Last Tuesday, our book All Together Singing in the Kitchen: Creative Ways to Make and Listen to Music as a Family came out, and it occurred to me that it might be a good idea for me to read it. Yes, I did write (half of) it, and I certainly read and co-edited the other half, but that was months ago, and these days with my post-partum* brain, it may as well have been Beowolf, which I kind of read in high school, in terms of my recollect.
So it’s actually a good book. Especially the parts Katryna wrote. It’s divided into three sections: Part One is “Musical Beginnings,” in which we discuss the elements of music: singing, keeping the beat, accompaniment and listening. Part Two is called “The Musical Family” in which we get into lots of nuts and bolts, songs and dances, games and activities, including making instruments and writing songs.
Part Three is called “Deepening Your Relationship With Music,” and has three chapters: Music Education, Family Traditions and Community Celebrations. Last month, we rolled all three of these chapters into one experience by inviting the participants of all the classes we teach–HooteNanny (children aged 0-5), HooteNanny Singers (children aged 4-10 which is a new class we are starting this fall) and Family Guitar Workshop (moms and dads who want to play guitar for their kids)–to gather for a late summer picnic in Look Park.
We commandeered a group of picnic tables and shared food together while the children played on the play structures. Then we took up our guitars and sang our hearts out–“Going To Boston,” “Organic Farm,” “Aikendrum,” “Country Roads,” “Hill an Gully Rider, ” and “John the Rabbit.”
Other families came to our site to hear what we were doing and some joined in. Kids sang, danced, played their own guitars and shook eggs and banged on drums.
And just as the skies parted for a shower, we gathered up our instruments, picnic baskets and babies and ran for it, waving goodbye to each other and vowing to keep doing the work/play of weaving music into the lives of our families.
*I was recently told that a mother is post-partum until the child is four. Isn’t that great news?