Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Kiddie songs from your preschool days

Earlier this week while going through my computer looking for files to delete - having less stuff on your computer helps it run faster, as it frees up memory - I came across some memories of us: a collection of children's songs that we often listened to when living in the green house in Lancaster.

Among the songs were "B-I-N-G-O," the Chipmunks doing Beatles hits, "If You're Happy and You Know It," and "I'm a Little Tea Pot." I collected them by copying DVDs from the library.

You really liked listening to the Chipmunks songs and some of the railroad songs, especially "I've Been Working on the Railroad." Sometimes, though, you'd ask me to play more adult music, like the pop and rock hits from the Sixties. You had grown-up tastes in music even as a preschooler!

Though you probably wouldn't listen to those kiddie songs now, I refrained from deleting them. Maybe one day you'll want to hear them just for old time's sake...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My email to you for Sept. 14, 2013

Here is my letter sent to you Sept. 14, 2013, in case you do not receive it.

Dear Kieran,

How are you doing today? I am doing fine though I miss you like crazy! I am sorry that we did not get together today; unfortunately, other people decided that we should not. If I had my way, we would be able to get together every day! I have made arrangements for us to get together either next Friday (Sept. 20) or Saturday (Sept. 21), however.

How is school going? You must be in your third week by now! What kinds of things are you learning about in reading class? Even if some days reading class isn’t very fun or interesting, always pay attention and try your best – there is nothing more important to learn in school than how to read. Once you know how to read, you can look up the answer to anything else you can learn about in school. That’s not to say math or science or music or gym class aren’t important – they are – but even if years later you forget what you’ve learned in those classes, so long as you know how to read well, you’ll be able to find the answers.

What new stuff are you learning about in music class? You’ve always had a great interest in music, as you enjoyed listening to songs while at home and in the Jeep, playing with your musical instruments, and pretending to be a performing band while plucking my acoustic guitar. You’d even make up songs and tell me that it was a new one sang by one of the Beatles! The melody you tapped out on the piano when we were last together on Sept. 5 was very lovely, though I could hear a bit of sadness in it. Keep learning how to play the piano – you definitely have talent and one day could write songs that make people very happy.

I have been busy working but this week had the chance to take a hike through the woods behind my farmhouse. With autumn’s arrival, the leaves have fallen off the bottom branches, or at least the animals fattening themselves for winter have eaten much of them bare. So at last I was able to see many of the chipmunks and squirrels, who I’d only heard scampering through the summer, as they made their last collections for the cold months ahead. In one small cliff cutaway, I even spied a bee’s hive built beneath a limestone overhang. Then while walking along a ridge, I unwittingly frightened six wild turkeys asleep in the grass on a ravine’s side. They took off with a whoosh that scared me as much as I did them. After jumping back, I realized what was making the hillside come alive as they took to the air; I don’t think I’ve ever seen turkeys fly that high. Down at the ravine’s bottom, the pond has yet to dry up, which the black bears apparently appreciate, as I spotted their paw prints in the sand and from the trail to the green water a path of crushed grass, the wild fresh scent of their broken stems still filling the air. These bears must have bad table manners, though, as some of the scat was full of acorns that appeared to be unchewed. Imagine a bear just stuffing a paw full of acorns into his mouth and swallowing whole!

Did you watch the football games on Sunday? My Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers both lost, but the teams playing them had to come from behind to beat them. I see your Chicago Bears won, though! And the Minnesota Vikings lost – while I like Adrian Peterson, I don’t like the Vikings because they are the Packers’ (and the Bears’) rival, so I was pretty happy that they lost. Maybe one day Adrian Peterson will play for a good team like the Packers!

Well, that is all for now. You have a good weekend and a great day in school. I will see you next week, either on Friday or Saturday.



Saturday, April 13, 2013

My email sent to you on April 13, 2013

Here is my letter from April 13, 2013, in case you do not receive it.

Hi Kieran,

Grandma Bignell and I had a wonderful visiting with you yesterday! We both were so very happy to see you again and were so very glad that you had fun as well.

Both of us were very impressed with your math abilities. You are very advanced for you age! For as long as I can remember, you’ve been very good at math. When you were only two years old, you started counting. By the time you were three, you could count up to a 100, and by the time you were four, you could count by fives and tens.

Playing games was a lot of fun, too. The card game you taught us was very interesting. Your cousins Bryan and Rebekah like to play games as well. They play everything from Candy Land to Clue and lots of card games, like Go Fish, Old Maid, War and lots of others. Bryan also likes to play Battleship and Stratego. When we were together, I was just starting to teach you to play checkers and very basic chess. What games do you like to play with your friends?

The U.S. map puzzle was a good time, as well. You know a lot of states and where they’re located! Do you know that you’ve been to 1 out of every 5 states? The states you’ve visited or lived in are California, Oregon, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. I can tell you lots of stories of what you did in each state and have pictures of you in most of them. What states what you like to go to?

I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the books at school. I also read a good book recently. It was called “Being Rude” by Joy Berry. In the book, a young boy who’s in kindergarten/first grade goes around doing all kinds of rude things to other kids, like cutting in line and talking out of turn. He soon finds that no one wants to be his friend at all! Will the little boy start being nice to others so he can have friends again? You’ll have to read the book and find out! I bet you can find it in your school or city library in the children’s section.

Watching you discover how the piano works also was fun. I’ve enjoyed watching you discover and learn new things. That you were so fascinated by the piano was not surprising, for you’ve always been interested in music. When we lived in Lancaster, you used to play my guitar, and I even bought you a toy one to play with when we were in San Diego. You also had a recorder (a flute-like instrument), drums, tambourine, and harmonica. In my office, you’d line up all of your stuffies, give them each an instrument to play, and then taking the guitar would give me a concert in which you played Beatles songs!

Have a good time at your concert Sunday! I wish I could be there to watch you sing. I love and miss you very much and will see you on again on Friday, April 26. I look forward to receiving your email, maybe with a picture of you at the concert!



Monday, August 27, 2012

Remember your drum set?

One of the many things I wanted to do for you as a parent was expose you to as much of the world as possible, just so you could fully explore to it and not miss out on opportunities dur to underdeveloped skills. So we played different sports, read books one every subject, did tons of crafts, and played lots of musical instruments.

While the guitar was among those instruments you most played with, I suspect your favorite was the drums!

You had a blue and black drum set with skulls and bones on it, as well as two drumsticks. It was part of a set that I think included a harmonica, tambourine and a whistle. You also had a flute (technically it was a "recorder") and a toy guitar.

You'd pretend to be Ringo and would sing all kinds of tunes while banging on the drums at all different beats and levels of intensity. I've always had a little trouble hearing in my left ear, so as long as you practiced on the drums to the left of me, I had no problem with you playing to your hearts content!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My little baby who just wouldn't sleep

This morning was going through old cassettes I had and stuck in one by the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. The songs were special to me growing up - "Puff the Magic Dragon" as that passing of childhood song, "Leaving on a Jet Plane" when you must say goodbye to a loved one even though you don;t want to, "500 Miles" when you finally leave home and travel cross country for a new life and fortune. But I soon found all of those memories supplanted by an even stronger one, of you as an infant, no more than a few weeks old.

You always liked to stay awake and were difficult to put asleep, even when tired! I think you were just so stimulated by all that was around you that you didn't want to miss a thing. So I came up with the idea of playing lullabyes to you in hopes that your eyelids would soon feel too heavy to keep up. The closest thing I had to lullabyes was Peter, Paul and Mary, so I put in the tape.

My plan backfired. You found the voices so beautiful and the harmonies so wonderful that you actually became more alert as you listened to their songs! When I turned off the tape to rock you in hopes of putting you asleep, you started crying and didn't stop until I turned the music back on! And then you kept listening to it, all happy and content and so utterly fascinated by what you were hearing - but still awake!