Spin Around. Fall Down. Musical Structure and Sensory Challenges.

Have you ever played the Dreidel game?

Or used the Dreidel song in your early childhood music groups? It is a well-known and popular children’s song and game sung during the Jewish holiday of Chanukah.

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                I have a little Dreidel

                I made it out of clay [Read more…]

Sprouting Melodies Sing at Home – Halloween

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Halloween can be fun and exciting; or Halloween can be scary and anxiety producing for very young children.  How can we help little ones to understand this once a year transformation of everything familiar? Here is a song to assure children that underneath the costumes and masks, “I am still just me.”  Just follow the link below. [Read more…]

Early Music Experiences: Do We Need Plastic Trophies?

As a parent, I had to make a lot of choices about what experiences I would give my kids as they grew up.  Maybe it wasn’t really as much of a choice as I thought, since I had grown up in a family where three things counted: Family; hard work; and music.  So those were the things that I most wanted to pass down to my kids. [Read more…]

‘Come Gather Together’ The Importance of Synchrony in Early Childhood Music Groups

Maybe it is because I have either been in school or worked in school settings for most of my life that I think of fall, and especially September, as the real beginning of the New Year.  Here where I live, the air becomes crisp and the leaves fall from the trees making room for a particular brightness and clarity in the sky.leaves 1

[Read more…]

School Readiness: Music as a Key Ingredient in Effective Early Learning Environments

I walked into an early childhood classroom recently and saw a scene that at first made me shudder, and next made me think of the much mentioned term – ‘school readiness’.  The young teacher was sitting in the usual place surrounded by props and puppets and pleasant visuals.  From the pictures on the easel board, it was obvious that she was in the middle of ‘teaching’ one of the core concepts from the school’s curriculum. [Read more…]

Being Musically ‘In Irons’ – Recognizing and Respecting Fleeting Moments of Change

Growing up by the water, it was inconceivable to me that other kids did not have beaches and boats as their playgrounds. I guess we learned our way around the water just as kids from the city learned their way around the streets and subways.  We knew to make plans by the tides; to judge wind direction by the breeze on our cheek; and how to tell a big storm was coming. [Read more…]

Fostering Freedom in Music

It’s the time of year when there is a cluster of patriotic celebrations in this country – Memorial Day, Flag Day and Independence Day, the 4th of July.  As a child, I was raised to value and respect the liberty and opportunities available as a citizen of the United States.  I tried to pass these beliefs on to my own children while teaching them that these privileges came at a price and a responsibility. The lesson was very close to home, since their father was an officer in the Air Force and was deployed during the first Iraq war. As small children, they experienced the burden of responsibility to freedom when saying goodnight to Dad meant writing him a letter or waiting for a phone call from overseas. [Read more…]

What My Tone-Deaf Dad Taught Me about Music

 

One of the best things about writing a blog is the opportunity to tell the story of an everyday hero whose strength and depth might never be widely known but who has so much valuable wisdom to share. The hero for today is my Dad. [Read more…]

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