Creativity and Music
Heart to Heart

††††† You probably didnít know what a talented opera singer I am. Unfortunately you will never have the opportunity to hear me because all of my great performances take place in the shower. Do you love to sing in the shower? I do! Showers and singing are quite symbolic; while one cleanses the body, the other cleanses the soul.

††††† I always wanted to play the drums, but my parents quickly squelched that idea and purchased a piano instead. Yet Iím an accomplished Revereware drummer. With seasoned wooden spoons in hand, I put Buddy Rich to shame. Would you have guessed that Iíve conducted the Philharmonic Orchestra and frequently performed with the highly acclaimed Summersí Ballet Troupe?

††††† Highly skilled? Absolutely not! Just ask my family. In spite of my lack of skill, I certainly enjoy music and have fun expressing myself in the presence of our cats, the laundry, or my family.

††††† Piano recitals of yesteryears produced entirely different results. Instead of pleasant feelings, I experienced anxiety. My hands perspired so profusely that my fingers would slip off the keys. Why put a child through this torture unless they like performing in front of millions? Okay, maybe just fifty or so, but it seemed like millions. My piano teacher required all her students to participate in her recitals. Why? Not everyone likes performing for others; not everyone becomes an accomplished musician, but everyone should appreciate music. How many children hate music because of sweaty palms recitalosis?

††††† Let me dispel your feelings of inferiority. Not everyone is a Beethoven, but God lovingly blessed everyone with creativity and the desire to create and enjoy beauty. Iíve always pictured our family singing around the Baby Grand, accompanied by the saxophone, accordion, cello and violin. Instead we stand around the keyboard or march around the house playing our kazoos. Perhaps the reality doesnít achieve the romantic inclinations of my imagination, but the fun we share certainly fulfills my dream.

††††† My main goal is to establish a pleasant, lifelong friendship between my children and music. Beyond an appreciation for music lies their own desires. If they aspire to be skilled musicians, I will be pleased. If they donít, I will still be equally happy.

††††† The following are ideas for developing an appreciation for music.

®††††† Observe the rhythm of objects around you (clocks ticking, rain pattering, engines humming Ö).

®††††† Run, walk, and skip to different rhythms.

®††††† Clap the rhythm of your name, friendsí names, and fun words like piggyback, peek-a-boo, lovey-dovey, roly-poly, macaroni, top-to-tosey, ambidextrous Ö

®††††† Read fun and beautiful poems to discover the rhythm of words.

®††††† An excellent source for discussing different rhythmic patterns is The Cozy Book by Mary Ann Hoberman.

®††††† Increase your awareness of the sounds around you and identify their source.

®††††† Listen to Godís creations, praising your Creator for peepers, birds, frogs, crickets, the wind in the trees, and the laughter of children.

®††††† Play a variety of beautiful compositions (waltzes, marches, symphonies).

®††††† Encourage creative movement to music through the use of streamers, scarves, fans Ö

®††††† Paint to music.

®††††† Discuss the mood of different pieces and how each makes you feel.

®††††† Attend outdoor concerts in the park, musicals, ballets, and symphonies.

®††††† Practice conducting an imaginary orchestra.

®††††† Make simple musical instruments using oatmeal boxes, a jar filled with rice, sandpaper attached to blocks, buttons in a tin can, and glasses filled with water.

®††††† Learn to read music.

®††††† Learn to play simple instruments (kazoos, recorders, harmonicas).

®††††† Compose songs.

®††††† Learn the names of instruments and identify the sounds they produce.

®††††† Play music to accompany a play or puppet show.

®††††† Make up a tune to go with favorite poems.

®††††† Sing the Psalms.

®††††† Create a song about a picture or favorite story.

®††††† Listen to an opera and then create your own.

®††††† Watch a ballet and then put on one of your own.

®††††† Study composers. Select their works of art from the library and play often enough to identify their pieces or particular style.

®††††† Start a neighborhood marching band.

®††††† Sing, sing, sing.

®††††† Lift up your voices unto the Lord, the Author and Creator of musical sounds. Y