Archive for October, 2008



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     Years ago, there was a lovely Beatles tune, “When I’m 64,” that I actually played as a wedding recessional for a High Mass wedding at Christ the King Cathedral in Buckhead.  At the time, this was the mid-70’s, and many brides and grooms tended to be non-conformist and very non-traditional, although it was a bit mind-boggling to be playing “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” as the pre-wedding music on my flute  while watching many of the ladies in the congregation coming in with their mink stoles draped around their shoulders, wearing tiaras, full-length gowns, and elbow gloves.  (Yes, I was the sole musical instrument for this wedding – no organ, no piano, no guitar, *long* before CD’s and canned wedding music.)

“Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds was the piece chosen by the wedding couple for the processional of bridesmaids and also the bride.   They had also chosen a newly released Roberta Flack number, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” for the communion service (which made me wonder if the priests had *any* idea of the lyrics), and then for the piece de resistance’ – the recessional – as the priest pronounced them husband and wife, I hit it with my flute playing the Beatles – “Will you still need me, will you still care, when I’m 64?” 

As a new bride myself of only 6 months (and 21 years of age), it prompted some questions in my own brain about what it would be like to be 64 years old, and wondering if those same feelings would still be there, or more intense, or faded away with time.

This all came flooding back to me tonight as I watched this video of Ken Mink, a 73-year-old basketball player for Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tennessee.  Ken is fulfilling a dream that was short-circuited 50 years ago, when he was dismissed, wrongly by his account, from his junior college basketball team in in Lees, Kentucky.   While he went on to have a very successful career and satisying life, there was still obviously this little question, niggling away in the back of his mind.  Judge for yourself whether or not he’s answered it – imho, he’s obviously decided to give it a shot!  Enjoy!  🙂

You can read more about Ken Mink and the Roane State basketball team here.   Many thanks to my daughter, Sara, for forwarding this on to me.  And, yes, sweetie, you’re right – it is a good argument for aging well! 🙂

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Most babies come into this world with only a few notable abilities at first, namely eating, sleeping, crying, and, well,……elimination, to be blunt, although not necessarily in that order.  One of the constants in that first year of life is growth – physically, mentally, and emotionally – on a scale that is only matched again in the early teen years when, yes, they’re again extremely good at the same basic skills.  Well, at least the eating and sleeping parts!  😉

However, in an article from the Daily Mail Online, dated 23rd September, 2008, researchers now tell us that even from day one, infants have a strong sense of rhythm as well as pitch and melody.   Experts now say that introducing a child to music at an early age could possibly enhance these innate musical abilities and also help them learn to talk.

The fledgling musical talent was discovered by Hungarian researchers during a study of more than 100 boys and girls who were only one or two days old.

They played the babies music as they slept and measured their brain activity.

The researchers found that their brains computed changes in beat, tone and melody.

For instance, if a key beat was missed from a rhythmic pattern, the baby’s brain registered the change.

A change in pitch, similar to that between male and female voices, also provoked a reaction.

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences study was part of a three-year European project on how the brain processes music and other sounds, co-ordinated by Dr Susan Denham, of Plymouth University.

She said: ‘What is perhaps most significant is that not only do babies’ brains register changes in beat, pitch and simple melodic patterns but they do so more or less automatically, as they are fast asleep during these experiments.

‘People come into the world with brains that are wired-up to detect patterns’.

Dr Denham added: ‘A lot of music reflects the rhythms and contents of speech. If you are listening to music you will also probably be more sensitive to speech rhythm.’

This really does make sense when you think about it.  After all, a baby spends 9+ months in utero, listening to a steady beat 24/7 of his/her mother’s heart.  I’ve also had numerous Village moms tell me that their babies seemed to recognize not only their mothers’ voices shortly after birth, but also other voices heard consistently pre-natally, such as dad or siblings. 

One Village mom in particular told me just last year that when she was pregnant the previous year, she tended to listen to one particular artist on a regular basis, almost daily.  She had an album she enjoyed listening to, with one song that was a favorite, listening to it over and over again. 

After the birth of her daughter, with all of the adjustments and changes in the family routine that results from a firstborn, listening to albums was not high on the daily schedule – until the day that mom turned on the CD player for some badly needed relief from a crying, inconsolable baby. 

Without really consciously thinking about it, she chose the album and song she had listened to frequently during the pregnancy.  Amazingly enough, the baby stopped crying within a few seconds of the beginning strains of the song.  I don’t honestly remember the song title, but I do remember laughing with Yolanda at the time; both of us agreeing that it wasn’t the usual lullaby-type song you would expect an infant to enjoy and relax with. 

Give your baby a head-start by joining us next Saturday, October 25th, or Monday, November 3rd, as we begin Dream Pillow  in our Village classes.  Online registration is available for your convenience here.

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Come join the fun as we begin our newest Village unit, Dream Pillow, next Saturday, October 25th, at 11:30AM, or on Monday evenings at 6:30PM, beginning November 3rd.  This unit, one of the loveliest Village themes, is a celebration of all things special about the night: the moon, the stars, dreaming, and the nighttime rituals families enjoy on the way to a peaceful, sleeping child.

The title alone brings images of rocking, cuddling, singing, and lulling to sleep,  but leading up to sleepy time are many upbeat and playful activities for parent and child to enjoy. 

Babies and adults alike will swirl to a dreamy cloud dance in “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland.” They’ll also play baby appropriate instruments to “Aiken Drum,” and “Sarasponda.”  Favorite nursery rhymes like “Wee Willie Winkie,” and “Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling,” are sprinkled throughout the classes. It’s easy to weave many of the class songs and activities into your families’ daily routines.

VIL-Dream Pillow home mats 


Home Materials: A board book that calms and relaxes—Dream Pillow Lullaby, Home CD of the songs heard in class, a set of Art Banners for the nursery wall that strengthens vision and promotes early literacy, and a wooden Star baby instrument for music-making at home.

Kindermusik Village is a true bonding experience for baby and parent.  The Kindermusik Village class provides a delightful environment unlike any other. Through a unique blend of multi-level activities that include creative movement, vocal play, object and instrument exploration, and a colorful literature component, baby’s growth and development are stimulated and all senses engaged.

Kindermusik Village is for lap babies, crawlers, and walkers. It incorporates the most current research on early childhood development and provides families a special place for learning and connecting with other parents and babies through music and movement.  For your convenience, we offer online registration

Come dream a little dream with me……………

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Last year, after hearing about a really neat Halloween song set to the classical work, Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens, I did some research (letting my fingers do the walking) and found an online audio clip with scratches, et al, from a recording made in 1969.  I never anticipated the number of hits I’d receive *this* year from that same post. 

Recently, in the comments section for that post, I’ve had numerous requests for the lyrics to the hands-down Halloween favorite, ‘”H – A – double L – O – W – double E – N” spells Halloween’, so, by popular request,  included with the audio clip, here they are!

“H – A – double L – O – W – double E – N” spells Halloween,

“H – A – double L – O – W – double E – N” spells Halloween!

Halloween means ghosts & goblins,

Skeletons, monsters, & howling cats,

Spooky masks & jack-o-lanterns,

Witches & devils & big, black bats!

“H – A – double L – O – W – double E – N” spells Halloween,

“H – A – double L – O – W – double E – N” spells Halloween!

Halloween means ringing doorbells,

Scaring the people who open the door.

“Trick or treat” gets you candy and apples,

Then go to the next house and get some more.

“H – A – double L – O – W – double E – N” spells Halloween,

“H – A – double L – O – W – double E – N” spells Halloween! 

I’ve also had several readers asking if this song is still available for purchase or download.  To the best of my knowledge, it is not available for purchase on CD or through recognizable online music sources.  The original source that I downloaded it from last year took down the link.  I imagine that the bandwidth it took for downloads was considerable and costly to that blogger. 

However, it is still available through these two sources – Dave’s World 56 which gives you the option of purchasing a Halloween CD from him, or by downloading it directly yourself as a Zip file through Megaupload.com, which is what I did last week. 

The Halloween zip file (35.9MB) also includes, besides the favorite “Halloween“, nine other tracks: The Pumpkin Tells, A Weird Happening, The Strange Three, Guess What I Am, The Halloween Dance, She’s Stuck on a Broomstick, Little Orphan Annie, Witch’s Stew, and Pass The Witch’s Broomstick.  I plan on sharing some of these ahead in the coming weeks.  You do not need an account with Megaupload to download it, but I will confess that it was an extremely confusing process for me. 

Laughing Halloween Jack-o-lantern

I also received an email this week from my friend and fellow Kindermusik educator, Daneille Grimes of Norcross, with this little Halloween ditty from her childhood – sung to the theme from “In The Hall of the Mountain King” from the Peer Gynt Suite  by Grieg:

On October thirty one, when the sun goes to rest.

It’s the night of Halloween when fun is at its best,

Black cats, ghosts, and princess fair,

Holding hands everywhere,

It’s the night of Halloween –

There’s magic in the air!

Witch’s shadow on the moon,

Casting spells, flying her broom,

It’s the night of Halloween –

Quick! Change to your costume!

For all you musicians out there, here’s the musical notation:


And for your listening pleasure, here’s an audio clip of the orchestral classic that provided the melody:


Enjoy! 🙂

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Just in time for Saturday morning’s Our Time class (*and* Saturday morning breakfasts!), enjoy this video about making pancakes.  🙂

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In May, 2007, I posted a brief, hysterically funny video of Anita Renfroe entitled “Total Momsense” in which she incorporated all the sayings a mother makes in 24 hours, condensed down into 2 minutes and 55 seconds.  What I did not realize at the time was that the video I posted from Youtube did not include the entire segment. 

So – for that reason, as well as the fact that I still get a kick out of  hearing all of these ‘-isms” that I know for a fact that I’ve said numerous times over the past 30+ years to all five of my children, even as recently as last night, I offer to you the complete – *total* version of “Total Momsense” by Anita Renfroe.  Enjoy!

And not to be forgotten or “disenfranchised” as Anita says, here’s “Total Dadsense” as well.  😉


To learn more about Anita Renfroe, please visit her website.

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