When I set myself the challenge of sharing a musical activity each weekday of the summer I thought I might run out of ideas all too soon. But what I’ve found so far is that if I just keep my eyes (and ears, of course) open then there is almost too much music to explore in everything we do.
This abundance of inspiration and information has been almost overwhelming in the past – the worry that we wouldn’t get to EVERYTHING almost scared me off starting on ANYTHING (and I’m not just talking about making music here). However, once I decided to let go of the forward planning to a certain extent we’ve all been able to have so much fun just taking our musical cues from the everyday events of the summer break.
We are blessed with an excellent public library here in Calgary which has many wonderful children’s books about music, but music wasn’t necessarily on my mind when the girls picked up Ella by Mallory Kasdan and illustrator Marcos Chin.
This ‘cheeky parody’ is inspired by the fabulous Eloise (by Kay Thompson and illustrator Hilary Knight). Eloise is an established favourite in our house and Ella is certainly a winner for us too. After a couple of sessions just reading and enjoying the book our musical activities were inspired by Ella’s mum as, ‘She knows Bono.’
The kids didn’t know who Bono was, so we took a lengthy pause to listen to some U2 songs and watch some clips on YouTube. We tried:
- One (the kids preferred the duet version with Mary J Blige)
- I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
- When Love Comes to Town (for a bit of bonus B B King education)
Elsewhere in the book Ella says, ‘Sometimes I tie one leg to the other and try to dance’; we combined this with our U2 listening and it made for a VERY fun activity (albeit one with a high risk of tears before bedtime)!
So, apologies for a somewhat convoluted post but, in summary – my musical suggestion for today is, either:
1. Listen to a few classic rock/pop songs (and then tie your legs together and try to dance), or
2. Read through a couple of favourite children’s books following up on any musical cues you might find. And, of course, you could still tie your legs together and try to dance!
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