Sunday, March 18, 2012

Music Tip - Recorders-The Underrated Instrument

My daughter in law showed me this website that teaches your child to play the recorder using interactive music games.  Your child plays a regular recorder into the computer microphone and the game interacts with and teaches your budding musician.  My grandson LOVES the games and would rather play his recorder than the piano.  But I’m excited to see that soon this same website will have interactive piano games to teach reading skills to young pianists, too.

I start teaching students how to play the recorders when they are in third grade.  It’s actually a physical thing.  Children have to have big enough fingers to cover the holes on the recorders and by age 8, they are usually able to do that.

Recorders are a cheap, inexpensive way to have your whole family enjoy playing music together.  That is, if you can talk them into it.  So far, I haven’t been successful.  My grown kids just roll their eyes if I mention recorders.  But now, yes now I have grandchildren who are beginning to appreciate this underrated musical instrument. Who knows—sometime soon you may see the SHEPHERD GRANDCHILDREN with GRANDMA, playing folk songs on the recorder on you tube!

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Parenting Tip - Temporary Crisis Situation

Scenario #1:  Your baby is sick and has kept you awake for 2 nights.  Your 5 year old just threw up and you’re not feeling too good yourself but your To Do list has several crucial things on it.


Scenario #2:  Your baby is sick…..child sick……but you feel fine and have a million things to do.  Your 5 year old will only lie on the couch and watch t.v. if you sit by her and your baby wants you to hold him constantly and wakes up crying if you lay him down.


I remember these scenarios very well.  One day when I had scenario #2 happening I felt so frustrated.  I had so many things to do but my children wanted me right by them holding them and comforting them.  I felt guilty because I didn’t want to.  Let them watch t.v. and leave me alone to get my To Do list done.  Plus this had been going on for several days now.  Was it ever going to get back to normal?


I decided that I was in a temporary crisis situation.  I got a large piece of paper and wrote in big letters TEMPORARY CRISIS SITUATION.  Then I described in a couple of sentences what the crisis was (kids sick and wanted my attention, commitments I had made and needed to do).


Next I listed what I should do:  My children are my priority.  They need my love and attention, therefore I will show love to them right now and let the other things go.


Then I listed the Advantages and Disadvantages. 



* I can sit and watch movies all day (or in my case read a good book while they watch Disney movies) without feeling guilty while I rock and hold my children.

* I don’t have to fix dinner.  We’ll eat scrambled eggs/toast or pancakes or whatever.

* I have a good excuse for cancelling on my commitments.

* I am helping my children feel secure and loved and I am bonding and creating memories with them.



*I have to clean up after sick children.

*I have to swallow my pride and selfishness and put my children before my wants.


So to all of you out there facing a Temporary Crisis Situation, raise your right arm up (as if taking an oath) and repeat after me:


I am in a Temporary Crisis Situation (I am in a Temporary Crisis Situation)

This will not last forever (This will not last forever)

I will not feel guilty (I will not feel guilty)

I will just take one day at a time (I will just take one day at a time)


Now, don’t you feel better?



Thanks for reading,





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