Welcome to my Kindermusik space...

A place to refresh your love of music, your wonder in children, and your peace in parenting well.

Sunday, August 29

The Rhythm of Life

I know it has been way too long since my last post...but there is a reason. We had a family vacation planned. So for the last couple of weeks I have been enjoying the laid back "Aloha" spirit in Kaua'i and Maui.

Those of you who have been know, like I do now, that Hawaii has a different feel to it than other places. People aren't in a hurry. They are pleasant, and polite, and accommodating. The trade winds blow ever so wonderfully, and the surf rolls onto the beach in a consistent rhythm. It was a GREAT holiday!

As I was lying down one evening watching the local tourist channel about places to go and restaurants to eat in, I found myself falling asleep listening to the gentle Hawaiian music that accompanied the info. The music had been everywhere we had been, in the background, but definitely adding to the relaxed feel of the islands.

So what does all this have to do with music classes? It struck me the other day that it was much like a Kindermusik class in that when you are there, you get to enjoy the great energy and activity - both lively in some sections, and relaxing in others. But your children are making associations with the activity and the music they hear. When they hear the quiet rocking music we hear when snuggling with the "stuffies", their minds can remember the relaxation their bodies and minds felt in class,when later driving in the van, or in the comforts of home. Or they will recall the feeling of connectedness of the community dances we do. It is no coincidence that your child asks to hear the Kindermusik CD's again and again, as they are taken away to a very happy memory when hearing it.

In fact, I think I'd like to listen to some Hawiian music right now...
And follow that up with looking at the pictures we took of the enchanting Kaua'i chickens who wandered around everywhere!

Tuesday, August 3

Books - a little bit of perfect

I'm kind of bad for buying books thinking that "I should read that" and then put them on my bed-side table where they sit with about 6 other books that I try to read at the same time. I'm not kidding. In fact, 6 is probably an underestimation. There's probably 8 - 10 there right now. Two I've read but still have there because I think that if they are still there, I'll still be thinking about them. And then there are 2 or 3 that I'm actively reading, and a few more on hold for vacation reading.

As you can imagine, bookstores are some of my favorite stores. And my favorite section - my go-to-first section - the kids' books section. I love looking through the stacks of kids books - reminding myself of favorites I've shared with my own kids, or ones I remember from childhood. Or looking for new ones to share with the classes.

The colors of "Chickachicka Boomboom" grab me every time.
The lyrical lines of Robert Munsch's "Love You Forever" are music for the heart.
The spoken, hushed tones of Margaret Wise Brown's "Goodnight Moon", are relaxing as they slowly roll off your lips.
Who can forget the rhythm of Sandra Boynton's "Moo, Baa, LaLaLa", or the imaginative wonder of "The Velveteen Rabbit", by Marjorie Williams Bianco?

When I was putting a book away in the bookcase the otherday, I noticed a book I had found on the bookshelves of a clearance area one year when my son was very young - "Teddy Bear Tears". My son had a tender heart for all "stuffies" and seriously had a bed covered in them. When we read "Teddy Bear Tears" together that first time, you could tell that he totally related to the little boy in the story who had to have each of his four special teddy friends sleep right up close to his head so that they would not feel lonely at night. We read that book sooo many times together, and every time we read it we had special "stuffies" right there with us.

Books create a space where people can step into another person's world, only to see themselves more clearly. They give people an opportunity to give words to feelings that they never knew how to express. They let imaginations grow. They give parents and children an awe-filled, laugh-out-loud, snuggled-up-close, sleepy-eyed, perfect...moment.

What's your favorite children's book?