Monday, October 29, 2012

Why is early childhood education important?

The Child Care Exchange, a site for early childhood professionals worldwide, announced that their edition in which they posted "A Day without Child Care" is their MOST POPULAR edition of the year! It has truly resonated around the globe with all who support quality child care.  

"A Day without Child Care" is a humorous take on a serious topic.  Often the advocacy messages are so serious.  This video takes a different approach.

The video answers these questions: What would happen if all the child care centers and homes were no longer available?  How much does the whole society rely on quality child care?  Why is good child care so important to a child's early development?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Spooky Songs

Happy Halloween Month!

Here's a fun, easy echo song in Spanish and English about one of my favorite things: pumpkins!

"Jack O' Lantern/Calabaza"
(author unknown?)

Tune: Frere Jaques/Are You Sleeping
Directions: have group echo/repeat each line.

Jack O' Lantern 
Very funny
Two eyes shining brightly
I am not afraid of you.

Muy chistosa
Dos ojos brillantes
No le tengo miedo.

Note: for the next two verses substitute the following for line 3:

One tiny nose/Una naricita

One great big mouth/Una boca grande

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mom's Singing Influence

My 86 year-old mom has been recuperating from some health issues, and while spending time together, we've been remembering some family stories.  I told her (for the umpteenth time) she should write her memoirs, and that when she's gone, who will answer all my questions about our shared history?

Brings to mind a song I used to do about "carrying on...when you're gone.." and how "we'll sing your songs..."  I haven't found that one yet, but did come across another called "We'll Carry On" by William Elliott Whitmore.

My mom sang lullabies to us and she sang passionate Latin songs while washing the dishes.  I'll always be grateful to my mom for encouraging me to sing and to share my music and for buying my first guitar for me the year we lived in Argentina.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ukulele Classes

Do you ever get "messages from the Universe" to do something or go somewhere---maybe in a new direction for you?  I like to think of these prompts as "green arrows" giving me the go-ahead, or as inner guidance/intuition.

Lately it has been suggested to me by 4 different people at different times, to share my knowledge (basic as it is) of the ukulele.  I'm going to do it!   It seems like the perfect time: I'll be a fledgling teacher of the uke at a fledgling "school" of folk workshops for fledgling families who want to learn.

Will I like it--and will others?  Will it launch me on a new career?  Will anyone come?  Anything's possible!

Friday, July 13, 2012

"A Day without Child Care"

"A Day without Child Care", a video my production team did for the local office of education, is helping to spread the word about how important quality child care is to the whole community.  We were asked to present this serious subject in a humorous way.  Let me know what you think?

The video ends with the song "We All Sing with the Same Voice", a Sesame Street song on our children's music album, My Best Friend. :D

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer is just around the corner, and we were delighted to see our children's music CDs showcased in the world-class Holly Yashi Store's recommended treats for children.

We've always known that high-quality children's music albums make the perfect gift for the whole family----they entertain, educate, inspire, make wonderful company at home and school and on the road, and they last for years! 

Thanks, Holly Yashi, for promoting great music for families!

Friday, April 27, 2012

"A Day without Child Care"

Based on the movie, A Day without a Mexican, this humorous take on a serious subject was commissioned by our local county office of education.  I got to co-produce it with Rick St. Charles and Matt St. Charles, my husband and son, and act in it along with them and many community members and professionals.  

Here's the summary:
The residents of Humboldt County, California, wake up one day to find that all their child care providers have mysteriously disappeared. The result? A good portion of the workforce has to stay home to take care of their kids! Chaos ensues. A solution is proposed.

This was such a rewarding project to work on, and it received great support from the whole community.   High praise to all the excellent child care providers, teachers, and families who helped make this video so engaging and effective.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Moms and other Mentors

Ever since my mom bought my first guitar for me when we lived in Argentina, I've happily accompanied myself and anyone who'd sing along. To moms and other great mentors who guide and inspire us on our journeys, I'm eternally grateful.

To the two young Mormon guys who came to our door one day in Argentina and ended up teaching me my first folk song: "Where Have All the Flowers Gone"

To my first guitar teacher, Sr. ______ (I sure wish I could remember all the names here, but it was so long ago!)

To my violin teacher at Francis Judkins Elementary, Mr. Moreno, who'd throw chalk and erasers at us, but got us to read and to play

To my dad and his violin, which I inherited, and later, when I needed the money, sold.

To my sister for introducing me to The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Barbra Streisand

To my brother and his blasts on the trumpet

To friends, peers, and fans all along the way who kept coming back to hear more

To my college prof, Jean Curzon, who gave me a system of notating music I use to this day

To my fourth (fifth, sixth?) guitar teacher, Malcolm Johnston, who sold me his Russell guitar which I've recorded all my albums with and which has never let me down.

To all the fellow musicians, ensembles, bands, choral groups, duos, trios, quartets and directors I've been honored to play with

To all the musicians I didn't get to play with but who have inspired and delighted and kept me going

To all the people who may not think they're musical but who sing anyway, because it feels so good

To all the people who've come out to listen and to everyone who's bought an album

To my husband/fellow artist/spiritual partner, Rick St. Charles, love of my life who's stuck by me for over half of this journey and who is the reason I've gotten to do so much, 'cause he makes it all do-able

To my son and daughter who light up my world and who've inspired me in whole new ways from the very beginning

To you. Thanks for Being Here Now.  

Who is the first mentor that comes to mind for you?

Monday, January 30, 2012

"Snowman" song

Here's a play-acting song, perfect for this snowy season!  Even though there may be no snow where you live, you, and any young children you can round up, will easily get into the spirit of role-playing snow people.

"The Snowman" anon.

Melody: using an eight-note scale (think Do-Re-Mi...) start on the first note (tonic) and go step-by-step up to the eighth note (octave), as indicated by the numbers.

(1) I have a little snowman, he (2) is so fat and round; I
(3) made him from a snowball I (4) rolled across the ground. I
(5) gave him eyes, a nose, a mouth, a (6) bright warm scarf that's red; I
(7) put some buttons on his coat, a (8) hat upon his head.

Now go back down the scale with each of the next words/syllables:

Slow-ly, soft-ly, melts the snow-man.

Let me know how it works!