Mister Bradley customized Holiday CD update: I recorded the instrumentals today for “The Christmas Song” and “Jingle Bell Rock”. I’m so stoked! Also, here are some mock-ups for how the covers might look. In addition to a customized cover with your little one’s name in the title, I’ll be taking orders for favorite colors too! Who else would like to “Pledge-to-Order”? Email me! firstname.lastname@example.org . I’m looking for 12 more pledges before I really start cutting a rug over here. CDs will be 40 bucks.
I hope your Thanksgiving was fantastic!
And I want to spread the word: Mister Bradley will be performing at the Houston Children’s Museum this Saturday and Sunday in the auditorium. 3:00pm on both days. Come on out! And make musical merriment with us!
Summer Time is here!
The kid’s have had the opportunity to strum my red Fender Stratocaster. And we also got to hear everyone sing hello into the microphone and amp. It’s always a strange thing to hear your own voice amplified or on a recording for the first time and I love to see the look in a child’s eyes when they bravely express themselves into the mic!
We also talked about The Blues and made up songs about things that are sad but we felt happy again when we got to turn them into music. (that’s my age-appropriate working definition of the Blues ;)
We also enjoyed demonstrations with the dulcimer and learned about the parts (head, neck, body, sound holes, frets, tuners) and children had the opportunity to take turns articulating the differences they saw between the acoustic guitar and the dulcimer. The guitar is a big “peanut” shape and the dulcimer is an “almond” shape. The dulcimer’s neck is right on top of the body but a guitars neck extends above and beyond the body, etc.
We also enjoyed using the dulcimer to accompany Ol’ Susanna, The Bear Went Over The Mountain, and Mary Had a Little Lamb.
Thanks for taking an interested in your child’s music education and, as always, thank you for choosing Opus One!
This week we had fun with a CASIO keyboard, full of lots of different sounds made to mimic the sounds of real instruments.
We had fun singing along with the snythezised sound a human singing “Dooooo”. The kids were able to mimic different melodies that played on the keyboard as it sharpened their ability to listen for tone precision and respond to the proper timing of “call-and-response” musicality.
We explored the art of “mimicry” or “copycatting” (though it’s never good to copycat a person who is misbehaving ;)). We made drum sounds, trumpet sounds, and organ sounds, all with our voices, attempting to mimic the keyboard. We also enjoyed a call and response song called “Mr. Bird”, a bluesy song that introduces a new singing animal to mimic with each verse. (birds, cats, cows, owls, etc.)
I also used the built in rhythm features to illustrate three different speeds of music: Adagio, Allegro, and Presto (slow, fast, and superfast). We sang along with them as they accompanied “Down Down Baby”, “Down By the Roller Coaster” and “Driving in My Car” with different speeds.
On the subject of mimicry, I wanted to introduce you to an entertainer that amazes me. His name is Reggie Watts and he mixes together acting, absurdest comedy and music. Check this video out! I think it’s something the whole family can enjoy. His spoken-word humor is abusurdest and I don’t think a child would get it or be interested. However, 3 minutes and 4 seconds in is when he begins to sing, beatbox and loop vocal sounds to make a fully arranged funk song. All with his mouth and loop recorder. It’s a total hoot and you have to see to believe it. (Think Bobby McFerrin meets the “is-this-guy- serious?”comic stylings of Andy Kauffman…)
This past week was my special friend Rory’s birthday. Rory is a snail and he loves to make new friends.
But Rory lives in Austin, so we had to take a little musical field-trip. We got to Austin singing “Driving In My Car” and played with different tempos. We move slowly (Adagio) when going through quiet neighborhoods or near schools; we move quickly (Allegro) when we are on feeder roads and we move super fast (Presto) when we’re on the highway.
Once in Austin, we met Rory who really loves decorations, so we played “Blow the Balloon” and we practiced blowing out on each note of a major scale (do, re, mi, fa… etc.). We also sang a call and response song called “I am a Birthday Cake”, a song sharing the same melody as “I am a Pizza”.
We got to sing Happy Birthday together and Rory reminded us how important it is to share. Which is hard for him because that cake was so delicious he was tempted to eat it all by himself!
Students also got to try their hand with the “Xylopipes”. Which is slightly different from the xylophone because xylophones use solid pieces of metal slats and, of course the pipes are hollow and circular.
Thank You so much for being engaged in your child’s musical development!
PS. I found this adorable video of a young child discovering music making on the xylopipes. It’s very cute!