Archive for July, 2007

The Day Shay Got To Play by EJ Nolan

Chush is a school in Brooklyn, New York that caters to learning disabled children. Some children remain in Chush for their entire school career.

At a Chush fund-raising dinner, the father of one student delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, “Where is the perfection in my son, Shay?  Everything God does is done with perfection, but my child cannot understand things as other children do.  My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do.  Where is God’s perfection?”

The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father’s anguish and stilled by the piercing query.  “I believe,” the father answered, “that when God brings a child like this into the world, the perfection that he seeks is in the way people react to this child.”

He then told the following story about his son Shay:

One afternoon, Shay and his father walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, “Do you think they will let me play?”

Shay’s father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team.  But Shay’s father understood that if his son was chosen to play, it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging. Shay’s father approached one of the boys in the field and asked if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates.  Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said,  “We are losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning.  I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning.”

Shay’s father was ecstatic as Shay smiled broadly.  Shay was told to put on a glove and go out to play short center field.  In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.  In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again and now with two outs and the bases loaded with the potential winning run on base. Shay was scheduled to be up.  Would the team actually let Shay bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat.  Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay should at least be able to make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.  One of Shay’s team-mates came up to Shay and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for the next pitch.  The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shay.  As the pitch came in, Shay and his teammate swung at the ball and together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman.  Shay would have been out and that would have ended the game.  Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman.

Everyone started yelling, “Shay, run to first. Run to first.”  Never in his life had Shay run to first.  He scampered down the baseline wide-eyed and startled.  By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball.  He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would tag out Shay, who was still running.  But the right fielder understood what the pitcher’s intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman’s head.

Everyone yelled, “Run to second, run to second.”  Shay ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home.

As Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, “Run to third.”  As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, “Shay run home.”

Shay ran home, stepped on home plate and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit a “grand slam” and won the game for his team.

“That day,” said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, “those 18 boys reached their level of God’s perfection.”


A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats its least fortunate amongst them. 

May your day be a Shay Day.

Many thanks to Katy and Cathy.

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The seasons of the year in beautiful photos set to the first movement of Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony – Allegro ma non troppo.



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Just in case you missed this at the end of our last post, Masterworks Studio is very pleased to offer a Payment Plan in order to make it possible for any parent to provide Kindermusik for their child.  We believe so firmly, so passionately in the Kindermusik program that we want *every* child in *every* family to be able to participate.  In order to make this feasible, there are four different payment options available.

  • Option A – Full Payment with Enrollment
  • Option B – $75 Deposit with Enrollment, Balance paid at first class
  • Option C – $75 Deposit with Enrollment, Balance split into two equal payments – first payment due by the first class, the balance paid by 10/10/07
  • Option D – $75 Deposit with Enrollment, Balance split into three equal payments – first payment due by first class, second and third payments due by 10/10/07 and 11/10/07

Mom and Baby

Enrollment is available for your convenience online through our website here.  We accept payment by all major credit cards, Paypal, Google Checkout, personal check, and, of course, cash.  (We like the green stuff!)  🙂

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This September, beginning September 8th, Masterworks Studio will offer a full range of Kindermusik classes for all age groups.  Village, Our Time, Imagine That, Young Child, and Family Time classes are all on the schedule.  We have morning classes, late afternoon, and evening classes as well as Saturday morning classes for those who can’t make it during the work week. 

Village: Newborn – 18 months


The musical poems of Woody Guthrie, bird songs, and the naturally occurring sounds in nature help babies develop an early appreciation – and accelerated aptitude – for language, movement, and music in this unit.  Feathers introduces Baby and Parent/Caregiver to a delightful range of songs, movement activities, object play, and vocal play relating to our feathered friends.  The Australian Kookaburra, the African Ostrich, and many more birds from across the world are featured in songs, dances, and poems.  Both jazz and classical selections, a Yiddish folk song, a Muskogean melody, and Mother Goose rhymes set to music are just a few of the colorful and exciting pieces introduced in this curriculum.

Village-Feathers AHmats Bird_Shaker_S

Your At Home Materials include over 25 specially-selected recordings from class, Little Bird Shaker instrument, and Art Banner for the nursery wall that strengthens vision and promotes early literacy.

Pick up your baby and dance. Do the Charleston, the Tango, and the Cha-Cha and learn why dancing with your baby helps her develop vital learning skills  -from head to toe. In this unit, play over 25 unique instruments and home-made activities.    Do-Si-Do stimulates a wonderfully unique experience of rhythm and movement for Baby and Parent/Caregiver.   Other activities range from chime ball play to instrument exploration and more.  Music selections draw from many traditions, including African American, Mexican, Romantic, Scottish, South African, and Southeast Asian.

Village-Do-Si-Do AHmats Yellow_Clacker_S

Your At Home Materials include over 25 specially-selected recordings from class, a Yellow Do-Si-Do Clacker, and Art Banner for the nursery wall that strengthens vision and promotes early literacy.

To register for Village classes, please visit our Class Schedule.


Our Time: 18 months – 3.5 years

Wiggles and Giggles
The more than 30 songs, 15 dances, and eight different instruments create these unique music activities, designed to reflect the importance of movement in the life of a toddler.   Wiggles & Giggles is all about movement (wiggles!) and fun, funny words and sounds, and emotion (giggles!). There is a strong connection in this semester to the Our Time theme of bound away and back. The songs are about humor, laughter, silly sounds and words, and movement. The child is going back and forth between being independent and wanting mommy and daddy. Everyday activities like bath time are highlighted in the delightful book ‘Pete and PJ’ from the Kindermusik library.  Included as part of the ‘giggle’, the instrument focus is on silly sounds, like the Zig-Zag blocks included in the home materials.

OT Wiggles & Giggles

The double-CD set in your At Home Materials features 50 songs, sounds, and recordings of favorite activities from class, plus two story books to develop early literacy skills. Also included is a specially-made zig-zag block instrument to develop rhythm and hand-eye coordination.

To register for Our Time classes, please visit our Class Schedule.


Imagine That!  3.5 – 4 years

See What I Saw
In this 15-week semester, your preschooler uses his real experience playing in the park to create imaginative, story-telling scenarios with music. Each week provides your preschooler one uninterrupted session of imaginative play that’s guided in a very specific, sequential way – with a special Family Sharing Time with you in the last 15 minutes of class.

Books, storytelling, language, drama, puppets – these are all essential ingredients to the Imagine That! curriculum.  Each acts as a dramatic catalyst for integrating thematic songs, activities, events, and feelings.  In See What I Saw, you will enjoy the many wonders of a trip to Grasshopper Park. The music represents a variety of different cultures with songs from Ghana, Latin America, Greece, and France.  You will find some favorites including “Ha Ha This-a-Way,” “Jim Along Josie,” and “Mr. Sun,” “A Tisket, A Tasket,” “Shoo-Fly,” and “Allee Galloo.”  There are also many new, original compositions like the chant “Everything is Just Fine.”


The At Home materials then invite the children to continue the fun and learning at home through the use of a Kindermusik slide whistle instrument, CD, Family Activity Book, “Grasshopper Park” game board, and Imagine That! backpack.

To register for Imagine That! classes, please visit our Class Schedule.


Kindermusik for the Young Child: 5 – 7 years

Considered the “creme de la creme” of the seven year Kindermusik program,   Semester 1 of Kindermusik for the Young Child opens the world to new and different ways of learning about music.  The focus and content includes beat versus no beat, percussion instruments, brass instruments, melodic direction, exploring the staff, and notation.  Semester 1 also introduces the glockenspiel, a pre-keyboard instrument. Some of the favorite themes are “Music is Everywhere,” “Meet the Mallets,” and “Discovering Melody and Mozart.” 

Everything your child learns later in semesters 2, 3, and 4 begins with this early introduction to singing, reading, and writing music and rhythm.  Through dances and games that focus on rhythmic development, we’ll learn a keyboard instrument – the glockenspiel – which will be used throughout all the Young Child classes.  Your At Home materials provide the music, instruments, stickers, and activities for a home version of the same playful activities you’ll hear about from class, so your child – and you! – can learn where you’re most comfortable: at home.


The set of At Home materials includes: Children’s Folder, Games Bag, Family Songbook, Home CD, Carry Bag, and a Glockenspiel with mallets.

To register for Young Child classes, please visit our Class Schedule.


Family Time: Newborn – 7 years

Movin’ & Groovin’ is a romping, rolling, stretching good time for the whole family. This unit of Family Time will explore lots of different ways to move – high and low, fast and slow, zigzag, curvy, and more. Family members will chug around the classroom like trains, clip-clop like horses, and roll over like puppy dogs. They’ll hear a story about playing tag together in Can You Catch Me?, and read about a jungle hokey-pokey in Put Your Left Paw In.  Show your best groovin’ moves – it’s time for Movin’ & Groovin’.


Families will receive:

  • Sing, Play & Grow! A family guide to musical fun – a book full of activities and information about child development, as well as fun facts about the songs enjoyed in class.
  • Jellybean band puppets: Introducing Rascal the monkey! (hand puppet and finger puppet).
  • 2 monkey den-den drums.
  • 2 Jellybean Band books with activity pages, comic strips about the band, and stories. This unit’s stories are Can You Catch Me? and Put Your Left Paw In.

To register for Family Time classes, please visit our Class Schedule.


ABC Music & Me

This fall, Masterworks Studio will again provide ABC Music & Me at the Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia for the Ladies Ministry groups meeting on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

2-4 year olds

Out & About

All the wonder of being outdoors in summer is set to music with imaginary bike rides, walks on the beach, star-gazing, and hiking in the mountains. In the great outdoors of their imaginations, children will pedal make-believe bikes and take turns on swings. With focused listening activities that feature the sounds of summer, you?ll love hearing parents share their musical summer stories with their children when they dig together in the sand and fly like seagulls with activities in the Home Activity Guide and Home CDs, including the beach counting game “Five Little Seagulls,” “Charlie Over the Ocean,” and the soothing, star-gazing sound of “Oh Watch the Stars.”


Take Home Materials: 15-page Family Activity Guide features songs, games, and activities from class and music CD.



All the fun and joys of taking a bath come together in Splash!  Your child will pretend to hike, picnic, and explore outdoors, and then he will slow down, listening to soothing music and practice relaxing both mind and body, paving the way to easier bedtime transitions at home.   We will be focusing on the number concept of three – counting to three, tapping three times, striking a drum three times and listening to words repeated three times.  By learning to understand the world through opposites, your child will learn the difference between smooth and bumpy by listening, singing, and playing instruments in smooth and bumpy ways, paving the way to learning musical terms and concepts such as legato and staccato.  In the Family Activity guide, you’ll also find suggestions for fun activities at home such as making ocean waves by putting a beach ball on a sheet while lifting the sheet’s edges and a game where your child identifies who lives and travels on water.


Take Home Materials: 15-page Family Activity Guide features songs, games, and activities from class, a beach ball for bath time, and a music CD which includes a full read along of the story about a penguin who makes bath time fun .


4-6 year olds


Giggles reaps the benefits of laughter and silliness with knock-knock jokes, echo songs, and movement games and dances. Traditional American folk music introduces unusual instruments and silly song lyrics. Fast and slow, or presto and largo, tempos are explored on the keyboard, with hands and bodies, and with other instruments and props. 

American folk instruments, such as the banjo, jaw harp, and spoons, are represented in the music throughout this unit. The concepts of fast and slow are experienced through song, keyboard exploration, and silly movement activities, such as dancing clocks. Children are encouraged to play presto and largo when keyboard is included in the lesson.


The Take Home Kit includes the 15-page Family Activity Guide which features songs, games, and activities from class, plus the music CD.


Under the Rainbow

Under the Rainbow explores the concepts of high and low through sound and movement.  The sweet sounds of Irish music are introduced in focused listening examples, instrument play-alongs, and a lively leprechaun jig. A glissando reinforces the concepts of high and low, and the glockenspiel is the perfect instrument for demonstration. High and low sounds are explored on a variety of other instruments including the piccolo, bassoon, trombone, and clarinet. Children will hear, sing, and see visual representations of high and low sounds. Children are introduced to the location of high and low notes when keyboard is included in the lesson.


The Take Home Kit includes the 15-page Family Activity Guide which features songs, games, and activities from class, plus the music CD and a harmonica.

To register for ABC Music & Me classes, please visit our ABC Music & Me page.   ABC Music & Me  is only open to members of the Ladies Ministry groups at the Church of the Apostles.


Making Kindermusik Affordable for All Families

We believe so firmly, so passionately in the Kindermusik program that we want *every* child in *every* family to be able to participate. This fall, Masterworks Studio is offering a Payment Plan to make this possible. There are four different options available.

  • Option A – Full Payment with Enrollment
  • Option B – $75 Deposit with Enrollment, Balance paid at first class
  • Option C – $75 Deposit with Enrollment, Balance split into two equal payments – first payment due by the first class, the balance paid by 10/10/07
  • Option D – $75 Deposit with Enrollment, Balance split into three equal payments – first payment due by first class, second and third payments due by 10/10/07 and 11/10/07

Mom and Baby

Enrollment is available for your convenience online through our website here.  We accept payment by all major credit cards, Paypal, Google Checkout, personal check, and, of course, cash.  (We like the green stuff!)  🙂

So, you see, this fall, there really and truly is something for everyone at Masterworks Studio!

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I often share with my Kindermusik families that you can find Kindermusik classes literally around the world.  Last month, the president and CEO of Kindermusik International, Michael Dougherty, and the liasion for the Partnership of Kindermusik Educators, Jane Hendrix of Dunwoody, Georgia, travelled to South Africa for the Kindermusik Convention held there literally on the other side of the world from us here in Georgia. 

You will see below two videos from that trip – classes that meet in an orphanage there in South Africa.  You will notice that the children are all wearing knit hats.  While we are sweltering in the high 80’s and 90’s here, they are in the middle of the winter there.  Most of these children are orphans or HIV-positive, living in poverty.  Some of them aren’t even five years old yet, but considered a “head of household.”

Watch for yourself and see the beauty of these children and their Kindermusik classes. 



 “If it’s Irving Park or Soweto, Kindermusik has the same effect on every child.”

~Michael Dougherty, President and CEO, Kindermusik International~


Thank you, Molly!

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Originally released by Raffi in 1994, for your enjoyment, here’s Bananaphone!


It’s got real ap-peal! 😀

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On June 25th, I blogged about the upcoming 2007 Georgia Sales Tax Holiday and had no idea of the number of hits that would result from that post.  I want to update that post with recently released information directly from the Georgia Department of Revenue.  Here’s the latest from the state:

House Bill 128 provides for a sales tax exemption from both state and local sales taxes for certain items purchased August 2 – 5, 2007. 

During the sales tax holiday period, a sales tax exemption applies to purchases of tangible personal property in the following categories:

  • Articles of Clothing. The exemption applies to articles of clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100 or less per item. Clothing accessories such as handbags, umbrellas, cuff links, handkerchiefs, jewelry, key cases, wallets, watches and watch bands, and ponytail holders and/or similar hair products are not exempt. See lists of exempt items.
  • Personal Computers. A single purchase of $1,500 or less of personal computers and/or related accessories is exempt. If the single purchase exceeds $1,500, the entire transaction is taxable. See list of exempt items.
  • General School Supplies. The exemption applies to the purchase of general school supplies with a sales price of $20 or less per item. See list of exempt items.

The exemptions are intended for an individual’s personal use. The exemptions exclude items rented, leased, purchased by businesses, or purchased for resale. The exemptions do not apply to items sold at theme parks, entertainment complexes, hotels, restaurants, and airports.

Lists of Exempt Items

Exempt School Supplies:

Purchases of general school supplies for use in a classroom or classroom related activity with a sales price of $20.00 or less per item are exempt during the exemption period. Purchases for use in a trade or business are not eligible for the exemption.   Click here for a printable list of exempt school supplies.

Exempt Clothing and Footwear

Purchases of clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100.00 or less per item is exempt during the exemption period.  Click here to view a printable list of exempt items.  This exemption excludes clothing accessories such as jewelry, handbags, umbrellas, eyewear, watches, watchbands, rented items and items purchased for use in a trade or business.

Exempt Computers and Accessories

The single purchase of $1,500.00 or less of personal computers and personal computer related accessories for noncommercial home or personal use is exempt during the exemption period. Computer related accessories include keyboards, monitors, other peripheral devices, personal digital assistant, modems for Internet and network access and non-recreational software. Computer and computer related accessories do not include furniture, cellular telephones, any systems, devices, software, or peripherals designed or intended primarily for recreational use, purchases for a trade or business, or items leased or rented.  For a printable list of exempt computers and related accessories, please click here.

General Guidelines for Children’s Books may be found here.  Keep in mind that not all books are exempt.  If in doubt, print out the list linked above and take it with you.

For additional information, please read this FAQ on the Georgia Department of Revenue site.   If you need additional information, contact the Taxpayer Services Division at 404-417-6601 or taxpayer.services@dor.ga.gov. Or, contact any Department of Revenue Regional Office.

All of this information is easily found at the Georgia State Department of Revenue’s site found herePlan ahead to spend your time and money wisely.  With big back-to-school sales going on right now at Walmart and Staples, it makes you wonder just what will be left for the sales tax holiday?  😉

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 The Flag of the United States of America

I am your Flag
I was born on June 14th, 1777.
I am more than just cloth shaped into a design.
I am the refuge of the world’s oppressed people.
I am the silent sentinel of Freedom.
I am the emblem of the greatest sovereign nation on earth.
I am the inspiration for which
American Patriots gave their lives and fortunes.
I have led your sons into battle from Valley Forge
To the bloody swamps of Viet Nam.

I walk in silence with each of your honored dead,
To their final resting place beneath the silent white crosses,
Row upon row!
I have flown through peace and war, strife and prosperity,
And amidst it all … I have been respected.

My red stripes
Symbolize the blood spilled
In defense of this glorious nation.

My white stripes
Signify the burning tears
Shed by Americans who lost their sons.

My blue field
Is indicative of God’s Heaven
Under which I fly.

My stars, clustered together,
Unify fifty states as one,
For God and Country.

“Old Glory”
Is my nickname,
Proudly I wave on high.

Honor me!
Respect me!
Defend me!
With your lives and your fortunes.

Never let my enemies tear me down
From my lofty position,
Lest I never return.

Keep alight the fires of patriotism,
Strive earnestly for the Spirit of Democracy.
Worship Eternal God and keep His commandments.

I shall remain the bulwark of peace and freedom for all mankind.
I am your Flag.

By Colonel Daniel K. Cedusky,
USAR, Retired

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Looking ahead to this Wednesday, I’ve been surfing through the internet, reading, and found several items that caught my interest.  Several brought back beloved memories of my childhood – one in particular. 

Red Skelton as one of his many clown characters

As a child, I loved watching the Red Skelton Show each week.  He always made me laugh and my family enjoyed sitting together in our living room in a semi-circle around the very small thick-glassed television housed in an upright wooden cabinet with shuttered doors that you could close over the screen when not in use.  Of course, all of the shows were in black and white then.  But it didn’t matter, because Red could make you laugh – a real belly laugh – simply by being himself or one of his many clown characters – Freddie the Freeloader, Heathcliff and Gertrude, that “spoiled widdle boy”, and my favorite, of course, was Clem Cadiddlehopper. 

Six Red Skelton Characters

In reading about Red, I found a reprinting of his commentary on “The Pledge of Allegiance” and thought it was well worth publishing here.  As a young schoolboy, one of his teachers sat down one day and explained to the class exactly what those words mean that so many children (and adults!) parrot without realizing the full meaning of what they’re saying.  Red was so impressed by it that he wrote it down and saved it, later recording it himself.


The Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


I Me; an individual; a committee of one.
Pledge Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.
Allegiance My love and my devotion.
To the Flag Our standard; Old Glory ; a symbol of Freedom; wherever she waves there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts, Freedom is everybody’s job.
United That means that we have all come together.
States Individual communities that have united into forty-eight great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. All divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that is love for country.
And to the Republic Republic–a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern.
For which it stands And government is the people; and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
One Nation
Under God
One Nation–meaning, so blessed by God.
Indivisible Incapable of being divided.
With Liberty Which is Freedom; the right of power to live one’s own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.
And Justice The principle, or qualities, of dealing fairly with others.
For All For All–which means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.

You can hear Red for yourself, reciting this commentary here

And as Red always said at the end of each and every program:

“Good night and may God bless.”

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