Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Big Spill

Thursday August 2 is another celebration! The Holland Symphony (parent organization to Holland Area Youth Orchestra and the Junior Strings), the Holland Chorale, and The Holland Area Arts Council (All headquartered on 8th St.) are spilling out into the streets for the Street Performer Series this Thursday 6:30 to 8:30. It's being called THE BIG SPILL.

They've given me a slot to perform in!
I'm a proud parent of a Youth Symphony member and Junior Strings member and also I'm on the education committee of the Symphony.

So come and see me! I'll be playing flute, maybe some guitar and I'll have the shakers and drums too! You can join me for a fun time. Bring your friends!

See you there!

Swiss National Holiday August 1st

Happy Premiere Aout! Switzerland is my mother's homeland. (She's from the French part: Le Valais) The Mountains are so beautiful in the summer. Click the pictures to hear some alphorn music.
The Swiss would celebrate with a Raclette. That's a special cheese in a wheel. The wheel is cut in half and the open side is melted next to hot coals then the melted part is scraped off next to the potato on your dish. MMMMMMM!!!! That's yummy. I'm wishing I was there!

Joyeux Fete!


Thursday, July 26, 2007

What time is it?

Are we there yet?
Watch this.

I think, therefore I am!

I Believe In Music
I believe in music because I am human. I believe our universe resonates with vibrations that inspire us to musical expression. I believe music changes the chemistry of our brain and opens us up for deeper connection of self, community and our world.

I believe our innate musicality is the tool we use to learn our languages as babies. Our ears are sensitive to the melodies and rhythms of what is spoken around us even before we are born. We notice immediately subtle changes in timber, dynamics, accents and style in order to understand more than just the words. It is in order to understand the communication.

I am, therefore I think musically.

Stepping beyond spoken language in singing or wordless music, we go deeper into our human expression. It is powerful during celebrations, worship time, for patriotism and in marketing. Music can calm us, move us to fervor, or bring us to tears and can remain in our memories for our entire life.

I am, therefore I hum and whistle and sing.

It is inarguable that music moves us. I find proof in watching babies when they hear music. One of my favorite Kindermusik memories is of 16 month Ella at her first Kindermusik class. She was a little uneasy, not really knowing if she was to be dropped off or not. She looked at me suspiciously as I tempted her with the egg shakers. As I began singing our “Hello” song still worried and frowning she began the universal toddler dance. She just could not keep herself from dancing.

I am, therefore I sway and dance.

Musical experiences in community bring everyone to a new level of joyful connection. It’s like an electrical charge when our Kindermusik class keeps the beat while playing rhythmic patterns or dances to an accelerando or sings in a round. There’s an intensity of concentration, a joyfulness of unity, and pleasure in sounding and moving together that brings us all, parents and children to revel in each other.

I am, therefore I clap and stomp to the beat.

I think, sing, dance and clap, therefore I am!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Let Them Be Little

Turn on the speakers....cuddle up together...(whole family) and listen to this....and try to stop the clock.....where's the pause button.....


Kindness Counts
Notice — and encourage — your child's random acts of kindness.
By Becky Bailey Ph.D November , 2006

A young mother strokes her screaming infant's head as her family waits on what seems to be the slowest restaurant service in the world. A harried waitress approaches the table with a smile and stoops to pick up the napkin that 4-year-old Samuel has tossed to the floor for the umpteenth time. Samuel sits up tall, kisses his crying sister on the head, and announces, "Mommy wants her food! Now!"

Please read the rest! FIND KINDNESS HERE.

A parent's words carry a great deal of power. Becky Bailey's article is very exact in what
to say when you noticing a kind action and the words a parent chooses make a great impact on how the compliment is received. I'd love you to read her whole article so that you are better able to respond in kindess!

If you are interested in reading more like this then go get Alfie Kohn's book "Punish by Rewards".

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thank You to all the Families Who Choose Kindermusik of Holland

Maestro Kindermusik Educator Yvette Odell with 6 year old graduating student, Cassie Miller

Holland MI – Yvette Odell has been recognized in the top 5% of Kindermusik educators world wide.

Odell is an early childhood specialist at Kindermusik of Holland. She has been teaching at Kindermusik in Holland for 12 years and has received the award each of the 7 years that it has been offered. The “Maestro” award recognizes educators for excellence and fast-growing programs.

Odell is one of over 5,000 licensed educators in the world who use Kindermusik’s music and movement curricula. She began teaching two Kindermusik classes in 1995 and in 1998 took over as director of the program here in the Holland area. Today the Kindermusik of Holland studio at Lakeway Plaza on Lakewood has 3 teachers and offers day, evening and weekend classes.

“Kindermusik is not only a fun activity for infants and children; it is an experience which affects the intellect as well. The brain develops and learning is affected in a joyful environment rich in sensory experiences. Activities that include the adults add to a child’s sense of security and that greatly enhances the cognitive experience.” says Odell. “The curriculum is excellently based in current research on the total development of the child.” Odell is very passionate about children and their development. She often speaks to local groups and at conferences.

“The Kindermusik Maestro has a mission: helping children become better learners and helping parents understand how to help them reach their highest potential,” said Michael Dougherty, CEO at Kindermusik International, based in Greensboro, NC.

The Maestro Program recognizes licensed Kindermusik educators who master one of three levels in early childhood development: fast-growing programs, outstanding community service, and teaching excellence.

Monday July 30, Odell will host a free music and movement storytime with the theme of Celebration! Call 616-392-7182 to join in.

For more information about Kindermusik of Holland please see Holland.kindermusik.net or call 616-392-7182.

### Kindermusik International is the world’s leading publisher of music and movement curricula for parents and their children, ages newborn to 7 years old. More than 5,000 licensed educators use the Kindermusik curricula in more than 35 countries, reaching more than 1 million families. The award-winning books, CDs, games, and instruments are based on more than 25 years of experience creating curricula based on new and proven research in child development, designed to nurture skills in the whole child: cognitive, physical, social, emotional, language and musical.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Time for Family Time

Come all you playmates! Join me for some beautiful Family Time starting July 26 for 5 Thursday mornings at 10am.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Choosing Activities For Your Children

Parents everywhere have a zillion great choices in kid activities. Soccer, T-Ball, gymnastics, dance, piano, violin.... What's best? Which class will give the most return on the investment?

Here's what one educator and studio owner of Performing Arts Center in Pawcatuck notices in her students. I asked her if I could quote her post on our educator's email loop and she agreed so here it is:

Posted by: "Heather Fortier" Thu Jul 12, 2007 1:46 pm
As an owner of a dance/gymnastics/kindermusik center I strongly encourage parents to enroll in a Kindermusik class first. I have found that children who participate in Kindermusik, when they enter into a dance or gymnastics class have better listening skills, are more agile, advance faster, do better on balance beam and balancing skills. Dancers have much better musicality than those that just do dance. All around - happier teachers, happier kids, happier parents..... They will truly appreciate the students participating in Kindermusik first.

Moms and Dads, of course your kid wants to climb, tumble and jump; and that is so important for their growing, exploring bodies. Know what your kids need too, Kindermusik. Kindermusik explores concepts to help with musicality-understanding rhythms (important for floor work), it stimulates their vestibular system (which helps with the bars), it helps with their sense of balance( which is beneficial for beam), and it helps their spatial awareness skills (which helps with vaulting). All around Kindermusik is the building block for future thinkers, movers and doers. Enroll in a class and see the growth before your eyes...oh yeah, you'll have fun too!.....Heather

And here's my extra bonus for you if you are in Kindermusik: It really is 2 for the price of one since your Kindermusik educators work hard to share with parents information on child development, parenting tips, great ideas for activities for nurturing your bond together in class and beyond, time to calm yourself and enjoy being with your children...and more...

Have you signed up for fall classes yet? Did you know there's still time to do lots of learning in August? The last summer session starts July 26.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Being able to keep a steady beat with a group is an important skill evident in good readers:

In Village we help them feel the beat.

In Our Time we help them play the beat.

In Imagine That! We help them vary the beat.

In Young Child we help them read and write the beat.

Enroll now for summer classes and fall semester: holland.kindermusik.net
Classes are for newborn to 7+ year olds. (ask me about the 5 weeks for free for under 5 months old.)

Email this blog to your friends! http://www.kindermusikofholland.blogspot.com/

Thanks! (Your friends will thank you too!)
and thanks to Kindermusik Loopers for this FOL!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

12 Month-old Signs CRY instead of Crying!

Here's a video to show the possibility in exposing your children to sign language.

Kindermusik Sign and Sing class are Thursdays in August. Parents and children both learn a lot!

12 Month-old Signs CRY instead of Crying!
12-month old signs CRY instead of crying! Signs are capitalized. Baby signs/says, "AUDREY (A fist on her chin Signing Smart TM 12-month old signs CRY instead of crying! Signs are capitalized. Baby signs/says, "AUDREY (A fist on her chin), CRYING; (feels) YUCKY, (wants) Ma MILK MAMA!" Rather than cry, she tells me she feels like crying!! Two word sentences are typical between 18-24 months, but this is a 5 word sentence! Thank you SIGNING SMART and Kindermusik Sign & Sing for the ASL STRATEGIES!! I can truly have a conversation with my baby!

Thank you Miss Tracey! What a golden gem of a video.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Summer Classes at Kindermusik of Holland

I'd like to keep you up to date on the summer schedule for Kindermusik.

The air conditioner is on!!!

Mrs. Darcy is teaching Our Time and Village aged classes beginning this Tuesday and Wednesday. Because the Our Time age is so popular and classes were full, she's added another: ABC Music and Me "Let's Play" on Wednesdays at 10:15am.
There's still room in the Village class and the special for babies under 5 months get 5 weeks free tuition is still running. Help us get the word out!! That's Tuesday evenings at 7 through July starting 7/10/07. If you've never taken Village with your baby (newborn to 18 months) then you'll want to use one of the $20 off coupons. Just mention it in the comment area when you enroll. (one discount per child please)

The August schedule has changed also.
Yvette is teaching :
Village at 9 am Thursday mornings beginning August 2nd (5 weeks)
Family Time (Bring everyone!) 10am Thursdays beginning July 26 (5 weeks) (team teach with Ms. Heather)
Sign and Sing at 11am Thursday mornings beginning August 2 (team teach with Ms. Heather)

Enroll today!

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Many of you know how to find me in the summer! Every Wednesday and Saturday I'm at the Farmer's Market on 8th St. in Holland...(That's how I make ends meet so I can keep teaching Kindermusik!) I love to people watch and listen to the street performers. I also greet my fan club...the Kindermusik Kids know where to find me: at the Boeve's stand!

As you can see from what's in Anne's basket, pickles are really in season right now. They'll still have a quantity this Wednesday but the peak was probably today.

Here's my favorite pickle recipe:
Sun Pickles

in a gallon crock or glass container (not metal) combine
6 1/2 C water
3 1/4 C White Vinegar
1 tsp Alum (Keeps the pickles crisp)
2/3 C Pickling salt (regular salt has additives and won't work)

Take the very ends off of pickling cucumbers and layer in the container with peeled garlic cloves and dill. (The amount of dill and garlic varies with the family's taste. My kids LOVE the garlic.)

Cover the pickles with the brine solution. Leave in the sun (or on the counter) for 10 days. Refrigerate and enjoy within 6 weeks.

I like to sing the "Spirit of the Sun" song from Imagine That! Hello Weather CD in thanksgiving while I layer everything in the containers:

Spirit of the sun

Spirit of the rain

Warm the earth and feed the grain

Hi ya hi ya hi ya

Hi ya hi ya

Hi ya hi ya hi ya

A little bit tart!
Ahhhhh, summer.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Courageous Put Music At the Top of the Education Priorities List

Andrea Peterson, the 2007 Teacher of the Year “The beautiful thing about music is that it can give kids skills that transfer over into their reading, writing, and math.”
Watch Andrea on ed.gov
Your Kindermusik children have a great beginning and as Kindermusik says: A great beginning never ends....So what after Kindermusik then? When they're 8 and can read music because we've been singing, dancing, clapping and reading the quarter notes, forte, syncopation......everything musical? Then what? Keep it going. Piano, orchestra, band, choir....lots and lots of possibilities.
When I meet a child too old for Kindermusik I like to ask: What instrument do you play? (just as if it was completely the most logical thing for a student of that age to be doing.) If they say piano or guitar or trombone I congratulate them. If they say "I don't play anything" then I tell them they must start right away! Dream it into happening! I say go talk to your parents about this.
Here's a special announcement for homeschool families: Holland Sinfonia! begins in September.
Through the LMHSC (Lake Michigan Home School Connection, Inc.) both orchestra and band will be offered. I'm very excited to be conducting the orchestra! And rehearsals will be at the Kindermusik Studio. How convenient is that? Chris Monteiro will be leading the Beginning and Intermediate Bands
We will be practicing all the things Andrea Peterson talked about in the video clip above....raising achievement: focus, team work, hard work ethic.......and great habits.
If you are interested or have questions please contact either sinfonia@lmhsc.org or me at singandtwirl@sbcglobal.net.
Thanks Molly for keeping us up with all the great info you share.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

This is my mom's 1st 4th of July as an American Citizen. She's been in the US for over 5 years and has decided that she really wants to vote. Congratulations mom!

Woody Guthrie, the composer of "This Land Is Your Land," was one of the most influential voices in the entire American folk music tradition. His personal and musical styles were deeply influenced by his childhood in rural Oklahoma during the Great Depression years, which led him to a hobo life-style, a powerful dislike of greed, and a deep appreciation for the diversity of America's everyday folk.
In February 1940, Guthrie wrote "This Land is Your Land" in reaction to Irving Berlin's song "God Bless America." Guthrie heard Berlin's song repeatedly while he traveled cross-country and became increasingly annoyed that it glossed over the lop-sided distribution of land and wealth that he was observing and had experienced as a child. Although Guthrie was no statistician his observations accurately reflected the fact that, even in the depths of the Depression, nearly 20 percent of the nation's wealth rested with one percent of its population.

Guthrie originally entitled his song "God Blessed America for Me," a line repeated at the end of each verse. By the time he first recorded the song with Cisco Houston, in April 1944, he changed the lines to "This land was made for you and me," which invokes the title by which his song has been known ever since -- "This Land Is Your Land." Amazingly Guthrie and Houston recorded over 160 songs during that prolific set of recording sessions. Since then "This Land Is Your Land" has been re-recorded by numerous vocal artists including: Bing Crosby, Judy Collins, Harry Belafonte, Fred Waring, Pete Seeger, and the Limeliters.
Sometime before April 1944 Guthrie removed the final verse he originally wrote for "This Land Is Your Land." In its place he eventually wrote an additional verse that appeared in his 1946 mimeographed pamphlet entitled Ten Songs for Two Bits.
Nobody living can ever stop meAs I go walking my Freedom HighwayNobody living can make me turn backThis land was made for you and me.
Library of Congress Music, Theater and Dance
this land is your land
More on Woodie Guthrie.

For those families who have the Village CDs....which one has "Grassy grass grass...."? That one actually has Woodie Guthrie's voice!

Have a star spangled day.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Moms and Dads: Wear Your Helmet.

The single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycles crashes is the helmet. Thank you to Lakeshore Safekids for donating the bike helmets to Holland Hospital. That's where Ben got his new helmet!
Just last week Anne was noticing a family of bicyclists enjoying our lovely weather. All 3 children nicely helmeted, dad too was wearing his. But the mom was enjoying the breeze flow through her long hair.
Doctors say that the arc a 3 year old makes when falling from a bicycle can really do damage but consider the difference in weight and distance in the equation for an adult. You can bet it will affect the result. Adults you just gotta wear your helmets too. MOM! TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!! You are not the only one that can take care of your children but you are the best mom they have. If you can't do it for yourself then consider your powerful example in modeling helmet wearing to your children. You do hope they will wear their helmets as adults, right?

Now for the story. Ben is my child but he's a legal adult. He's very tall, in case you haven't met him: 6'8"+) He had a pretty serious bike accident on Saturday. When his front wheel came off (still a mystery) he broke his helmet on the bike path. So with a night in the hospital, we are grateful for the miracles of no broken bones and that he's still a brilliant guy. He's got an awful lot of stiches on his chin and lip.

Thank you to the neighbors who came to him first, thank you to the paramedics and Holland Hospital and all the doctors....we know you were all starting your week of holiday vacation....Thank you.