Monday, February 13, 2012

A First For Me!

Before I tell my little story, THANK YOU to Karen Wagner for being a superb oboist and presenter at Symphony Storytime. She had a wonderfully easy and personal way of communicating with the kids. I loved it!

My "first" happened that day. There was a very long line of kids waiting their turn to attempt to get a squawk from the instrument, so I decided to visit with the kids who were trying so hard to be patient. I had noticed one boy who had played with his very loose tooth while he listened to the stories, so I went up to him to ask him to show me his tooth. (He has been a faithful Storytime goer for the last three years.) He showed me how he could flop his front tooth around with his tongue. "That's ready to come out!" I said. "Go ahead and grab it and give it a little tug." He grabbed it, tugged, and it popped right out. The look of shock on his face was priceless! I was so excited to have been the one to witness it, right there at Storytime! Like I said, a first for me!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Superior Parents?

I recently ran across this article titled "Why French Parents Are Superior." Well, I thought, who says? Offended as I was, I decided to read it. I was amazed! I think the title is purposely provocative to grab people like me and get me hooked. It worked.

I love the idea of teaching our children to wait and be patient. I love the idea of meaning what you say. I love the idea of giving your children firm boundaries, but allowing freedom within them.

Please read "Why French Parents Are Superior," and leave a comment telling me what you think.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

So Much Fun!

Many many thanks to Ted Botsford for bringing TWO double basses to Storytime on Wednesday. He played his own beautiful instrument while I read Mole Music by David McPhail, and Rain Talk by Mary Serfozo. These two books are perfect for a stringed instrument. In the first, a mole gets a violin and spends years practicing until he can play beautiful music. In the illustrations, we see that above his underground home, his music is having wonderful, positive influences on the world, but he is unaware. There's a staff of musical notes from real compositions coming out of the tree above his tunnels, and Ted played them - everything from "Twinkle Twinkle" to "Ode to Joy" to "Brahm's Lullaby." In Rain Talk, Ted made rain noises by bouncing his bow on the strings, sliding his fingers up and down the fret board and tapping on the body. Very cool.  He also played a wonderful short piece about a shepherd with his flock. He asked the kids to listen for the part where the shepherd dances, and several kids were excited that they heard it.

All this took only 15 minutes, and I was torn between reading another book and going straight to our "petting zoo" where the kids get to come up and play the half-size bass he brought for them. The group had gotten very squirrely (lots of rug-rolling), so I opted for the petting zoo. I felt a little bad that the story portion was so short, but because the group was so big, and so young, it seemed the best thing to do. We had handed out all 150 tickets to the audience, and I think there had to have been about 75 kids. It took the rest of the hour to give every child a chance to play the bass. Ted (and Monica Hayes, the program director) were wonderfully patient with them.

I hope to see you all next week for Karen Wagner and her oboe!