I can’t believe that I am writing my last blog post of 2009. Where did the last twelve months go? This year seems to have flown by faster than any previous year, which I’m told happens as you get older. But as quickly as it went, 2009 was a fabulous year, in terms of both my career and personal life. Follow the links to read more about each month’s highlight:
January: One of my students had a breakthrough during music therapy.
February: I passed the joy of the Snowball Microphone on to my readers.
March: My husband and I closed on and moved into our new house.
April: We vacationed in San Diego and returned completely refreshed.
May: A new addition to the family arrived…our golden retriever, Sadie.
June: I turned 26 and got an iPhone, which did wonders for my productivity.
July: I launched my Kickstarter project, a three-month adventure.
August: My music therapy work was featured in a local news piece.
September: Listen & Learn was featured as a “Blog of Note” by Blogger.
October: The Model Me Kids DVD for which I wrote songs debuted.
November: I attended and presented at my first national conference.
December: I was featured in a radiothon for Children’s Miracle Network.
If 2010 is anywhere near as successful as 2009 was, I’m in for a great year. Thank you, everyone, for reading Listen & Learn Music, and for sending your feedback my way. I hope you’ll continue to do so in the new year. And come back tomorrow to hear a song you can sing for the next 365 days, as well as my new year’s resolutions. Cheers!
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of leading the music portion of my church’s “Breakfast With Santa” event. This was the second year of my involvement, so I knew better what to expect and what the kids wanted (the chance to get up, dance around, and sing Christmas songs) as well as their parents (happy, occupied children and cute photo ops). I managed to combine all of these things in a ten-minute activity, and it was so much fun that I thought it deserving of “Friday Fave” attention!
Reindeer were the theme of the music room, made evident by the reindeer antlers on my head. Once all the children arrived, were seated, and commented on my headgear, I asked them if they knew who was the most famous reindeer of all. Of course, they all shouted, “Rudolph!” and we went right into the song, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Next I asked if they were aware that Rudolph isn’t Santa’s only reindeer, and told them that I would need 8 volunteers to show them what I meant. This worked out perfectly, because the groups were made up of 10-15 kids, and there were always a few who just wanted to watch. My volunteers came to the front and reached into my bag of tricks:
After all, every reindeer needs a good pair of antlers (the jinglier, the better) and a substitution for hooves (rhythm sticks, of course). I knew the props would be a hit, but I wasn’t quite ready for the excitement they would stir up. And that was fine with me!
The finishing touches were the nametags, which my “reindeer” wore around their necks. I made these by printing the names in a Christmasy font, laminating, and hole-punching so that I could string the sparkly rope through and tie it at the top.
Not all of the kids could read, so before the song, I pointed to each “reindeer” and read his/her name aloud. Then I told them to listen carefully, because when their name was called during the song, I wanted them to fly away just as the lyrics instruct.
The song that I used for this activity is one of my own, The Other Eight Reindeer. Both the kids and parents got a real kick out of it, and you should have seen those cameras flashing as each child “flew away” when it was his/her turn.
After the song, I asked the children to return to their seats for the next song, Up on the Housetop. They all clicked their “hooves” and sang along, still wearing their antlers (I’m telling you, it was a chore getting them off their heads and back into my bag). At the end of the song, it was time for the group to move on to the next station. I repeated this activity eight times that morning, and had a nice long nap when I got home :)