Thursday, October 17, 2013

Classical Music for Kindergarteners

Choir went a little easier last night because Problem Child wasn't there. The choir is singing in the early service Sunday morning, and is it bad that I'm hoping he won't be there because he didn't get the reminder yesterday? I can only imagine what he might do to act up when he's got that kind of audience. The focus last night was on the "dress rehearsal." My latest attempt at exposing them to music appreciation, Gregorian chant (to show them what people sang in church a long time ago), didn't go over so well. They aren't fond of anything slow or quiet. They say it makes them sleepy. But one of the kids did ask for the Chopin again, so some of the brainwashing may be working. I figure it's like introducing new foods to kids -- do it often in small amounts, until it becomes familiar enough to tell if they don't like it because it's different or if they really don't like it. I think next week we may make tissue ghosts and make them dance to "Danse Macabre" or "Night on Bald Mountain," then talk about scary stuff and sing the song in our curriculum about not being afraid and what to do when you're afraid. Because of various special events and holidays, I only have to prepare for four sessions between now and Christmas. For Christmas, I may introduce them to Renaissance music and jazz. The Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack is a good intro to jazz, and I've got some Baltimore Consort Christmas music.

Meanwhile, in adult choir we're starting work on pieces from Messiah, and then the women are doing the "Lift Thine Eyes" piece from Mendelssohn's Elijah. I've sung it before, but I was doing the first soprano part at the time. Now I'm having to learn the second soprano part. But since we're now heavy in second soprano (and not all the firsts can actually do the top notes), watch me have to switch as soon as I learn it.

I got off track with writing yesterday because by the time I had things ready for choir, it was almost time to go. I may have been slightly sidetracked by knitting. I got my own copy of the Victorian lace book from Amazon (finally), so I can return the library copy when it's due Friday and still finish my current project. I got to the tricky bit yesterday, and it took me a few tries to figure it out, but now that it's started, it's going along pretty well. I'm making a lace capelet for steampunk convention wear, and it's knitted first with the body in a kind of modified fan and feather scallop pattern. Then you go around all the edges, knitting on a frilly border. I'd finished the body and had to start on the border, and it took me some playing with it to get it going in the right direction. I'm about to round the first corner, which will be a challenge. Since this is for a convention and will be part of promoting the next book, it's easy to tell myself this counts as "work." It is good for something to do when I get stuck. Today I have some errands to run, but I hope to get back to the writing, too.

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