Sunday, September 19, 2010

Parenting Tip #52 "Are you in there?"



Parents, grandparents, teachers, let's be there--all there--for our children.
Video from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=e419fb40e21cef00VgnVCM1000001f5e340aRCRD

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Music Tip #51 Kleenex commercial clapping routine

I watched the Kleenex school clapping commercial on you tube for over an hour http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcEkan8Lprs, stopping and starting it to get this clapping routine so I could teach it to my music classes at school. But what I discovered was that each new scene at school is a different clapping routine. I don't know if the different clapping sequences are really all linked together or not, but you could link them by having the students do each set 4 times before adding the next section. Here's the clapping routines:

1. Opening scene close up: (palms together and back of right hand touching partner's back left hand)Flip flop hands with partner, then your left hand claps open palm of your own right hand, clap partner's right hand above, clap own right hand in middle, clap partner's hand below, clap middle.

2. Hallway scene: Students in line. You pass the clap down the line one student at a time (like the wave). Clap both hands of partner on your left, clap your own hands as you turn and clap left hand of next person in line on your right, clap your own hands as you turn back to the left and clap original partner's both hands, clap own hands as turn to the right again and clap left hand of neighbor, etc. You just keep twisting back and forth.

3. Classroom scene:(1) pass from person to person (at desks) by clapping both hands of neighbor, then turning and clapping both hands of next person. (2)pass from person to person by just clapping right hands (3)sitting sideways at desks-clap right hand of partner, clap own hands, clap left hand of partner.

4. Hallway scene: one single line. Pass clap down line from person to person by clapping right hands. Boy runs down empty hallway and continues to pass clap by right hand clapping next person's right hand.

5. Hallway scene with partners(only 2 seconds long!): right clap with partner, clap under leg

6. Hallway scene in single line: (Pass clap down line from person to person til boy sneezes). Left palm under neighbor's right hand palm. Slap right hand on neighbor's right hand who then slaps his neighbor's right hand, etc.

7. Hallway scene with partners: clap both hands of partner, clap own hands, clap both hands of partner, turn and clap right hand of person behind you with your right hand, clap own hands as turn and face partner and continue with pattern.

8. Hallway scene with partners in two rows: clap own hands two time, do a vertical flip flop (right hand claps down on partner's upturned left palm simultaneously with your left hand palm coming up to clap partners right hand palm. Switch palm directions and clap), clap own hands, clap under leg.

9. Gym scene: (Lines in a spokes formation. Spokes going North, south,east and west are kids standing up. Spokes between these lines are kids sitting down.) Kids in the sit down lines are passing the beat same as in scene 6. Kids in the stand up lines are doing the flip flop like in scene 1, then clapping own hands as they turn and clap right hand of person behind then, clap as they turn back to partner.

Whew! Of course, they only showed partial clips from each set of routines. When I did this with my 5th and 6th graders, we made sure each set contained 8 beats and repeated it 4 times before going to the next scene routine. We did scenes 1,2,6,7, and 8. Then we chose music to put with our clapping routine. My students loved it!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Music Tip #50 Made for music

Last year I got this card at the end of the year from one of my music students at school,
“I loved music this year. I’m made for music! Love, Lydia.” I thought to myself, “I must be MADE for music too, that’s why I love it so much.”

People are made for music. They need it, they want it, they use it all the time. Think of how often you hear music during a normal day. You probably have it on in the car, it’s played as background music in stores, and even when you’re put on hold on the phone. Music is a crucial element in TV shows, movies, and commercials. You use it when you exercise or relax, when you go to church or parades and when you go to sporting events or a restaurant.

Rhythm is an important element of music and a steady beat is the basis on which rhythm is made. Our bodies move with rhythm: our heart beats a steady beat, our breathing is a consistent in/out, our walking stride is in 4/4 time (watch people walking down the sidewalk and count a 4 beat pattern as they walk—yep they’re moving to a steady rhythm).

A steady beat is all around us. I’ve been intrigued with the idea that there is an inherent, steady beat flowing all around us and in us-- in all we do. I’ve been trying to find proof. Here’s some things I’ve been noticing. The space between the end of a question and the beginning of the answer in a conversation seems to be a certain length of time (1 beat or 4 beats if we're thinking?).

When a red light changes to a green light there seems to be a moment in time before cars begin to move (do we subconsciously wait for 4 beats before we touch the gas?) When repeating the Pledge of Allegiance as a group, it is like a choral reading with pauses and phrases choreographed unconsciously. At the end of a prayer in a group setting, the audience all says Amen at the same time—one beat after the person saying the prayer.

Notice how you brush your teeth. I follow a pattern and seem to brush each side for a slow count of 2 (I know, I should be brushing longer).

Start noticing rhythm and beat around you. Notice how wrong things are when rhythm and beat get out of sync (heart problems, crying kids). Remember we're ALL made for music!

Parenting Tip #51 Just a second

My son wrote this to me: A couple of days ago I was doing something with Jonas (7) and Teancum (3), and then had to go check on Asher (4 months). Teancum was asking a question as I walked away, so I said "Just a sec, Teancum." As I continued up the stairs I could hear Jonas explain to Teancum, "Just so you know, 'a sec' means a really long time."

Our kids catch on really fast. I thought about other things parents—and adults-- say and what the real meanings are. Here are a few I thought of:
That’s a great picture. Tell me about it=I don’t have a clue what you drew!
Just a minute=much longer than a second, so probably it means the next day.
Get your shoes on, we’re ready to go=I’m not quite ready yet but I’ll still beat you.
It won’t hurt=well, it will hurt, but not for very long.
Be good=mind your manners, don’t get in a fight, be obedient
Get ready for bed=it’s about to start--who is going to win the battle of the wills tonight?

“Just a second”… what can happen in a second? A hug, spilled milk, a sibling hit, a toy shared, a quick prayer for patience, a smile, toys dumped out, a wink, your child’s hair cut with scissors, a touch, a kiss-- the list is endless. As parents you’ve been told countless times “appreciate your children—they grow up so fast”.

Well, Jonas, it only takes a second and your childhood is gone. And no, this time it doesn’t mean a really long time. It’s a blink. Parents, take advantage of all those seconds in your child’s life and make them count.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Music Tip #49 Parent/Tot Classes

How can you encourage your toddler and preschooler to love and use music if you, yourself, feel inadequate in this area? Register for a parent/tot class! Classes are offered lots of places. Look at your city’s community/recreational class schedule, check out a nearby university or college community classes or look online to see where a local Kindermusik or Gymboree class is held.

I’m offering a parent/tot class through Gilbert’s Park and Recreation Department.
Registration is being taken now but closes soon.
The class begins on Sept 18. These are great classes where you and your child can sing, dance, move and enjoy the power of music. Sign up for a class and watch the smile on your child’s face get bigger!"

http://www.gilbertrecreation.com/Activities/ActivitiesDetails.asp?ProcessWait=N&aid=10772

Parenting Tip #50 They are never too big

I watched a mother in Church one Sunday. Her big four year old son was sitting on her lap. Her 18 month old daughter was being taken care of by the older siblings and Dad. Her son sat on her lap the whole time during Church, interacting quietly with her, eating fruit snacks, looking at a book, and more importantly, feeling surrounded in her love.

I thought back to my 2nd oldest son when he was 7 or 8 years old. As soon as we sat down on our pew in Church, there he was, sitting on my lap. I remember thinking to myself, “I wonder when he is going to feel too big and embarrassed to want to sit on my lap?” I was happy he wanted my love and I knew because he was only 14 months older than his younger brother, that he needed to feel that physical love and attention from me.

I teach piano lessons to an 8 year old boy. His dad brings him and his younger sister to my home where they meet up with mom-who is coming straight from work. During the younger sister’s piano lesson, I notice the 8 year old constantly trying to get his mother’s attention by wanting to sit by her on the couch and lean against her. She shoos him away to the other couch and tells him to do his homework. I ache to say, “Please give your son a hug. He wants your physical touch and words of love so much.”

Our children are never too big to not want our hugs, kisses, and spoken words of love. Whether your child is 8 weeks old or 18 years old, give him a hug and tell him you love him. Today. And every day!

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