up. I want to hear more about the artists that had an influence for you.

Very early vinyl LP memories: I clearly remember "Gerald McBoing-Boing" making the sounds of the orchestra, because he couldn't talk! (from a Dr. Seuss story.) And some old western group yodeling and singing "with a kay, yai yippy yippy yay..." (--wish I could remember their names!!), and Alvin and the Chipmunks. I fell in love with the Nutcracker Suite and its music.

My daughter introduced me to Weird Al Yankovic and the Talking Heads, all of whom I developed a passion for. I'd missed being aware of them somehow, in my own youth.

The tables and circles keep turning in the music world, endlessly inspiring.

Which artists do you remember from way back?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Early music memories

Lydie Mason commented on your status:

"Playing duets on the flute with my dad on the piano or guitar; watching my parents roll up the rug to dance on the hardwood floor of our living room to big band standards; listening to the angels singing Christmas carols in the Norton Quartet; holding hands in a circle singing and giving thanks at the Monday Club on Sunday mornings; Charlie Riha, Dan Murray, John Lambie, Lisa Monet, Fran Dukehart, Parents and many others in church; dad's 12 piece band (!) in our living room in a jam session..... oh, and Skip To My Lou on my piano."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kids' music (my first ever blog post!)

I've been doing "kids' music" for over twenty years--songs inspired by my children, and as they grew, their friends, and lots of young audience members. It's given me such joy to work with children through music. Singing together establishes an instant rapport with people of all colors and cultures, and I love being a part of that connection.

I was asked recently, "Why kids' music? What makes it specifically for kids? Why can't kids just listen to whatever their parents listen to?"

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009