Music 🎶 Feed

🎶Musical 💦Water 🌈Glasses (Science🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇)

Have you tried making a water xylophone? This is a fun and scientific music activity you can do with your child at home. Just fill glasses with different amounts of water and invite your child to make music!

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 You will need:

  • identical glasses (we are using four tall crystal glasses) and these test tubes with this stand,
  • food coloring,
  • water,
  • we are using Xylophone sticks, but you can also use wooden sticks or a plastic spoon. 

Arrange glasses in a line and fill them up with water in equal decreasing increments (pouring less and less in the next subsequent glass). We added food coloring to give the water a color-pop. Invite your child to tap each glass and discover the sound each glass makes!

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Science mystery💡revealed: sound travels about four to five times faster in water than in air. So, water is affecting the speed at which the sound waves are traveling and vibrating.

This activity is a great way to stimulate senses, exercise your child's science skills, as well as musical abilities. You can even incorporate math by using measuring cups and fractions. Moreover, you can add a sensorial dimension to this activity by offering your child to create secondary colors by mixing primary colors together. Also, invite your child to "compose" a song or play a familiar tune. Finally, explain to your child the "magic" of sound waves. And, most importantly, have fun!

See all of our science experiments here.  


Johann Sebastian Bach's 🎼 Birthday 🎂 - How we celebrate

Today, March 21st, we are celebrating the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach, who was born in 🇩🇪 Germany in 1685. Johann Sebastian Bach would have been 332 years old today! During his lifetime, Johann Sebastian Bach was known more as a great harpsichord player and notable organist, rather than a composer. Most of the beautiful music he wrote did not become popular until many years after he died. 

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Johann Sebastian Bach came from a large family of musicians. More than seventy of his relatives made their livings as musicians, choirmasters, and composers. There were so many "musical Bachs" in Germany that in some areas being a "Bach" meant the same things as being a musician. 

DSC_0016Reading J.S. Bach: Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers book (buy here).  As you see, the book boasts with colorful cartoon-like illustrations, making reading a biography fun and engaging even for a three year old. 

Johann Sebastian Bach played and composed his music during a time know as the Baroque period. In the 1600s and 1700s, everything in Europe seemed to have a grand, fancy, and decorative feeling to it, including music, which was often filled with the sounds of voices, violins, trumpets, and flutes, each playing a different melody at the same time. Johann Sebastian Bach was an expert at making complicated Baroque pieces sound natural and pleasing. Bach's famous Brandenburg Concertos (we enjoy listening to this CD) are filled with beautiful musical sounds that are relaxing and peaceful, sometimes bursting with joy. Classical music can soothe, calm and even heal by breaking down emotional blocks. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, in particular, are known for its therapeutical effect - anyone in a grouchy mood is surely to be lifted in spirit by this best "feeling-happy" music. 

DSC_0016During the Baroque period, new instruments were developed (particularly in the string family), so today we are exploring musical instruments with this Musical Instruments Wooden Peg Sound Puzzle. A child would hear “Old MacDonald” played on eight instruments when pieces are placed correctly in the puzzle board. 

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The wooden peg puzzle pieces are light-activated, and pegs promote fine-motor skills and exercise a pincer grip. As a control of error: under each puzzle piece, there is a spelling of the instrument. 

In this video, Adrian is matching musical instruments, saying the name of each instrument after hearing its sound.

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When Julia came home from school, she figured out the notes from the "Old MacDonald" song and played it on the Xylophone for Adrian. 

The notes are:

G -C -C -C -G - A- A

E-E-D-D-C 

Later in Johann Sebastian Bach's life, musical tastes began to change. People were tired of what they thought were big, complicated Baroque sounds. They wanted music that was simpler and lighter. However, even though Johann Sebastian Bach knew things were changing musically, he decided to stick with his favorite Baroque style. Some people criticized him for being old-fashioned. It seemed that Bach was always given a hard time, especially from his dozens of bosses, who had little understanding of music. However, Bach always stood up for his rights. He often ignored silly complaints. Johann Sebastian Bach was a remarkable composer of choral, orchestral, and keyboard works, and when he died in 1750 at age 65,  he had composed some of the world's most beautiful music ever, whether his bosses liked it or not! 

Happy Birthday Johann Sebastian Bach!  

For more composers Birthdays, read here a post about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Birthday. 


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Birthday - How we celebrate

Today, January 27th, is Wolfgang Amadeus  Mozart's birthday! Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) was born on January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, Austria. He wrote over 600 pieces of classical music from the classical period. He started composing music very young: at the age of five! By the time he was six, he was playing music for kings, queens, princes, and other royalty all over Europe! His "music" memory was unbelievable: he could listen to music just once and then write it down without any mistakes! Mozart was one of the greatest composers of the classical music ever!

DSC_0240To learn more about music and the instrument, we are using these Musical Instruments. We are also using our favorite Can You Hear It? book (see a post here) to learn more about the classical orchestra instruments. 

We also read a book Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers (buy here). The "Getting to Know" series is a wonderful way to introduce children to famous artists, painters, musicians, scientists and more! We simply love all their books! 

Below is a video of Adrian playing the violin at 39 months. He is still learning to hold the violin and the bow properly, and to  play one string at a time in the middle without crossing the bridge. He sees Julia practicing every day, and every day he pulls out his violin and practices side by side with Julia (the advantages of an older sibling :) 

My children grew up listening to classical music all the time. We have it playing in the house, and the car's radio is always tuned to a classical music channel. Our two favorite musical pieces by Mozart are:

Symphony No. 25 in G minor, which Mozart composed when he was only 17!

And Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550, I. Molto allegro:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOZART!

Thank you for all your contributions to classical music!


Can You Hear It? Introducing Music through Art appreciation

When you are listening to a classical music, do you listen passively, or are vivid images produced by the notes permeating your imagination?

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"Can You Hear It?" book (buy here) offers great examples of pictorial classical music filled with unforgettable images, which are matched to masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. There is no better way to introduce both: music and art appreciation to your child! The book comes with a CD featuring 13 short works and an introduction to the orchestra and musical instruments. 

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In association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, this book introduces famous classical music through great works of art. Selections of classical music correspond with themes and images from the Metropolitan Museum's masterpieces. From “The Flight of the Bumblee” to “The Four Seasons” to the “Night on Bald Mountain,” a child is encouraged to actively listen for certain instruments. For each pairing, the book suggests what to find in the art and what to listen to in the music, making strong connections between the sounds of instruments and the mental images they evoke.  



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DSC_0033"Can you hear the car horns honking, played by clarinets? Can you hear the horses’ hooves, played by castanets?"  

We always have classical music  playing in the house and during the car rides. So, Julia and Adrian are accustomed to hearing it since birth. I also have been doing Suzuki music toddler curriculum (see here) since Adrian was ten months old, and he still enjoys it once a week. Julia loves it too! (Here, you can see and purchase the CD we use and the materials. Here, you can view a demo lesson presentation.)

We also casually exposed children to piano and violin. Recently, Adrian has been exhibiting a desire to take formal violin lessons, so today children were fitted for their violins🎻! They are very excited to start weekly violin lessons tomorrow. Julia had some lessons in the past, but last year, due to the move, she took a long break (: Adrian is super excited, but I was also told that he is too little to start a violin! I believe however, that the age does not matter, so long as there is a desire to do it! Time will show :)

 


Guided 📿 Meditation with 🎶Neoclassical Music

Guided Meditation with Music is a part of the Practice of Mindfulness, where there is no need to strive to make anything happen. Simply feel whatever you are feeling, observe without judgment, and focus on physical sensations (such as breathing), internal feelings and emotional resonance—like happiness, sadness, anger, fear and so forth. 

With guided meditation, you do not have to “do” anything or force anything to happen - you just have to be present. Today, we are listening to "In A Time Lapse" album of a wonderful neoclassical Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi. This music, together with unbelievable natural scenery imagery, worked very well for my children, as together it was able to capture their attention and keep them still. 

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The practice of guided meditation incorporates elements of guided meditation, imagery, and relaxation. So, for five minutes and 34 seconds, I had asked my children (2.5 and 6.5 years old) to do the following:

  1. Sit in a lotus pose straight up (almost like a crown of the head is stretching high up, reaching for the stars). My daughter asked me "Why should she sit straight up?"  since her back started to hurt half point into the meditation. I explained that when she sits straight, she opens up her energy channels which are now free to soar upwards into the universe, potentially connecting her energy with the universal "box of wisdom" - the source of ultimate knowledge that we all strive to tap into.
  2. Look at the images (on the computer screen) and do not think about what you are seeing: perceive images as they are, without over-processing the information.
  3. Do not talk, or laugh, or get distracted by any external noise. Looking at captivating images, (rather than looking at each other, which inevitably leads to giggling) helped my children to maintain their focus and be in the moment.
  4. Finally, I suggested integrating breathing exercises, which are soothing and relaxing: "take a deep breath in and out; concentrate on the breath."

The result: Julia was able to complete the entire meditation practice. Adrian giggled twice, and he could not sit straight in the lotus pose for the entire period, but he did not talk. He did point to few natural scenes which he was awed by. So, with Adrian, we just need to practice more, and maybe starting with a five minutes session for a toddler is a bit too long. At the end, we all were able for a while to ...

... take a moment of stillness, shut out the noise, and be in the now! 

 

Next time, we will try another wonderful song: it is a little longer: five minutes and 45 sec, the imagery is more abstract and the music is a little more intense at parts, building up to a crescendo. 

 

Since we are all seeking happiness and are driven by an inner desire to avoid suffering and find peace, this practice is simply to remind us that we all deserve happiness, just like our children, family, friends, and everyone else in the world. By bringing Mindfulness to our children, we remind them to be happy, to be peaceful, to be in the now.

For more about our ☮️PEACE Education, read here "🕉Mindfulness with Children."