"The free play of art is the result of mastery. " --Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." --Ladybird Johnson

"...a well-trained ear, a well-trained intelligence, a well-trained heart, and a well-trained hand...." --Zoltan Kodaly


Hey J,

Check out this great version of "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly" that Cory Doctorow posted at BoingBoing today. (http://www.boingboing.net/2009/11/25/grim-and-delightful.html).   That song is  perennially a  kid favorite, and this looks like a book with visuals to enthrall them as much as the text does.

Which leads me to think about an interesting thing: often, the songs our kids relish the most  have macabre elements.   I mentioned this to you before, around Halloween.  Still wondering why these songs become favorites.

 This song--"There Was an Old Lady..."-- is, of course, a camp song....and there are also many old, beautiful ballads that speak of the harder sides of life, which can offer solace by allowing kids to express their feelings.  I'm thinking of the old English ballad, "Who killed Cock Robin", for instance.  Or even some work songs..."Dark as a Dungeon" or "The Farmer's Tale".     Rich stuff.

These songs deal with deep topics and have solid melodies---and are  songs the kids request often.   Hmmm, perhaps it's their inherent good taste: balancing out the 'happy, self-esteem, we all get along' rubbish that's sometimes considered all that kids can hear.

Just thinking.

More, later.

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