Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Our G >>> on her way!

      First thing this morning our daughter, G, boarded a flight to Europe.  Her second; her first solo trip out of the country.  She takes after her mom and her grandma and her aunt in her love of travel.  She's been planning this for months----actually, all her life, it seems.  She's traveling light---carry-on only for four weeks visiting six countries.  Nestled in with her "essentials" is Rick Steves's current Europe guide.
Our G: classy world traveler
      She certainly lives up to the lyrics she inspired as a six-month old >>> .she's "...on the go...on her way!"  Packing a smart phone loaded with favorite tunes, games and apps to accompany her, her plans include revisiting the families she and I stayed with last year, plus meeting new connections including musician friends.

     The "Trip of a Lifetime!"  We're so happy and grateful,  and so proud of her. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Love Your Voice

     Do you love your voice?  Your speaking voice?  I hope so!  Your voice is the natural instrument that you carry with you everywhere you go.  It's an expression of who you are, what you think, and a channel of so much creativity for you.  Vocalizing is made possible by muscles that appreciate exercise and care just like any other muscles in the body.
                                                  Flowers, like your voice, want to express their natural beauty                                                    
     Here is a link to find out more.  It's one of the many informative offerings from ASHA, of which I am an artist/musician coalition member.

     Whether you're a vocal professional or not, I invite you to enjoy these tips and simple exercises.  Give yourself the gift of a smooth, sweet, pleasing, healthy voice!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Pause Button

     Making a commitment is always a good thing, right?  For the second half of 2015, I made a commitment to myself to commit to posting on this music blog regularly.  Once a week.  Wednesdays.  Seemed like a good idea, and so far it's going according to plan.  Before, weeks---months---would go by and I'd think, "Oh, as soon as I have a good subject, I'll post again."

Cat, Quien Es, enjoying his "paws"
       Just as all the "time-management" experts promise, though, as soon as I made an actual commitment, the time and ideas presented themselves.   The ideas come to me at various times and places, I jot them down, and then I feel a looking-forwardness to my next writing session.  It's a great, in-the-creative-flow feeling.

     For today's post, I'm allowing myself to deviate from my usual music theme, and like the cat in the photo, click my personal pause button and take a break.    In my mind, this counts.  As for keeping the commitment to myself----and to you, Kind Reader, paddling along with me----I think I can, I think I can....chug-chug-chug-chug...

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Genny's Gettin' Up >>> #6 in a Series: Music Mentors

     Her big brother Matthew turned our music world around and set us happily on track in the children's recording business, and then she, Genny, made her appearance---along with her joyful creative energy and formidable influence.

     Ready for action from the start, Genny inspired such lyrics as: ♫ "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 say, she's a tiny little girl baby on her way."  (Which her friend Rose says she still sings, 25 years later. :)
Genevieve Grace St. Charles-Monet
     Raised in a home brimming with music, our kids often became the subjects of our songs.  "Goin' to a Restaurant", "My Best Friend", "Hearts and Hands", "Stop, Look and Listen", "Shake it Up" and the above mentioned "Genny's Gettin' Up" and many others.  From her perch nestled in our arms, Genny was a keen observer of her brother---age 5+---adding his vocals and learning about sound levels, editing and mixing.
     Genny surely knows that all those family concerts we did were especially for her and her brother----a natural consequence of feeling ever-more creatively expansive thanks to them.  And that as their parents, we've grown so much and had so much fun singing and song-writing together, that we naturally chose to share it with others----thus the family performing/recording business!
     By her middle school years and beyond she was finding her own genres and artists.  That's how we came to know---and thoroughly admire and appreciate---the huge talents of Daft Punk, Weird Al Yankovich, Talking Heads, and The Decemberists, among our favorites.  When we weren't listening to recordings, our home resounded with her own playing of violin, classical piano, guitar, electric bass and percussion.

     I adore "M'ija", my amazing daughter, and the profound influence she's had and will always have on me and my creative expression.  Very well on her way now, Genny is a world traveler, professional artist, animator, cartoonist, video producer----and drummer in a rock band. ♪ ♪ ♪



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Boy Launches New Career >>> #5 in a series on Music Mentors

     I'd like to share the story of how I credit our firstborn with launching a new career.  Could I ever have imagined the powerful love and creative influence a child brings into one's world?  Or foreseen that a casual request from our progeny's preschool teacher would result in a treasured music collection---AND that I would still be singing---and having fun sharing---our toddlers' songs a couple generations later?!
Matthew, continuing to inspire us always

     Before Matthew Ben was born his dad Rick and I liked to think he was enjoying the music we were always playing, both from our rehearsals and performances, and from recordings.  Classical, folk, light rock, soulful guitar leads from Dad, and my song to him written shortly before birth, "Sweetest Dream Come True".

     After making his grand appearance, he inspired songs dredged up from our own childhoods plus brand new songs we'd pull out of thin air while he taught us how to be parents, cuddling, tending and transporting him everywhere.   ♫ "Oh, Matthew Ben, we knew him when, he only weighed 8 pounds and 10; Matthew Ben with eyes so blue, he knows just what he likes to do....."  This "anthem" was sung all during his babyhood and beyond, extra playful verses added as we grew together.

     Thanks to the suggestion of Matthew's preschool teacher/director, Merilee Owen, that I record the favorite songs sung daily at "circle time", I arranged and Rick recorded 33 songs and rhymes which became Circle Time---Songs and Rhymes for the Very Young.  This was our first family album, now in its 29th + year of being a children's music worldwide best seller.

     By the time his little sister, Genevieve, 5 years his junior, came along Matthew knew well all aspects of the recording studio, and added his charming child's voice to cuts on the subsequent albums.  Both all grown up now with established media careers of their own, they too carry on the family enthusiasm for singing and producing music videos,

     And to think that that happy launch into a 30-year career producing music for families all started with the joyful influence of one little boy.