Thursday, May 29, 2008


My daughter Claire has been involved in this little project at church. It's a community wide event so walk on over, bike on over, skate on over!

Travel Green!

The Blessing of All Green Modes of Transportation

Excited about eco-friendly travel? Whether it’s a bicycle, stroller, fuel efficient vehicle, skateboard, or feet, come have it blessed!

Literature will be available on topics such as bicycle safety, personal wellness, and environmental impact. We’ll also have maps of trails, giveaways, and more!

All are welcomed to this free community event. Bring a friend and a nonperishable food item for the St. Vincent de Paul Center. For more info call Carol Vandergriff at (616) 392-4434.

Saturday, June 14 at 3:00 pm at

St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church

195 W 13th St. in Holland

Support our planet...

...promote wellness

Summer Music

Kindermusik classes are over!
I'm missing you already! What do we do now? Before you are over involved in activities make sure you reserve your one on one time with your children. Sign up for the Kindermusik summer sessions right now!!

I've already started my summer job at the Holland Farmer's Market! I have enjoyed seeing some of my "fan club" out to buy plants for the garden. The Boeve's (that's the farmer that I work for) sell lots of tomato and pepper plants and other veggies for making up your garden. My favorite plants though, are the herbs. Come by for some aromatherapy!

Every Wednesday at the market from 10am to noon there will be children's programming. So on June 11 I will be there with some Kindermusik activities! Come for the fun!

Farmers Market Kids Activities: Kindermusik at the Market (Session One)

Wednesday June 11, 10:00 AM

Eighth Street Marketplace 150 West Eighth Street Holland, MI 49423 42.790063, -86.11421

Yvette Odell, from Kindermusik of Holland will be back at the market with fun farm songs and engaging activities for children. She’ll spark the imagination with songs about everything from corn seeds and cabbages to sun and rain. Spend the morning singing, twirling, and making music at the market!

The Big Read Bus will visit the Farmers Market from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with great books for fun summer reading!

Admission: free

Organized by: Downtown Holland Principal Shopping District
Contact: Holland Farmers Market

Monday, May 19, 2008


The University Musical Society honors flutist Sir James Galway at the

13th Annual Ford Honors Program.

So.....I must brag a little!!! My flute duet friend and I went this concert and as part of the award to honor Sir James Galway we played a brand new piece of flute music commissioned as a surprise gift for him. The piece was a fantasie on "Oh, Danny Boy" and it was beautiful. So I've been going around telling everyone that I PLAYED FOR James Galway! (Hey, my name is even listed!) <<>> Of course the details are that there were over 100 flutes in this choir but it was very much a thrill for me! Sir James Galway said that out of all the halls in the world to play in his favorite was the opera hall in Sydney Australia and second was Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. True; as I listened to his concert I felt like my head was inside the piano...I could hear the felt of the hammers hit the strings and at the same time the flute was in perfect balance....It was a beautiful concert. I also enjoyed hearing his wife play with him on the Franz & Karl Doppler : Rigoletto Fantasy

As I look at the program book I'm thinking...."Now I HAVE to start a scrapbook!"

Friday, May 9, 2008

Listening with our whole bodies...

Here's a very interesting video clip which touches on the importance of listening with the perspective of helping Autistic children. I hope you notice that they are stimulating the children's vestibular system WHILE they are listening. (Rocking, swinging etc.)

I found a little more about how babies use listening while they are in utero (which is ALWAYS in motion) from Valerie DeJean.

Tomatis talks at length about the importance of fetal listening in the development of all the vestibular functions we have discussed so far, much of them related to the development of praxis. He also the importance of fetal listening on the later development of language.

We know that the ear is functioning in utero at five months gestation.

Babies are born imprinted to their mothers voice because they have been bathed in the sound of it for the last four months of gestation.

Phonemes are the smallest units of sound from which we form words.There are 52 phonemes from which all of the worlds 6000 languages are formed.

Ultra sound studies have shown that by the seventh month in utero, the fetus responds to each of the phonemes in a word spoken by the mother with a specific muscular movement.

Also the fetus responds immediately, in other words there is no timedelay between the sensory input of the mother's voice and the motorresponse of the fetus. A very fast system - and most likely is the boneconduction system, which Tomatis has always described as having a very rapid conduction. All this is preparing the baby for language.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Brand New Music

One thing that I admire is the act of commissioning a brand new musical work. This past spring was the 20 anniversary of the Holland Area Youth Orchestra and they decided to commission a new piece in celebration. The composer (Wow! A living composer!), Matthew Tommasini, posted the recording of the piece on his website. The solo violin in the 1st movement is my daughter Claire! (You know she's a Kindermusik graduate, don't you? And that she was accepted in the Lawrence University Conservatory!
Complete Recording (MP3 6MB)

The title Sonic Dreams Made Real refers to the orchestra itself and combines elements of a violin concerto and fanfare. The first movement begins with a repeating, "dreamy" arpeggio played by the piano and percussion. From this arpeggio, a solo violin melody emerges, calling out to other members of the orchestra to begin playing. The lyrical movement builds to a climax as all the members of the orchestra enter, leading into the unrelenting, fast-paced second movement. This movement builds on motives from the opening which are finally transformed into a brass fanfare accompanied by pulsating chords in the other sections of the orchestra to the end the piece. Sonic Dreams Made Real was commissioned by the Holland Symphony Youth Orchestras in commemoration of their 20th anniversary season.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Challenge of Children

The 2008 Challenge of Children Conference will be held on
Thursday, May 15, 2008
at Hope College, Holland, MI.
This free parenting conference is a community effort among Allegan, Ottawa, and Muskegon County Health and Human Service Organizations.
Hello Families in Holland MI,
We are indeed fortunate to have this wonderful annual free conference right here in our community. Please take advantage of it by REGISTERING and attending.

Darcy is presenting again this year (morning session): Sign, Play and Sing-American Sign Language with your little one.
And I am presenting also (afternoon session): Sing and Twirl: Move to Learn, How the brain and the body depends on movement to grow and learn and how music can enhance learning.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Language developement

I found the above video of an African music group. I hope you enjoy watching and listening to the language and music. If you get about 2/3 of the way through you can hear them singing a couple words in English...I nearly missed it because I was just thinking I wouldn't understand anything!

Between 18 months old and 4 years old children are comprehending on average about 1 word for every hour they are awake. By 4 years old they would have a vocabulary of 10,000 words. It is recommended that parents speak about 17,000 words daily to their children.

If you are using that many words then you are talking a lot! The advantage to that is you are also modeling HOW TO THINK. I'd say that's pretty valuable. Don't be afraid to wax poetic or even silly! Even those lessons are valuable.

In our Kindermusik Our Time class (18months to 3 1/2 year olds) we did an experiment with the little Setswana folk song by taking a risk to boldly sing along with words that we didn't understand or know--without referring to the song chart. Many said that they found it very challenging-that it took a huge amount of concentration. Others commented that while they understood the first word "Hey" it was hard to sing it in time and were able to "get" the last syllable although only as an echo. Some still tried to sneak a peak at the words on the chart thereby using an adult tool of deciphering. Interesting to put yourself into the feelings a 2 year old
might be experiencing all day long.

Hey, Tswana, nehe tipe same Tswana. Hey, Bwana, nehe tipe same Bwana.

Enjoy experiencing your child's world. Thank you for bringing them to Kindermusik.
Love and hugs,