I have an awful voice, but I love to sing! When my daughter still lived at home, she'd beg me to stop... and my husband does the same.
This morning, the students in my Writing for Childrenclass were a little... let's say, blah. So I came up with a new idea: I made them sing. I turned off the lights to reduce the embarrassment factor and I also made them stand up and move around. Alexandra started the singsong when she told us how her dad used to sing the old Doors song, "When You're Strange," to her when she was little... so we sang that song. (Thanks, Alexandra!) Then, Yohan, who spent his early years in Korea, taught us two Korean songs -- one was about a butterfly and he wrote the words out phonetically so that I could post them here today: "Nabiya nabiya iri narah oh nurah" which means "Butterfly, butterfly, fly to me!" (Beautiful image, no?) Anyway, singing a song in Korean really got my day off to a wonderful start... and I noticed that my students were much less blah afterwards.
Another Alexandra in the class did a little report on Swedish author Astrid Lindgren (who gave us Pippi Longstocking), and she included a wonderful quote from Lindgren: "Mankind is preoccupied with two great things: death and love; these catch the interest of all ages. You shouldn't scare children to the point of anxiety, but just like adults, they need to be moved by art." I just love those lines. You can see from them how much respect Lindgren had for her child readers.
Okay, I've got a few hours to myself this afternoon. First, I'm going to hang out the laundry on the clotheslines (do you know about my clothesline obsession?), then I'm going to disappear into the world of my new manuscript. Death and love and the power of songs and music to help us relax and connect with ourselves and others ... hmm.. big things to think about on this perfect spring day...