Car Radio

While we were driving yesterday, Dorian invented a new game. He sang a song and, when I pushed a button on the radio to change the station, he sang something different. Some songs were recognizable; some improvised  (“la, la, la, it’s Summer and la, la , la… I like the sun and…”) . Before clicking, I sometimes said something like, “I want to hear the Yellow Submarine song again” or “I wonder if I can find that Summer song”. Switching at my command, he went back and forth through stations dedicated to: Christmas, drumming, Puff, the Magic Dragon, summer, Lydia,  restaurants, Old MacDonald, spaceships, and many more. He even had a talk station (random words rather than claims Obama is a secret Muslim/socialist, but, nevertheless, just as coherent). The volume control worked (at least to turn up; it was not nearly so responsive when turning down!), and I could also turn the ‘radio’ off.

It’s a very simple game, but a fun way to pass the journey and a great memory exercise.

Play and Record

For Dorian’s pre-school graduation, the children and some of the parents sang and played a Hawaiian version of Over the Rainbow. On shakers (testing various shaking material to hear differences in tone) they simulated the sound of the sea by making ‘waves’, quiet to loud and and fast to slow. We sang the descending scale idea from Over The Rainbow & Down The Stairs (we had tried ‘laa’ , ‘ooo’ and, at their request, ‘waaa’ and ‘boing’, before finally settled on ‘ahh’). Those who could, sang the melody.

The graduation ceremony gave the children an experience of rehearsing and performing music, but I also used the song to introduce the concept of recording. Almost all of the music we hear is recorded, yet it is comparatively overlooked when learning music. I have had many guitar students bring in songs they wish to learn, unaware the huge guitar sound they hear is really three or four simultaneous guitars with lots of processing and manipulation. It can be disappointing to discover their budget guitar and tiny practice amp will never get close to that sound. It does, however, lead to discussing the art and role of recording.

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