Many natural parenting communities emphasize the importance of singing and the use of song with children. For a non-singer, singing sure has taken over our lives. Some of my favorites are bedtime songs. Ours seem to change every six months or so when my daughter rejects what it is I am singing and I am forced to move on (I mean gladly move to the next beautiful song in my repertoire).
Three years ago, I started a blog called A Storytelling of Crows, specifically to record the Martinmas songs my daughter’s kindergarten teacher wanted the adults to learn for our annual lantern walk on the Feast of St. Martin. The tradition was to gather at the school around a bonfire, eat pumpkin bread, drink warm cider (apple or pear), and then proceed into the woods with the lit paper-mache lanterns the children had made during school. Martinmas was a way to greet the cold winds and shorter days with light and joyful song. The teacher gave us sheet music with lyrics to learn the songs. However, we had to memorize the songs, as it would have been too hard to read lyrics by lantern light.
I asked my daughter’s teacher if she would sing the songs for me to record on my video camera. I promised that no one would see her, and used still graphics for the visual. You may hear all of the songs here (including one my daughter sang), as well as watch a little video of the lantern walk I took the following year. The songs are “I Go Outside with My Lantern,” “Glimmer, Lantern, Glimmer,” and “My Lantern! My Lantern!” Do you know more ? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
The photo you see to the left is an autumn scene I took last year of my dolls with The Enchanted Cupboard‘s trees and Mamakopp‘s little wooden fire. The lantern carrier is in the foreground dressed in green. While we never had a guitar-player at our Martinmas gatherings, I think a firelight gathering is complete when one has a guitar-player in the midst (i.e. the orange doll with the red guitar in the back).
Farida Dowler lives in Seattle, Washington, USA, and sews wool felt dolls for Alkelda, her online Etsy shop. She has participated in four lantern walks. Only one of them was not rainy.
Summer often = Road Trips for many families. There are many games you can play like I-spy or counting telephone poles or license plate spotting for hours on end. There are great songs to sing like numbers from The Sound of Music and albums by Raffi. And then sometimes you’d just like someone else entertaining your little ones so you can enjoy the scenery for a bit. Here are some tried and true favourites for your CD player or device (for downloaded material):
1. “Come Follow Me” by Lorraine Nelson Wolf. Simple and sweet and you’ll be singing along before you know it. Most of the 25 songs are oriented toward nature and the changing seasons. Even the very under 3’s love this one. Find the website for the Come Follow Me CD’s here: www.comefollowme.org
2. “The Evergreens” by Odds Bodkin. Musical stories by a wonderful storyteller. This one is an all-time fave here with its title story. It’s geared for the 3 and up age, but older children like it too. You can even do digital downloads from the Odds Bodkin website… in case you’re leaving, like, now! Find lots more at www.oddsbodkin.com
3. “Mandy and the Magic Butterfly” by Ann Rachlin. Join Mandy on her musical adventure! This one is maybe more age 4 or 5 and up. I love all of Ann Rachlin’s stories, and she has quite a selection on her website for all ages, including download info on her website: http://www.funwithmusic.com/index.php
Hope you enjoy the selections! Safe travels this summer!
What do you listen to when you are crafting? It is such a busy time of year and one does not have much time to relax with all the things that need to be done. So it is best to stay relaxed while at work.
My favorite things to listen to are :
1. KUNC my public radio station because, except for some local ads, it is commercial free. It is the most like German radio stations. I don’t know how people can stand listening to regular radio stations here. The roaring noise of commercials really hurts my ears. In Germany radio stations are not allowed to play commercials all day long. They are all clumped together in a 5 minute sequences right before the news come on. That way one can choose whether you want the news AND NOISY commercials. Or just skip the whole thing. =)
2. Pirate radio 104.7 is my second favorite local Colorado radio station. I love it because they play a lot of music from the Big Band era and music from old movies.
But I also love listening to movie soundtracks. Back when I was living in Berlin, Germany I worked at a gallery. My boss was a great fan and collector of film music. Often I would know the soundtrack of a movie before I had even seen a film. It really gives you an interesting perspective and feel for a movie. You should try it some time. Get the sound track first and listen to it! Try to picture the movie. Then go see the movie!
One thing I don’t enjoy listening to is Christmas music. Sorry pals but the music played at stores really ruins it for me every year. I try to hide the “Frosty the Snowman” CD my kids own for as long as I possibly can. Once it comes out that is ALL they want to listen to.
So tell me: What are your favorites? What helps you relax while crafting marathon style?