Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Red Grammer comes to town again! Part 1

Red Grammer came to our town again to sing for us last week in the historic Eureka Theater in Eureka, California. I was honored and tickled pink to be given the opportunity to join him on a couple of songs. We did his song "Listen" and I echoed his words in Spanish and also signed many of the words and phrases. Then I shared my song "One World/Un Mundo". Local schools were bussed in to enjoy the program and Red had everyone captivated with his inimitable, joyful style. The k-8 students all enthusiastically joined in on every song. All around the theater, big smiles were everywhere. I came away with an expanded appreciation and respect for how Red conducts his shows and draws the listeners---young and old---into the community of song.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Big Thank You to Public Libraries

I dedicate this post to our local libraries. I am enormously grateful to have a lovely place where I can go regularly and get things for free. Besides the time-honored and beloved books, there’s a whole array of different genres of music on CDs to check out: Classical, Jazz, Showtunes, Rock, Country, Blues, Experimental, Spiritual, Latin, Popular, Reggae, Rap—to name a few—and of course, music especially for Kids & Families.

Car trips are a great way to try out some new sounds you may have never considered before. And those of you with children can treat the family to a steady stream of new and different sounds. A big huge Thank You to our public libraries!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Greetings dear Reader, What a magical time of year this is, with the crisp, spicy scents and brilliant colors….and the songs! We’re heading into the season of some of the most beautiful music of all time.

I have a concert coming up this Saturday which will be at one of the elegant “Women’s Clubs” in our area. This event marks the second annual benefit concert for the local Redwood Coast Montessori School. It’s a lovely group of people, and in honor of the season and of the gratitude I feel to be a part of this, I’ll be doing some songs that express thanksgiving.

One of these is a song called “I’m Lucky There’s a Sun” by Nancy and Cody Cassidy, which sweetly gives a generous list of the beauty and nature all around us. Here’s one of the verses:
“I’m glad the rains fall, the winds blow, the oceans roll and roll. I’m glad the flowers bloom, the birds sing, and the Earth spins round and round…” I’ve been practicing with the children so they can join me. We’ll also have a sign interpreter to convey these beautiful images with hand signs.

With the accompanying dreamy melody, this song expresses so much of what we all have to be grateful for. There is an infinite wealth and bounty of beauty, pleasure, and soul-food to enjoy and appreciate, if only we take the time to focus on it!

That’s what the Season of Light, Christmas, Winter Wonder is all about. And for those of us who share and lead songs in this season, the practice and rehearsals start weeks and months in advance. So I already have some old favorites plus some new ones well in mind.

Wishing you all the joys of the season, and the time and patience and mindfulness to enjoy all that is most dear to you and yours!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Music Mondays with Birdsong

Happy Monday Greetings, dear Reader!

From last Monday’s Music Magic:

How I love Shell’s musical notes and their joyful pattern, and hearing about Amanda and Rachel doing chores accompanied by < loud! > music, Zanna’s windsong and Bela Fleck tunes, Zanna and Kate’s mention of bird song clocks, L.J.’s rain and other Nature music, and Nichole’s field trip songs featuring pumpkins and skeletons!! Plus the variety of other magic that surfaces and gets posted here each day—-all joyful notes that give meaning and value to us all.

And now, more about Birdsong, Part III, the final installment! Birds use both songs and calls. ” Song is a loud, complex and often musical utterance used mostly by male birds.” (I didn’t know that!) “Calls, in contrast, are simpler and usually softer sounds used by both sexes to communicate alarm, hunger, aggression, and a variety of other motivational states.”

The songs of birds have been categorized as countersinging, song-matching, song duetting, and song-dueling. Fascinating! I’m sure these techniques have been the origin and inspiration for rap, techno, opera, ballads, and definitely love songs!

Thanks to a guitar student, I’ve been learning all this from her little field book, Common Birds and their Songs, with accompanying 65-min. CD.

Have you noticed anything new about the birds in your neighborhood? Birds, birdsong, bird magic, or anything that sweetens your day—-please share it with us by posting in comments below. Then we’ll all experience a little more magic in our lives!

Music kisses,

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fun Music CD Giveaway!

The awesome Boston Children's Music site is doing a very fun children's music CD giveaway. Check it out and enter to win. They have reviewed my children's music albums and done giveaways with them. And once I won a cool Leeny and Tamara CD! Very fun!

You'll like visiting Boston Children's Music...happy giveaway entering!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Animal Sounds---Nature's Music

I have a new guitar student, 10. She is keenly motivated to learn classical guitar. After the second lesson she was moved to show me a book about birds with an accompanying CD which she wanted me to borrow and enjoy til next week.

So last night at dinner, with Dh, ds, and his new love, we listened to the bird CD for the first time. It’s about an hour of bird songs, all kinds. Then we put it on again….then again, while we were still around the table. By now we could name a bunch of the birds. Some were “song birds”, some percussionists (woodpeckers), some impressionists (one sounds like our cat Charlie). Some are “alarmists” —the crows and jays. My favorite is the wild call of the Canada Geese. It stirs something deep in my heart.

This all led to a discussion of favorite Disney movies—via the seagull---remember that comical character?--- in “Little Mermaid”—and the songs we love from them. Disney <<<< songs <<<< animals <<< birds <<<<

Then, while sitting on the deck, came four Red Tail Hawks flying right over-head, with their unforgettable high-pitched sweet strain. Such wild, magnificent freedom!

Are there any animal sounds that particularly move you or kindle your appreciation of Nature's music all around us?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Everyday Music

Happy 1st Monday in October---- it's "Walk and Roll to School" Month, and October 6th, Wednesday, is International Walk and Roll to School Day! "A record 40 countries officially participated in Intl. Walk and Roll to School events in 2009...and more are expected this year. These events raise awareness about the positive ways that walking, bicycling, and skating to school help children, communities, and the environment." Community Wheel

To help spread the word about street-crossing safety, here's the video I did with some local kindergartners and the community, "Stop, Look, and Listen"

And then there's this song by Frances England on her CD Mind of My Own with such a sweet message of kindness. I found it in a review from Boston Children's Music, 9/27

I’m a red balloon
I’m a full moon rising
I’m an apple tree
I’m a lemon drop
I’m a flower petal
I’m heavy metal
I’m two years old and I’m nonstop
I’m two years old and I’m nonstop

"In the song To Be we hear Frances really appreciating the simple things in life. As parents we all know how sobering it can be to suddenly see the world through our kids’ eyes and realize the beauty of a flower or triumph of climbing a tree.

Frances says: “As a mother of two, it… feels really good to use song writing as a way of reflecting on daily family life. It’s such a precious time but too often we all lose sight of how significant it is because of our crazy schedules. For me, writing and singing these songs serves as a reminder that this stage in our families’ lives is golden.”

That’s a good reminder for all of us.

A final glorious note: this song, an interpretation of which we heard performed by our son's new lady love: "Give Me One Reason" ....because it just sends me!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Opening your mind to new sounds

Greetings of love, joy and peace! And happy wishes for a meaningful and rewarding week!

On Saturday my husband and I attended a friend’s birthday bash for her milestone birthday. She’s a dancer, drummer, photographer, and river raft guide among other things! We were treated to a thrilling front-row show of African and Samba dancers and drummers in full regalia and awesome, top-notch precision. It was truly spectacular! We’re still on a rush from all that good energy!!

Then, when we got home—-this was the evening of 9/11—-we turned on our PBS station and discovered an incredible singing quartet called “4 Troops”. Have you heard of them? We listened spell-bound to their arrangements and heart-warming performances. Some songs we knew, others we were hearing for the first time. Here’s one of my favorites, “I’m Already There”, by Lonestar.

I’m happy to discover this music and these groups—-it’s not what you’d usually find me listening to….

Have you found some new music lately? Do you branch out once in awhile and open your mind to new sounds?

I invite you to share your thoughts and discoveries here today---and thank you for visiting!

Music kisses,


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Woody Guthrie

Found in an old Folkways vinyl lp, "Songs to Grow On for Mother and Child" composed and sung by Woody Guthrie. Here are excerpts from Woody's philosophy on sharing songs with kids:

"I want to see you join right in, do what your kids do. Let your kids teach you how to play and how to act these songs out. Get your whole family into the fun. Get papa. Get mama. Get brother. Get sister. Get aunty. Get uncle. Get grandma. Grampa. The friends. The neighbors. Everybody. But mostly get your own self into it.

You'll be healthier. You'll feel wealthier. You'll talk wiser. You'll go higher, do better and live longer here amongst us, if you'll just only jump in here and swim around in these songs and do like the kids do.

I don't want the kids to be grownup. I want to see the grown folks be kids."
Woody Guthrie

My sentiments exactly!

Thank you for visiting and reading some views on children's music. I appreciate you! You're invited to add your comments here and join in the conversation!

Music kisses,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Music Memories

Summer highlight: (so far!) Dh and I got invited to a “Tree House Resort” weekend in Southern Oregon! I came back with bruises and bumps from attempting some of the rope swings, zip rides, and steep ladders to sleep in cozy lofts—-and it was all worth it! One of the highlights: sitting around the campfire after dinner passing guitars around and hearing a wide spectrum of musical offerings from all ages. Two of the youngest, girls aged 8 and 9, wowed all of us with numbers from the musical “Annie”.

Music seems to always be a part of the best things in life, wouldn't you agree?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Shake your Boompa, Baby!

It took longer than we anticipated, but our latest CD release is finally up and available on CD Baby Discover Music!!!

Circle Time 2, More Songs and Rhymes for the Very Young, includes 23 spirited tracks to put a big smile on your face and a song in your heart!!

Click the links to see the cover art and listen to samples, including "One World" with verses in English, Spanish, and Russian.

While listening, read the "album notes" for some trivia and info from me and the engineer. :D

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Singing Games

For those of you with very young children and those of you who homeschool, here's a user-friendly site with song and game ideas to try. They even include variations and tips for toddlers!

I found it while looking for Singing hand games for the very young

When it comes to combining singing with hand motions and games for young children, the fun and social interaction are very rewarding!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Song Magic

I’m brimming with wonderful energy from events and song ideas which is what I want to share with you today!!!

Have you been to a Folklife Festival lately? Here’s a sweet one that happened this weekend…(I got in on a ukulele workshop, not shown here, but anyway… My Dh captured this “Beatles Sing-a-long Workshop” at the festival…Sweet!!

Here’s one for helping a child center and find balance: The “Right-Left Song”

Right from the heart: Lessons learned from “Twinkle, Twinkle”

For me, magic is music, music is magic! What music magic has been firing your imagination, delighting your spirit, and calling you to kick up your heels lately?!!
“Come and share so we can all remember that there is INFINITE sources of magic in our lives everywhere we turn!”

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Music Memories

The following is from a recent post I submitted as a regular contributor for the blog, My Everyday Magic Each Monday, under my pen name, "The Song Fairy" I get to address the subject of music. This week I had to dig deep...

What's on the music menu for today? I've been sitting here thinking and thinking about what to post today for Music Monday and haven't been able to latch on to an idea to run with, which is a first for me, as I'm usually able to blab on and on about the subject. Maybe a stream of consciousness type of writing will do the trick? What keeps popping up is the idea of coming up with songs out of the blue---those little ditties that spring up sometimes in the moment. You know, like those of you with young children write in about, how kids can just start singing about anything and everything?

We just watched some video footage of our son, 5 at the time, raucously singing from the bathtub, "come in the bathroom, if you please..." over and over and then adding "It is Halloween day!" to the tune of "10 Little Children". He was so happy and in the moment and so full of ----song!

About that time I wrote a song about our daughter which starts:

"Genny's gettin' up, she's movin' around; She's leavin' the house, she's goin' to town!

Well, Genny's only six months, but whaddaya know; she's a tiny little girl baby on the go!"

Both children are all grown up, on their own, and thriving now. I'm so grateful to have these and many other music memories of their childhood. Music memories tend to stand out bright and clear.

What little snatches of song come to you from day to day? What rhymes, chants, sacred affirmations, or just plain silly phrases pop up along your daily round? Maybe some of these turn into favorites and you keep adding to them, embellishing them?

Whatever your magic is this day, wherever music may lead you, I'd love for you to share with us here today----please post in comments below...

Fairy wishes and music kisses,

The Song Fairy <3

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bust out in song

I'm a regular contributor for the delightful My Everyday Magic blog which celebrates simple abundance and gratitude. There I am known as The Song Fairy and Mondays I start the posting with ideas for everyday music magic. Music and magic simply go together. There's an element of magic that happens each time you bust out in song----from a soft, throaty hum to a full-blown, head-back, belted interpretation of a favorite song.

We're frequently delighted and not at all surprised by our young children who sing at the "drop of a hat" and give expression to feelings, creativity, and joy by channeling words and sounds into a spontaneous song.

Think about it: singing comprises emotion, vibration, rhythm and breathing----elements that stir up the very essence of what makes us human! No wonder children are so naturally compelled to sing! It feels good, it feels right! It's freeing.

So from that first organic expression of musical joy, what happens when we grow up and stop singing? So many of us buy into the notion that singing is for kids. Or that it's for super stars who were born with golden pipes, but not for us. We think that once we pass primary grade, it's time to put the kibosh on our singing voices.

What happened? Were we told at some point to stop singing? That it was embarrassing to sing, or uncool? Or did we pick up the idea that we would never be able to sing like our idols, so stop trying?

As an adult, do you hear yourself saying that you're not a musician, or musically inclined, or that you can't sing?

If so, this it the time to rethink these misconceptions. Because if you can talk, you can sing. In fact, I believe you were born to sing. Does this mean that I think you're all destined for the stage and a professional singing career? No, of course not. (There's another blog post for those with that heart's desire!) What I want is to encourage you to rediscover your singing voice by simply singing. You had it once, and you deserve to reclaim it: the sheer joy of singing and the way the sound, rhythm, and words feel resonating through you.

And what if someone tells you to "stop doing that!" for whatever reason? Your friend, mate, or child? Especially as you warm up to reconnecting with your authentic voice? Yes, that may happen. And this is where you buck those old self-defeating notions and declare gently but firmly that singing is a good thing and you intend to keep on singing. All in an appropriate place and time, of course. (You be the judge; you'll know when it's right, or not!)

Finally, to parents and other child guardians: whatever you do, be your kid's champion as she/he sings, and don't give them the idea that there is even such a thing as a "bad singer" or a "bad voice". Explore ways to guide children in their singing and introduce them to a variety of genres. Let them become life-long lovers of the joy of singing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Children and getting to perform with them

What a joy to be around kid energy, especially where there's music and singing going on!

Adorable faces, wise little beings join me here to sing and sign my song "One World":


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Musical Sister-Schools and Musical Pen Pals

An interview with Robbie Schaeffer truly inspired me. He had the opportunity to take his music to Uganda and work with kids and develop his foundation OneVoice "to help to create and cultivate peace and cultural awareness through musical sister-school relationships between kids abroad and kids here in the U.S. Kind of like musical pen pals whose "conversation" would then be broadcast to our audience." Robbie is a performing artist and also a dj on Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live.

The interview continues on Cathy and Marcy's blog to talk about the wonderfully empowering effect he and the children had on each other. Read more...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Musical Preferences: Are we "prewired"?

From "Ask the Expert" on NOVA's Musical Minds special with Oliver Sacks, Neurologist and expert on Music and the brain at pbs.org ("oliver sacks"):

Q: Do you think we are prewired for our music preferences? I find that folk and Celtic music speak to my soul. My son, who is a music major, is a jazz lover. We each hate each other's preferences. I don't understand why we are so different. My daughter, who is an autistic savant with vocal music, is totally eclectic in her musical tastes. She is able to memorize songs immediately.

A: I suspect that relatively little of our musical preference is prewired. It is more likely that they are formed by the music we are exposed to in our childhood and youth—but also colored by associations, experiences, and emotions which we link to a particular type of music.

Dr. Sacks goes on to say how important it is to continue to introduce our children to other sorts of music...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Building Personal Strength: The Unconscious Magic of Music

Building Personal Strength: The Unconscious Magic of Music

You think you're singing....Part I

You think you're singing---there's a melody, the words, some sort of pattern----However you look at it or think about it, that's singing. There you are, tapping into one of the very things that makes you human.

Children do this so naturally. I think even if they've never heard another soul singing, children will sing. One parent told me recently that her child is singing in sentences before she's actually talking.

And when you sing with your child, you're doing so much more than simply sustaining notes and sticking in words. You're communicating in vital, empowering, meaningful ways.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hoopa and the Hupa culture and language

Tomorrow, Saturday May 8th, I play at the Hoopa Public library in Hoopa, CA. I'll be doing a program of songs for families, and I want very much to include a few words in the Hupa language.

Googling this subject brings up some fascinating information, including the sweetest collection of songs in Hupa by Alice Pratt, recorded and posted on a Humboldt University site. Wikepedia gives some links and background info.

Hupa...of Na-Dene stock is a language in which nearly all of the nouns are derived from verbs. Now, for us language nerds, such details are so interesting. And for this native Californian, the study of a new language is always rich with opportunities to expand our world view!

From Danny Ammon, who teaches Hupa at Hoopa High School, this is thank you in Hupa: ts'ehdiya When I find out the correct pronunciation, I'll provide that in a future blog!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Merry Month of May!

I played at an Arts Alive event last night, and it was inspiring to be a part of community singing at its best. All ages were drawn into the music, from familiar medleys to fun echo songs. Little toddlers to elegant seniors found themselves responding to the magic of music shared. Pure joy. Halleluiah.

Big thanks to all those who came out to support this event, and to the merchants and sponsors who provide venues for the artists and keep the magic flowing!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

What songs come to mind that have earth-related themes?

"This Land is Your Land" Pete Seeger
"We're All A Family Under One Sky" Ruth Pellham
"Deep Blue Sea" by _______________
"Over in a Meadow" by ________________
"Down in the Valley" by __________________
"The Thunder Song" Vicki Neville
"Habitat, Habitat, Gotta have a Habitat!" by ________________
"The River is Wide" by __________________

Friday, April 16, 2010

Duck and Geese Music!

Did you see the story recently of a little duck family in Dallas, TX, being assisted to find their way safely to water? Darling! It brings to mind the symphony of migrating birds this time of year!

This story also reminds me of my sister Wendy's boyfriend, Roger, a big farmer in the Sacramento, CA Valley, who started a "save the wild ducks" campaign among all the farmers there. He and a partner spread the word to fellow farmers on those big combines to stop their machines when they saw a duck fly up----

This was a sign of a mother having to abandon her nest!!! Farmers got out of their tractors, found the abandoned eggs---which would have been crushed otherwise!---and delivered them to Roger who built incubators and other equipment to hatch and raise the ducklings for release into the wild!!! Wendy met Roger about that time, and she became part of the wild duck-saving team!

My husband, Rick made a video of it, which he just recently posted on you tube, "The Story of Eggbert"!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Boost your brain power with these fun hand games!

Here are two hand games, 1. for littles, and 2. for biggers. Give them a try; they are easier than they might appear!! Find many more, thanks to this cool site: beachnet.com

1. FIVE plum PEAS in a PEApod PRESSED.
ONE grew, TWO grew, SO did all the REST
And they GREW and they GREW and they NEver STOPPED
and they GREW so BIG that the PEApod POPPED!

Instructions: Start with your hands in fists, knuckles pressed together. On “one” you straighten your thumbs and touch the tips together; on “two” you do the same with your index fingers; continue with your middle fingers, ring fingers and pinkies on “so,” “all,” and “rest,” respectively. Now you should have your hands palm to palm, with the finger tips touching. As you say “they grew and they grew” you start moving your hands apart, showing bigger and bigger . . . slow it down . . . stretch it out . . . by the time you get so “that the peapod” you should be reaching as wide as possible then on “POPPED” you clap your hands together. Very fast, of course, and loud. [Thanks to Juno.] (The Song Fairy shared this on "My Everyday Magic" :D)

2. Double double this this,
Double double that that,
Double this, double that,
Double double this that.

Imstructions: Hold your hands up, your fingers pointing to the ceiling, as if you're showing someone your new ring!
As you're saying the rhyme, turn your hands back and forth as certain words are said.
Whenever you say "double," both hands are facing out. (So your palms are facing you.)
Whenever you say "this," and "that," your palms are facing away from you. It sounds simple, but it's not!!
You can use almost any compound words, like:
Double double ice ice,
Double double cream cream.
Double ice, double cream,
Double double ice cream. [Thanks to Ciara A.]

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Music Monday Magic responses

What a delight to get so many "music magic" ideas and ways to make singing part of our daily lives, in response to my last week's post as the Song Fairy!

* from Kate: bedtime songs and her son Finn's song-making
* from Maryjo: the sock monkey commercial! And this take-off of it that my husband and son did!!: Sock Monkey Sorrento
* from Samantha: Song blessings, and "special songs that each of her children has"!
* from Valerie: the big choir of birds outside the house!
* from Wondrous Faire: the ecstatic laughter of children!
* from Apryl: rocking out while doing dishes!
* from Zanna: silly songs!
* from Sioux: her kids playing old favorites like "Go Tell Aunt Rhodie" on the piano : )

What are other ways that we make music a special part of our daily lives?

Monday, April 5, 2010

"My Everyday Music" fairy post

In my capacity as The Song Fairy on "My Everyday Magic", here are my Music Monday notes:

* Old, lovely hymns from my childhood church days surfacing sweetly in my mind on Easter Sunday!

* Getting a great review of our Spanish/English children’s music CD, Tingaleyo, from a big East Coast music site!!!

* Finding more clapping games! Oh, I hope you will try them! Remember, they’re good for all ages, all of us!

* Enjoying hearing about how many of you come up with your own songs! Inserting children’s names, putting new upbeat words to familiar tunes, etc. Do write down the words you come up with! Then you can refine them and come up with great personal songs to keep! Bring them out a few months/years from now to enjoy together.

* Spring, beautiful spring, beckoning us all to burst into song! Plus it’s my birthday month, and we get a Blue Moon!!!

Magic and music are simply everywhere—Post your comments below and feel your world take on a new glow!

Fairy wishes and music kisses,

The Song Fairy

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Energetic Expressions

Just found the loveliest blog, Aura Art Creations, by a "fellow fairy" I met at My Everyday Magic.

She's the coolest artist, living and creating in Guam. Check out her lively blog!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Everyday Music!

Here is my post for an upcoming Monday on the "My Everyday Magic" blog:

* Getting to go to 2 big education conferences this week and share my music!

* Sharing with group leaders how easy and fun it is to slip songs in everywhere, any time.

* Gently emphasizing that we are all natural music-makers and singers---and that there is no such thing as a "bad" singer!!.

* Learning about all the song-writing being created by many of you on this blog!!! Awesome!!!

* When feeling stuck, sitting in "the silence" and being open to a higher power that inspires and guides us in the creative process.

* Singing with kids!! Total joy, wonder and fun: MAGIC!!!

Music and magic are simply everywhere---share some of yours here today by posting in comments below, and watch your world glow!

Fairy wishes and music kisses,

Lisa aka "The Song Fairy"!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Aren't we all singers? or What happened to singing in the Classroom?

Here is a letter I wrote to Rick Morris, a renowned education workshop presenter and master problem-solver. I highly recommend checking out his New Management website.

What I see as the challenge in the subject of my music workshops is getting teachers to realize the value and rewards of singing regularly with their students. To engage in this, they have to be comfortable with their voices and be open to launching into songs with their classes.

The advantages to teaching with songs are many. One of the most obvious is rhythm and rhyming enhance input/output of concepts, vocabulary, etc. Many teachers use CDs for this purpose and that's fine. But I want them to be mindful that we are all natural music-makers and singers, and that uplifting our voices together in song is a life-affirming, creatively-fulfilling part of our human experience.

Yet it seems that so many have come to think that if you can't sing perfectly you shouldn't sing at all. When teachers believe that they can't sing, they convey this notion to their students; the students pick up the idea that there are people who don't sing or that have bad voices. Singing and singing together may be considered a luxury or worse, trivial.

Problem: While singing is inherent in each of us, invaluable as a means to build community and foster safety, and is an excellent classroom tool, it is getting lost as a communal means of sharing information, feelings and beauty. It is being relegated to special occasions and experts only.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Using music to change your life

The Tao of Music, by Dr. John M. Ortiz, is about using music to change your life for the better. Dr. Ortiz uses behavioral, cognitive, and affective psychological techniques incorporated with toning, chanting, affirmations, and visualization to help you deal with issues such as chronic pain, lack of self-esteem, depression, anger and more.

He offers "Musical Menus" of carefully selected songs and melodies, reflective of specific emotional states that you can use to progress from identifying your pain to healing it."

The Tao of Music

Thanks to this and other books by Dr. Ortiz we can learn more about the healing power of music. Then as parents, caregivers, and educators, we will be that much more equipped to empower our children and give them the tools to lead healthy fulfilled lives.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The double magic of children and music

I attended a workshop this week which addressed the topic of blogs and bloggers, and this being one, I was duly attentive, pencil poised, eager to learn more.

"If you decide to start a blog," the presenter intoned "first be sure that you have something of worth to write about. And be prepared to post regularly and consistently!!"

I squirmed a bit at that. No way have I been consistent with my blog here. Will anybody really be interested in my thoughts and opinions on the subject of children's
music and how passionately I feel about its place in our everyday world?

What could be more worthwhile than the double magic of children and music? The possibilities are endless!

So with sincere gratitude to you dear reader, and with a promise to be consistent, I hereby resolve to post regularly. Join me! Share your thoughts on music for/with children---how important is it, or is it just purely for fun?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Libraries and shopping local

Big shout-outs to our local libraries and all the local businesses who make our lives easier and more enjoyable!!

I so appreciate all the independent stores who make our CDs available and make shopping such a pleasure.

And what a joy it is to visit the library! I love to read and I love to sing, and I get to do both at libraries. Watch for the next family music event there!

Visit the library often, and whenever possible shop local! :D

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Notes from the "Good Teaching" Conference

Just back from presenting my workshop "We All Sing with the Same Voice". About a 1,000 teachers and other leaders in education attended the CA Teaching Association's annual regional conference in Northern CA. this weekend. What an excellent opportunity to re-charge the spirit and catch up on the latest ideas, tools, and techniques for providing children with the best possible classroom experiences.

I was delighted to meet with fellow teachers and offer them ideas and material for incorporating more music---specifically group singing---into the daily round. What greater gift can we give a child than to foster a life-long love and appreciation for our most natural and human of expressions: giving voice to the joy of music with which we're each born?

Based on the comments from teachers, both at the conference and after their return to the classroom, singing with their students greatly enhances the learning environment, the receptivity of the kids, and the energy of the whole class.

One expert in the field I quoted most often was Dr. John M. Ortiz, author of Nurturing Your Child with Music. I highly recommend his book for an abundance of ideas on including music in your "daily dance of life".

The message I most wanted to impart was this: That we are each and all of us singers; that there is no such thing as a bad singer; and to not give our children the notion that there is even such a thing as a bad singer.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My first KEET TV video!

How can you make more time for music in your children's daily lives?

Asked by our local PBS station's "Ready to Learn" director to share some ideas on this topic, I've just made a video, with a professional video producer, (aka my husband) that is the pilot for our new series called "My Everyday Music". Here's some of what I shared:

"We are all natural music-makers and music is meant to be a part of our daily lives. Children naturally love singing and discovering new ways to have fun with words, sound, rhythm and movement.

If you don’t consider yourself a singer, think again. Now is the time to give yourself back the gift of singing. If you can talk, you can sing. Sing with your child every chance you get. Let them know that everyone is a singer, and that there’s no such thing as a bad singer. Sing your child’s name, sing simple phrases, sing that you love them!

Instead of reading a book, try singing it! You don’t need any special training to make music. There are lots of books with many ideas for having fun exploring music with your child. Find them at your local library or favorite bookstore."

For more ideas go to my website at lisamonetmusic.com

Happy singing together!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

"Sing in the New Year!"

Performing at KEET's "Sing in the New Year" event @ Main Library in Eureka. Would love to see you there! http://co.humboldt.ca.us/library/

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Clean Slate

At organizebythemonth.com via Twitter's @jlscissors, I found some great tips to help me in my resolution to be clutter-free:

"I love January...it’s a new year and another chance for a new beginning. That’s what New Year’s Resolutions are all about. A clean slate to try again to make our lives better. It’s another chance to get it right this time.

...one resolution is to have my paperwork more organized and get rid of more paper clutter....

So what are your New Years Resolutions? If organizing your home is one of them then stick around for lots of tips to help you move forward."

(Another resolution is to find out how to add internet links here on my blog!)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Motivation

I have found two other blogs that got me super-charged for starting my new year. The captions that caught my eye were:

1. "My inner cat" at Blisschick.net This cat-loving blogger, observing her cats who aren't in the least prompted by what to do/not do, or by thinking there might be a better time to do it, resolves to not question her desires or dreams but instead go forward as the impulse moves her. Signing up for ballroom dance classes was something she'd been planning to do for years.

2. "Planning your year" at http://ow.ly/Rmnd. With a 7-Step Goal Setting Model, speaker Brian Tracy writes: "Resolve today to make 2010 the very best year of your life. Set goals, make plans, take actions and achieve more in the coming year than perhaps you have ever accomplished in any one single year before."

What are you planning? What are your dearest wishes? What can you do to keep on track toward reaching your goals?

From taking those first dance steps to mapping out a whole year in business,
this is a great time to get specific, put it in writing, and take action.