Sunday, October 9, 2011

October Music Fun

October has always been one of my favorite music months.  It might have been having to learn Halloween songs in order to receive our treats on Halloween night.  Really, we had to perform in order to get our candy in the town where I grew up. I thought it was that way everywhere. Music teachers always had it easy during the month of October because the children were so attentive.

Think about how exciting Halloween was when you were small - trying to figure out what to be, creating faces on Jack-o-lanterns, and so many spooky things to do.  For songs there is always the old standby, "Five Little Pumpkins".  You can sing it or just say the poem.  There is even a nice board book out with great pictures. I picked mine up at Target.

For recorded music there is always the classical pieces, "Danse Macabre", "In the Hall of the Mountain King" , or "The Sorcerer's Apprentice".   If you are in more of a rock and roll mood there is always the "Purple People Eater" and the "Monster Mash".  Put them on in the kitchen and rock while you cook dinner. It makes the time go much faster.  For older Elementary kids there is the CD "Chiller" by Eric Kunzel, an entire CD of recorded music.

If you are looking for a Halloween book,  there is always "The Big Pumpkin" by Erica Silverman. Scholastic used to carry a great musical recording complete with recitatives, just like real opera.  If all of us send in our emails, maybe they'd bring the version back.  A book with Halloween Sounds is always a good idea to practice your howling and Booing.

These are just a few suggestions.  I'd love to hear some of your ideas.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Effect of Live Music on Infants

The effect that live music has on infants was brought home to me last weekend as my family was rehearsing for our annual family sing together at church. Each summer we gather the troupes from far and wide, pick some music suitable for us and the service, and provide the music for a church service. As we gathered in my daughter's living room and practiced our accapella arrangement of "Yonder Come Day", my 5 month old grandson just couldn't get enough of our rehearsal. He smiled and cooed the entire time.

The next morning we met at church to warm up and my daughter was trying to give him a quick nosh before the service. As soon as we started singing, the baby's head snapped around again and again to listen to the music. He was much more attentive to our singing, than eating, to the chagrin of his mom.

Do we have to be wonderful performers to attract baby's attention? I don't think so. My grandson also quiets down if we sing or play the recording of "John, the Rabbit". He also enjoys listening to his mom play the clarinet. However, it is nice to have some useful songs in your head to pull out at moments notice to distract a crying child, though.

I would love to hear any stories that you might have about music quieting or distracting a child or even one that really captured a baby's attention. Please post them to my blog.

Happy music making!