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Archive for the ‘Kids’ Music’ Category

Deb’s House Concerts

If Only They Knew

I went to a party a few years ago. It was a celebration in honor of a famous citizen of the city where I live. I thought at the time, “if only they knew, they’d throw a party for …”

I Still Feel That Way

They still don’t know. She’s not famous, and she never will be. But, her contributions are many.

What’s So Special About Her?

She’s good at imagining how things can be, even if they are not that way at the moment.

She believes in taking care of her body by avoiding recreational poisons, but she does enjoy a good dessert.

She traveled internationally for her honeymoon, something that was probably unheard of in her small town.

She’s all about helping children make music. She’s taught generations of children.

She works for peace, justice, and equality in her own realm. She doesn’t talk love, she lives it.

She cried when my dog was dying and I was sad.

She’s green. I suddenly realized last year that she’s been saving the earth for decades.

She does not worry. She does not focus on “what if” scenarios. She appreciates each day as it comes.

She believes in God. She also sees the evolution of life that occurs around us every day.

She reads stories to children. She reads stories to adults. And, she enjoys listening to stories told by storytellers.

Quiet Goodness

You probably don’t know her. You’ll probably never meet her. But, the world is a better place because of her.

Mom

I love you, Mom.

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Deb’s House Concerts

Google’s Great Logos

I love to go to google.com and see a special logo. This week, all week, the logos have been about Sesame Street’s 40th birthday.

Where Were You 40 Years Ago (and, years since then)?

Did you watch Sesame Street when you were growing up? I did not. I wonder if I watched TV when I was a toddler and preschool age. I doubt it.

Sesame Street Logos All Week

Here’s the one from today:

Happy 40th Sesame Street

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Deb’s House Concerts

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Patrick Swayze

I want to say something about Patrick Swayze. He seemed like such a nice guy, genuine, with a good heart. That impression may have begun with his character in Dirty Dancing and continued with his character in Ghost. But, his decades-long love with his wife added the real-life component to his image.

Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary

Mary Travers was part of a threesome that provided part of the acoustic soundtrack for the baby boom generation. Their performing years ended long ago, but the grandchildren of baby boomers still sing their songs in their elementary school classrooms.

Two Stars That Shot Across The Sky This Week

Both Patrick Swayze and Mary Travers left this world this week. Patrick Swayze died after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Mary Travers died after a battle with leukemia. Their physical lives here have ended,  but their artistic contributions will live on and continue to influence people for good in the years to come.

Susan Boyle, Rising Star

I wanted to write about Susan Boyle when she first blasted to fame in her overnight stardom that began with her performance on Britian’s Got Talent. I waited, because it seemed like everyone was writing about her. I’m glad she survived those first few weeks and things are going well for her.  It looks like she has adjusted well to her complete change in lifestyle, and she is thriving again. She performed Wild Horses on America’s Got Talent final on 16th September, 2009.

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Deb’s House Concerts

efm guitar imageDuck - yellow bath toy

Back to First Grade

I went back again today! It’s the end of the year. The scheduled activities are winding down. The kids love my songs (and sing along on most of them).  And, the teacher keeps asking if I can come back again before the end of school. So, I went back to first grade again today! 🙂

First Grade Is Fun

Yes, it was fun. It’s fun every time.

Homemade Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Today I went to my school and took a test. Then, I went to my nephew’s school and took homemade ice cream (made after my school and before his school). This batch was made with the basic recipe and sliced Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips.

Only a Taste, but What at Taste It Was!

I only had enough ice cream for a few bites each. The ice cream maker only makes 1.5 quarts and there were 22 people to serve. There was actually a little left over, but that was only because I was very conservative in my servings, because I wanted to be sure everyone got some.

Yummy!

It was yummy! 🙂 The kids liked it a lot! They talked about how good it was.There were many comments about how good it was and many “Thank You”s.

First-Grade-Made Ice Cream Tomorrow (Instructions)

The teacher said they can make their own ice cream tomorrow. She has a great recipe. Milk and cream and sugar in a baggie. Put that baggie in a bigger baggie filled with ice and salt. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the cold. Turn and flip and jiggle the bag. Pass it back and forth with a friend. When it’s ready, dig in! Yumm!

Music Follows “Mmm”, Songs Follow Sweet Desserts

After they finished their ice cream and called out their, “Thank You”s, the children moved to the front of the classroom where they sit to listen to stories and songs. Some of the children stayed at their desks, since they prefer that vantage point. (I would probably be a desk kid. I wonder if there is an introvert vs extravert correspondence to desk-sitters vs floor-sitters.)

Sang Almost All of  the Songs

We had more time than usual today, so I started at the beginning, and I proceeded to sing my way through the Weird Duck collection of songs. I was almost able to sing every song in the book (thirteen songs). They wanted to be sure they’d heard all the songs. (I sang a little of every song they’d not yet heard when I was there the other day.) They even asked, “Are there any songs you haven’t sung for us?”

Stories Behind the Songs

I told them my inspiration for a few of the songs. I told them why I wrote them and exactly what I was thinking when I wrote certain lines. I talked about how we get comfortable, and we don’t want change (“Mama Duck’s pond is in this pot, and this is where she’ll stay.”), but change is usually okay (“By Mama Duck’s misfortune, now your life can be changed.”) And, I talked about how we are all more alike than we are different. “We’re all a part of all of life. We’re all a part of love.”

They Asked, “What was … about?”

That prompted them to ask about stories I’d not explained. “Why did you write Snow Goose?” I told them I’d never even known there was such a creature as a Snow Goose. Then, I learned of a shop that used that image and name, and I wanted to write a fairy tale about a snow goose. (The teacher found a picture of a snow goose and showed it to the class.)

Let the Story Lead You Where It Wants to Go

I told them I was surprised by where the story took me. I thought it would be a happy story all the way through, but at the end it was suddenly sad when she left. I told them they can write that way, too, just start writing and see where the story goes.

I Love Singing For Young Children

What a wonderful audience they are! They’re so wonderful. They’re enthusiastic. They’re attentive. They’re appreciative. They’re interested. They sing along. They clap and tap and drum and sway. They act out the words.

Adults Are Like Me? What A Surprise (ha!)

Adults can sometimes be too much like I am, just sitting quietly in the audience, hesitant to do anything.  Children still have the spark that the rest of us have to remember to keep alive. I really enjoy the energy that’s in a crowd of happy, singing children.

I Had Hoped to Give Each Child A “Weird Duck” CD

I know I still have some (from when they were made in 2003). But, I can’t find them. I thought I might just burn a copy for each child, but that’s a long process, and I’ve not found a block of time suitable for accomplishing that task. I’m still hoping to find a way to do that before the end of their last school day for this year, their last day of first grade (this Friday!).

A Path I Want to Keep Traveling

I’ve had a great time singing for these children, and having them enjoy my songs and sing them with me. It’s a thrill to have them ask for certain songs and remember the words. I know it was a good experience for them, too, and they’ll remember it for years to come. I need to find a way to make singing for children a regular part of my life.

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This post was written late night June 10, 2009.

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Homemade Ice Cream Posts:

Homemade Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and Songs About Ducks, Geese, Donkeys and Teddy Bears
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe – No Eggs – No Cooking – EASY! 🙂
My Mother’s Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
Flavors Other Than Vanilla Homemade Ice Cream

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Deb’s House Concerts

efm guitar imageDuck - yellow bath toy

Hospice Last Night

Last night, I went with my sister to visit a friend who is in her last days of life in this world. My sister asked her if she wanted music, and she said yes. So, I took a guitar, and we went to see her.

Psalm 23

We sang Psalm 23 (with music I wrote when I was in the ninth grade). I have sung it for weddings, funerals, church services and people who are dying.  I sang it for my grandmother before she died, my sister’s wedding and my grandfather’s funeral (all a few years ago).

I sang it for church and for the funeral of a woman in our church, by her request before she died, way back when I was in high school. I’ve sung it many times and many places over the years. I don’t know why I’ve never had it arranged for choirs and soloists and sold it through a church music publisher. (I wrote the music only, of course!)

Psalm 23

The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul.
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Yea, tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.  For Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before  me in the presence of mine enemies. Thou annointest my head with oil. My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace was my great-grandmother’s favorite song. So, of course, it was my favorite song at some point in my childhood. Later, I liked it less because of the “saved a wretch like me” part, thinking there is too much emphasis on everyone being so horrible rather than people knowing they are greatly loved. But, that line has legitimacy. It was written by a former slave trader in the 1700s, and many people do feel wretched. I like the song other than the word ‘wretch’.

My sister and I sang it slowly, with harmony. It felt like  Appalachian mountain music. I liked it that way, and I thought maybe I’ll start singing it again after all.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind, but now I see.

T’was grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers toils and snares we have already come.
‘Tis grace hath brought us safe this far, and grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’d first begun.

The Lord Bless You and Keep You

We tried to sing the version that we’ve heard sung by the choir all our lives. We were kind of winging it, and we had a little trouble with the various parts and overlapping lines. But, we had the idea.

The Lord Bless you and keep you.
The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and, give you peace.
The Lord lift His countenance upon, and be gracious unto you.

Elementary School Today

This morning, I sang for one first grade class and three fourth grade classes (the fourth graders were all in one room). I was at the school for about two hours. This afternoon, in about an hour, I’ll sing again for the other first grade where I’ve sung three times before. Those kids already know my songs and sing them with me! 🙂

First Grade This Morning

This morning, I sang for one of the first grade classes I sang for awhile back. This is the last week of school. The children are excited and full of energy. I was with them for close to an hour, I think.

I always try to tell them a little bit about the songs. I tell them whatever special  message I intended, and I encourage them to sing along. The first graders are ready to sing at a moment’s notice. They love it.

Fourth Graders … a room full of them

Three classes of fourth graders were all together in a room, having just completed another activity together. There was testing going on in the school, and they needed to stay quiet, so the teachers were happy to have me appear (after singing for the 1st grade) and entertain the kids for a few minutes. I think I probably sang for about 45 minutes for them, too.

Stop Talking So Much! Sing!

I should probably think about how I feel when I’m in the audience, so I can make sure I don’t talk too much between songs. When people go to hear you sing, that’s what they want, songs.

Still Finding My Way

I’m still finding my way with singing for kids. I’m wanting to be sure I have the right songs for the right age group. So, I’m probably doing a little more storytelling and explaining (the history of the songs) than I would normally do.

Over-Explaining the Meaning and the Message

I want to be so careful to be sure these children understand the meaning and the message of the songs. I don’t know why I think I have to explain the lyrics. I grew up with fairy tales filled with archetypal characters, good and evil. And,  there were fables, too, complete with talking animals and lessons at the end of each story. That’s how my songs on the Weird Duck cd are. So, why do I feel like I have to explain them???? (sigh)

It’s Been Good For Me

I used to sing often when I was younger. But, at some point, I backed away from it.  It’s always been hard for me to know where I fit musically. It’s been good for me to start singing again in the past few months, singing for 1st and 4th grade classes (by arrangement with the teachers).  It’s been great having such enthusiastic audiences.

Still Trying to Find My Place Musically

I’ve never been sure who my audience is. I’m still not entirely sure who likes my music.

Lots of people downloaded my songs when they were on eFolkMusic. But, I was never sure who my audience was. I’d still like to figure that out.

Weird Duck Is Fun to Sing

I do know that early elementary school aged children enjoy my Weird Duck songs.  In the class where I’ve been the most in the past few months, those children know the choruses to the songs. They really like Weird Duck, and they sing it with great gusto! 🙂

“You’re so weird,” you tell me all the time.
“You’re so weird,” you tell me all the time.
“You’re  a weird duck. You’re  a weird duck.”
from Weird Duck c.2003 Deborah L. Hord

Informal Market Analysis

I was a little unsure about the age-appropriateness of the songs on the Weird Duck cd (before these recent performances for the children), but I feel confident about it now. How could I have even imagined that fables and fairy tales about animals would not be appropriate for this age group?

I’ve ‘tested’ all the songs on the first graders in the class where I’ve sung so many times. I’ve given them the option of telling me if they don’t like any of the songs. I’ve asked if the songs were too young for them, or too serious, or if they just didn’t like them for some reason. They were enthusiastic about every single song.

Renaming the Weird Duck CD (removing the subtitle)

I’m thinking of removing the subtitle of my Weird Duck cd. It used to say, “Weird Duck – and other animal tales for grown ups.” But, I now think the songs are just right for the children. They’re all about animals: ducks, dogs, a snow goose, a donkey, a teddy bear, a small frightened stray (type of animal unnamed).

Singing for Schools and Birthday Parties

I’m looking forward to developing music programs for children, for schools or birthday parties, by invitation of the teachers and parents. And, I’ll redo the packaging on the cd, so that it’s colorful and attractive and has the words, too. 🙂

mp3 Downloads Online

I used to have my songs available on eFolkMusic. They’re not available there anymore. They moved to a new platform (linux vs windows), and they’re no longer selling the music there. I still am listed there as one of their artists, but the selling of the mp3s has to be done elsewhere.

After the efolkmusic site moved, I did not do anything else. They encouraged us to list our songs with other websites where we could sell mp3 downloads. But I’ve not yet put up my songs anywhere else. I need to focus on that again, and put up mp3s where people can download and build a collection of their favorite songs.

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Deb’s House Concerts

efm guitar imageDuck - yellow bath toy

Singing for First Graders

I love to sing for young children. They like my songs. They sing along. They are so excited about music and life. They’re so easy to please.

First Grade and Fourth Grade

I’ve sung for a first grade class three times and a fourth grade class once in the past few months. All three classes enjoyed the music (sang for one first grade twice), but the older children  seemed to feel a little self-conscious, and they tried really hard not to show that they enjoyed it. I heard later that they enjoyed the music.

Adults as an Audience

I really should do more music for young children. They’re such an easy audience. Adults are harder to please. They’ve lived longer. They have very specific ideas about what they like. I include myself in that group. I’m much harder to please than a six year old child.

My Teddy Bear Song

Young children to love this song. I’ve wanted to find a way to post it on my web page, but I’ve never known how. This evening, I decided to try. I still can’t quite figure it out.

Teddy Bear Power Point

I made a little Power Point presentation with only one page. It has this song attached. I can’t figure out how to get the file to load. It says it’s loading the .ppt file, but it comes up as text only.

How Can I Attach an MP3 File to This Post?

Can anyone tell me how to upload an mp3 file, or change an mp3 to another form so I can upload it and have it play on this page?

Teddy Bear - copyright Deborah L. Hord words and music

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Deb’s House Concerts

efm guitar imageDuck - yellow bath toy

eFolkMusic is Moving (to a bigger and better home)

eFolkMusic is moving the website to a new home.  It’s moving to a different type of server, and different programming.

eFolkMusic will no longer sell mp3 tracks

You’ll still be able to get the free ‘member mp3 ‘tracks. So, that has not changed. And, you’ll still be able to buy mp3 downloads from your favorite artists who are listed on eFolkMusic.You’ll just need to follow the links they provide to the location where they’re selling their music.

What has changed is …

I have not signed up to sell mp3s anywhere. I’ll still have some member mp3s (free to members) on eFolkMusic. But, I will need to upload my songs to the new site (if I understand correctly), before you will have access to them. I am pretty sure that I will not be doing that right away.

Soooooo, if you like my songs and want to download them,

Now is the time. If you’re a member ($4.95 for a month), you can download 100 member mp3s. I have just changed the status on my songs, so that everything I have posted is a member mp3.  I expect this to last for about 10 or 12 days (until the new site is active).

What this means for you:

If you want my songs, every one of the 39 mp3s that is on eFolkMusic will be a FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD for members.  Of course it’s not totally free, but if you divide $4.95 by the 100 free mp3 downloads you can get, that’s 4.95 cents per mp3. If you only download my 39 songs, it’s 12.6 cents per mp3. Either way, it’s a deal.

Get your (almost completely) free mp3 downloads here.

Listen to a bit of the previews and pick the ones you want. Then, use the balance of your 100 member mp3s to round out your collection.

Thanks for listening. 🙂

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