- Entertainment and Media»
Children's CDs by Kathleen Holyoak
How My Children's Music Began
When our first grandchild was born, my thoughts turned immediately to music. What could I do to help my grandchild and other small children appreciate something that had been a part of my life as long as I could remember?
Through years of experience, I’ve learned that regardless of age, rhythm is the best way to get a listener's attention. Therefore, I set out to write a collection of songs that would be memorable for my grandchildren and all the wonderful children I’ve taught through the years.
Music and Language Go Hand in Hand
Parents instinctively rock their babies to sleep singing soft lullabies without realizing that music and language are the building blocks for learning. Many studies have shown that music helps a child learn faster. Give a two-year-old a pot and a wooden spoon and instinctively he begins to pound in the effort to express himself.
Parents who appreciate music, teach their children to do the same.
When a young child is introduced to a variety of musical styles, he'll grow up remembering what he's learned. I fondly remember singing, "Would you like to swing on a star . . . carry moonbeams home in a jar" with my mother. I sat on her lap and placed my hands on top of hers while we sang and she played. I remember the Classical music that filled our home and my mother's role in helping me to learn. She was very musical so I looked to her for guidance. She worked outside the home to provide piano lessons for my brother and me and I will always be grateful. These are special memories I hold dear to my heart so I set out to do the same for my grandchildren. Children usually do not take an interest in music without the encouragement of parents.
"With a pot, with a pan, with a spoon in your hand . . . "
Kitchen Parade CD
My first collection of songs, a total of 12, was written specifically to help children learn basic music rhythmical concepts as well as learn to identify a variety of musical styles: Jazz, Classical, Boogie-woogie, scat singing, Native American, and a traditional march. "Kitchen Parade," the first and title song for the album is a march. Children are encouraged to pick up any kitchen utensil they desire, to grab a kazoo, and march around the room as the music plays. The second children hear this music, they are eager to participate.
"With a pot, with a pan, with a spoon in your hand,
Come and join in the kitchen parade.
Bring some lids, some kazoos, and your best marching shoes.
Come and join in our kitchen parade.
Hear the song and feel the beat as you pick up your feet to your chin.
First a left, then a right. Play with all of your might.
Join the fun in our kitchen parade."
"Come and join in our kitchen parade."
Instruments from kitchen utensils?
When I've asked children, "How many instruments do you have in your kitchen?" they look a little puzzled at first until I explain that wonderful objects in their kitchen can be used for percussion accompaniment of songs. At that time, children become excited and want to run home right then and start exploring the limitless possibilities they can find in their kitchens and you might be surprised at some of their genius ideas!
The collection became a reality when I began orchestrating those utensils into my song accompaniments and recorded them in the studio. Nearly every song, except for the keyboard/piano were utensils right from my kitchen. Such homemade instruments as a wooden spoon covered with a dish rag, pan lids, small and big pots, a mason jar filled with water and a straw to blow into it, and a variety of other objects were recorded on separate tracks to accompany the songs.You can imagine the look on the face of the engineer at the studio when I dragged in a box load of kitchen utensils and other objects!! I even took a battery operated croaking frog into the studio and it was a real trick getting it to croak at the right times because it was light sensored. Those were fun times and we had a lot of laughs in the process of recording the albums.
"If I had my way I'd just dance and sway to the boog-boogie."
I love jazz music so I wrote the song, “Boog-Boogie,” in Boogie-Woogie, a style which became famous during the Jazz Era of the 1930’s. When I introduced it to my 18 month old granddaughter, she began moving her body to the music and the lyrics:
“I’ve got dancin’ feet and they like the beat of the Boog-Boogie.
Once I hear those tones, they get in my bones, and I shake with glee.
If I had my way, I’d just dance and sway to the Boog-Boogie. ”
By the third phrase, little Savannah was shaking her booty and singing, “Boog-Boogie,” whenever the words were repeated. This confirmed how quickly very small children learn and can relate to something new in music. “Boog-Boogie” is a toe-tappin’, hand clappin’ type of song, and when you hear it you want to dance!
Water Glasses Tuned One Octave Apart
"Kersploshes" and "Kid Stuff"
How many children have the opportunity to be taught a song about raindrops, “Kersploshes,” and are shown how to accompany it with tuned water glasses? The musical score includes notes on a separate stave for the water glasses and helps them learn to count and follow a score.
How many children have sung a song about “Kid Stuff” with fun lyrics like these?
“I’ve got a frog, cat, a bird and a dog. I think I’ll start a zoo.
I keep neat rocks in a box in my drawer and other treasures too!
Mom says my stuff is quite enough, but I could always use
A pocket knife, a real flashlight, some gumballs and some glue.”
These are just a few examples of song lyrics from Kitchen Parade, a collection carefully designed for use at home, in any classroom setting, at talent shows and family gatherings, K - 3rd grade, home schooling, and for your own personal enjoyment.
Imaginations soar when children search for utensils to accompany songs.
World on a String
The second collection, World on a String, features 13 other songs that take the young at heart to places of wonder and delight. Songs from both collections are short, easy, and written in styles that appeal to a child and spark curiosity. Melodies with catchy lyrics by talented lyricists, Gary Croxall and Lawrence Lee, were recorded with children’s voices. When simple fundamentals and rhythms are taught in an unforgettable way, imaginations soar! Kitchen utensils, such as a soup can and wooden spoon, pan lids, a wire whisk and cheese grater, excite young children and they beg to participate.
Three heads are better than one!
CD: World on a String
High school students enjoyed children's music.
A few years ago, I was asked to share my music and writing experiences with a local high school in Arizona. At the time, this high school was fortunate enough to have several choirs as well as classes in music theory and composition. Much to my surprise, I found students coming back for a 2nd class because they wanted to hear again what they called the “pots and pans music.”
Recording Session for World on a String
Utube: "Song of the Pond"
The words for "Song of the Pond" were written by Lawrence Lee, lyricist, for his wife's birthday August 1st. It was such a cute song a utube video was created. Enjoy! (Click the link to view the utube video)
Kathleen teaching "Song of the Pond" to Elementary Class
"Souper Spoon" from World on a String
"Souper Spoon," with whimsical lyrics by Gary Croxall, is another delightful song children love to sing:
Everything’s delicious in soup I can spoon.
There’s nothing more nutritious when lunchin’ ‘round noon
I slurped on a rhinoceros and after I was done,
I chewed on a xylophone and then played a tune.
I haven’t eaten asphalt, a rock, or a star,
But I chewed up a diamond and once I ate a car.
I’m hoping to get hiccups, I want to taste a jet.
Eventually I’ll eat them in my alphabet soup!
Utube video: "Souper Spoon"
Click this link to view "Souper Spoon" at utube.
“Before I had a chance to listen to Kathleen’s CD, my wife put it in the CD player which is in the kitchen and let the kids listen to it. I walked in later to find the children, ages 9, 7, and 2 marching around the kitchen banging on pots and pans and singing to the music. It’s perfect for young children. What a hit, Kathleen!” Jeff F. from Idaho
"World on a String makes everyone smile and is a great day brightener." Susan from Arizona
"Very clever and fun! Our twins love to march around behind their mother with pots and pans while listening to the CD. Last week for family night, we danced around crazily to the entire CD laughing and making all kinds of sounds, a night neither the kids nor I will soon forget!" Anonymous from Utah
"How appealing and stimulating! Having been a teacher fifty years ago, it spoke to my special interest." Colleen M. from Utah
Bilingual: Kitchen Parade and World on a String
Songs from Kitchen Parade and World on a String have Spanish lyrics (upon request) and some high schools have incorporated them into their bi-lingual language programs. Don’t worry if you have little or no musical experience because the songs are downloadable as sheet music and mp3’s so all you need is the desire to share! (Sing-along tracks are also available)
Songs from Kitchen Parade and World on a String will teach, uplift, and entertain all ages with a variety of playful songs, sing-along tracks, and free instructions for teaching. For more information, please contact email@example.com
Encourage children to perform and share their talents.
Sheet Music & Recordings
Sheet music and downloadable mp3 recordings available at HolySheetMusic.com
Music has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. It is my sincere hope that you have learned a little, been inspired to try something new, motivated to teach your children, and gained a desire to incorporate more music into your lives or anyone you know because music speaks a thousand words!
Endorsement by composer, Daniel Carter
“Kathleen Holyoak is a versatile, gifted musician and composer. I believe people will be anxious to perform her music for a long time to come. I will be one of them.”