Welcome to my Kindermusik space...

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

Wednesday, July 27

Trying something new

"Should I...or shouldn't I.
I won't know anyone.  What if no one is friendly?
I really should.
But if I start, will I stick with it?  Maybe I shouldn't even start.
I'm feeling nervous.
What if I'm the oldest one there?
What if I look ridiculous?"

Ever been there?  Starting something new can be intimidating.
I started out at a new gym this week.  In the spirit of health improvement I have been investigating all kinds of alternative health options, but I have never (until now) taken the step of joining a gym.

But as I was driving there I realized that for many people, coming to a Kindermusik class is intimidating as well.  As much as I know the songs and dances and feel completely at home there, new families could be feeling all the same hesitancies that I was feeling towards going to the gym.  Hmmm...interesting thought.

So I got to the gym, found my way to the change room and was then waiting by the group exercise classroom.  Then the one thing happened that changed my whole outlook from nervous to "let-out-a-long-slow-breath...it'll be OK".   One of the people also waiting approached me and asked if I was waiting for the class, and we struck up a conversation.  She was very reassuring.  Turns out they were starting a new routine tonight and this woman was one of the instructors for the class the next day and wanted to see how someone else did it first.

Funny how just one person taking the initiative can make someone's day...or change someone's life.   You see if no one had talked to me, I would have left with a negative experience, and maybe not come back...afterall, I was just there on a complimentary pass...no obligation yet.

So those of you who make an extra effort to connect with other families in class....THANK YOU!!!  When parents are brand new, they are looking for a friendly face and you are making a difference not only for that day in music, but making an opportunity for a family to embrace music for a lifetime!!

"I know you're not my mom, but can I show you what I'm making?"

Sunday, July 24

A Mini Vacation in our Home Town

Today was the best summer day so far.  My husband and I went with friends to "A Taste of Edmonton" and used way too many coupons - but the food and sunshine and music were just awesome!   I always look for the chocolate covered strawberries, the cappucino shooters (both from The Sutton Place booth), and the ginger beef.  But I also enjoyed the chicken satay, the channa masala and saffron rice, spring rolls, scones and whipped cream with saskatoon sauce,  and fresh lemonade...can you say "Oink"?   To be fair, I didn't eat all of those things all by myself - but truthfully...it was all sooo good!

I love the opportunity to go to these cultural events and be with the packs of people who are all there to enjoy the comraderie of good food and good friends, and get the bonus of the city hall fountains, the sunshine on our rain-weary faces, and the feel good sounds of our local bands/entertainment.

People young and old, close to the soundstage breaking into spontaneous dance.  People sitting on the steps and by the tables swaying to the music.  Lips moving silently to the lyrics they are too nervous to sing along aloud to.  All make up the wonder that is one of Edmonton's best summer events.

When our kids were little we took them with us a few times, but now we go with friends and enjoy a "date" together with other adult friends.  Oddly enough, my oldest was there at the same time with some of his young adult friends.

Great weather
All timeless, age-ignoring pleasures.

You should go!  Be a part of the vacation opportunities right here in our own city and introduce your children to the cultural world waiting for them!

Why not double the adventure and take the LRT to Churchill square?  You won't need to find downtown parking, and children under 6 ride for free.

Sunday, July 17

Music as Super Glue

My husband and I have very diverse music tastes.
One of my favourite, give-me-goosebump singers is Alison Krauss.  I could listen to her for hours.  Her soprano voice is so clear and true.  If you've heard her, you know what I mean.  My husband on the other hand, can't tolerate listening to her.  As much as I love her voice, it drives him batty.

Then there's Willie Nelson.  My husband LOVES his voice, style, songs.  I can put up with a couple of songs but after that, "let's wrap that up", so to speak.

One person's pleasure can be another person's poison.  Just like favourites in anything....colour, food, cars...you name it.

But music has the ability to speak to a person's soul - their very essence.  When I listen to Alison, she can take me on a journey as my heart surrenders to her sweet sounds.  The same is true for my husband as he listens to Willie.  Sometimes it is the association we have with a particular musician to a certain time in our life that brings back certain associative emotional connection, other times, the lyric speaks of common identity.

What connects us to each other is shared experience or understood emotion.  Music has a magical way of bringing both.  When what the music and musician are saying connects with us, we feel the kinship and trascendent connection.  Music becomes a community glue, a shaper of our lives and common understanding.   Whether it is the strains of young love sung by Taylor Swift, the aching of a broken heart sung by Karen Carpenter,  the soaring anthems of the Canadian Tenors, the classic sounds of the Beatles or Elton John,  the dance tunes of Lady Gaga, or the Kindermusik songs from our weekly classes, music is in the business of people connecting.

Had the joy of making music and connecting this morning with some of the best musicians I know.  I'm so looking forward to being in Music Community with some of you this week at our July Playdates!

Tuesday, July 12

Umbrellas and rain coats!

For years I had a green and yellow reversible rain coat.  Maybe you remember the kind - heavy, felt like rubber, and maintained a musty smell from it's wet duties.  It was good when out camping, but for everyday wear - no thanks, I'll pass.

Umbrellas, on the other hand, have always held a fascination for me.  I've had rainbow colored ones, black ones, red ones, large "golf size" ones, and tiny portable ones.  Nowadays, however,  if we have a rainy day, it's a perfect day to get out my sunshine yellow with white polka-dots portable shelter and enjoy the instant sunshine that it brings!  Yup...I love my umbrella!

On our recent trip to Seattle, we were greeted with "thanks for bringing the sunshine" as they had just come off of about 6 weeks of rain.  Before our cruise to Alaska, my husband and I enjoyed two perfect sun-soaked days there, but it was a good reminder about just enjoying the day, whatever the weather.  Available umbrellas were standard whereever we went, and advertising mentions about how much rain Seattle gets set the tone for how rainy weather life is just fine.

We had some rain on our trip, but we just enjoyed our excursions, anyway.  Kayaking....rained before and some after.  Shopping in the ports....rained.  On the boat....couldn't really go out on the deck much because of the chill and the rain.

But it didn't matter.

We went Kayaking anyway.  We went to the lumberjack show anyway.  We went for a hike anyway, despite the misty skies.  And instead of going on the deck of the cruise ship, we watched the whales and dolphins from inside the fitness rooms while using the eliptical machines.  Now there is some inspiration to keep going with a workout - watching the ocean life play in front of you!!  And it didn't rain all the time.

So in the wet days of July - of which we are having many - grab your umbrella (or maybe you need to buy a great, bold colored one) and go outside on purpose.  The determined, rain-can't-stop-me attitude is empowering.  Just think...."Singing in the Rain"...you know - the classic musical!?

Oh, and a new raincoat (Happy Birthday to me!) in your favourite colour doesn't hurt either.