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Archive for April, 2008

to my Kindermusik and studio families for their patience and understanding while I underwent surgery last week.  I’ve been forced to slow down and take things easy for a few days, but plan on being back in the classroom this Thursday, May 1st.  

Our summer schedule will also be up and available for online registration later this week.  We will be spending “Busy Days” with our youngest set in Village classes, visiting the zoo in “Zoo Train” in Our Time and Family Time, playing all kinds of African drums in “Drums, Drums, Drums” for Imagine That classes, and literally traveling “Around the World” for our oldest age group, Young Child.  “Sign and Sing” will also be available as well.  Check back in for detailed information later this week!

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This will definitely not be a post like you’re anticipating.  While I wholeheartedly agree with the premise of a clean, safe environment now and for the future, I never had the opportunity to support it with my five children when they were infants as today’s young parents do.  Meet the gDiaper – the breathable diaper you can flush or even compost!

The gDiaper - the breathable diaper you can flush

While I have to confess to a very healthy skepticism to a lot of advertisment PR about a company’s “green”-ness (I am a child of the ’60’s, after all!), in reading and viewing information on the gDiapers.com website, I was amazed and thrilled at what I found. 

This company has successfully found a way for your baby to have a disposable, flushable,  environmentally-friendly diaper that is actually comfortable, absorbent, and easy to use. 

From their website:

gDiapers consist of a washable, cotton outer pant and a plastic free flushable refill.  They are made of breathable material just like sports clothing.  So, babies stay dry and happy and are far less likely to get diaper rash.

Can’t flush?  It’s ok to toss flushable refills because they’re plastic-free.  Or garden compost the wet ones.  They’ll break down in 50-150 days.

Using the gDiaper from start to flush!

I checked further in their website and found that gDiapers are available here locally at Sevananda Natural Foods in the Little Five Points area as well as Whole Foods Markets.  Prices surprisingly are very comparable to brand-name disposable diapers.  Now, if only I had a baby to diaper! 😀

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Many times in our Village classes (for infants 0 – 18 months), during our exercise time, I will often tell the parents that by providing the cross-lateral movements between opposing hand and foot, they are stimulating the corpus callosum which contains the nerve pathways between the two hemispheres in the brain.  This area is also linked to future academic success, such as learning to read, being able to write, and eye-hand coordination.    Recently published findings now indicate that the consistent, faithful practice of a musical instrument also provides further lifelong benefits. 

boy playing piano

In ScienceNOW Daily News, an article entitled Music Builds Bridges in the Brain by Greg Miller was published this past Wednesday, and gives even more weight to those parental reminders “Have you practiced your music today?”  It documents the release of a study by neuroscientists at Harvard Medical College and Boston College who studied 31 children from the age of 6 to 9 who had all been involved in musical instruction at some time during the course of the study or were continuing in their ongoing musical studies. 

Detailed magnetic resonance images (MRI’s) were taken of the children at ages 6 and 9.  Of the original thirty-one, six children were faithful to practice each week, averaging at least 2.5 hours weekly in the time between scans.  (Side note here: this is the same amount of time I require of all of my beginners – one half hour for five days each week.) 

In these children, “a region of the corpus callosum that connects movement-planning regions on the two sides of the brain grew about 25% relative to the overall size of the brain.”  Those children who practiced less than this or dropped their instrument entirely showed no growth.  Consistent, faithful practice doesn’t just improve your playing; it also strengthens and builds your brain! 

All of these children involved in the study did study an instrument which involved the use of two hands, such as the piano or violin.  (Possibly even flute? 🙂 )  We will have exciting news about our piano studio up in the next few days, so stay tuned! 

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Two good friends making music together on *one* guitar – enjoy!

Thanks, Lori!

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Reminded by a good friend how easy it is to be hard on yourself, I’ve decided to give myself a break tonight after spending four hours sorting through Kindermusik teaching materials, lesson plans, lyric sheets, home kits, and schedules from last summer.  I am working on this summer’s class schedule and plan to have that up by mid-week.  I’m really excited at the Adventure themes for this summer, but I’ve got to get a handle on the chaos in my office area before I can successfully plan this summer’s!  

In the meantime, I have to share this gifted artist with you.  I enjoy listening to creative people who think “outside the box” and produce some amazing results.  Courtesy of BusterDilly and Melody Watson, enjoy the creativity and innovative talent of Imogen Heap.  Believe it or not, it’s all done a cappella (sans instruments for non-music types) using only her voice and modern technology known as “looping”.

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In surfing some other Kindermusik blogs tonight (notably Miss Christa’s), I ran across a video of a Japanese version of one of the classic all-time great rock songs, “Smoke on the Water.”  I enjoyed viewing it, although I will confess that the vocals caught me a little off guard.

However, it did prompt me to do a little more research until I found this video.  What I especially enjoy about this particular one is that you can see *everyone* enjoying it and participating – rockers, drummers, vocalists, symphony musicians, conductor, and the audience.  It just draws you in.  

So, for your viewing and listening pleasure, please turn up your sound and click the arrow for one of the absolute best rock songs *ever*.  I dare you to try and sit still!

I may be a professionally trained musician as well as a Kindermusik educator, but I’m also a rocker at heart!

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Where have I been?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been two weeks since my last post.  I’ve had several readers write, asking where I’ve been, and the honest truth is that I haven’t actually *been* anywhere other than home, studio, church, and the doctor’s office.  

Wait a minute – 

Doctor’s office?

Yes, I found myself on March 26 at the doctor’s office in some pretty severe pain, wondering what on earth I had done to myself.

After seeing one specialist who referred me immediately back to my internist and having had some blood drawn for tests to rule out some nasty infections, the diagnosis was that I had apparently sprained, pulled, strained, you name it – a muscle in my groin.

Why does that word make me wrinkle my nose?

Groin. G-r-o-i-n.

It just does.  That’s all.

After leaving the internist’s office with scrips for two (2) antibiotic meds, one (1) pain reliever, and instructions to go home and soak in a hot tub or shower, I found myself in the unenviable position of having to cancel at least one or more of my Kindermusik classes to give my body a chance to heal.

We also had family from out of town visiting with us last weekend as we celebrated our the birthdays of our oldest and youngest children.  

Faith is now *13* – another teenager (#5!) to add to our collection. Matthew is now *30* – which really creates a paradoxical situation.  I’m *too* old to have another teenager and I’m *too* young to have a 30 year old!  😀

Kati, daughter-in-law-to-be, Matthew, our oldest, and Faith, our youngest

As I told the doctor last week, we’ve got so much to look forward to this spring with our son’s wedding, numerous gigs for David and myself, both as musicians and directors, that I just plain don’t have time to be injured.  He gently but firmly reminded me that if I don’t take care of myself, someone else will have to.

So I’m here, just not *here* as much as I usually am, due to doctor’s orders and the fact that even sitting at the computer for just a few minutes in a padded chair was just dang uncomfortable!  🙂

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