Hi, Lifesong Family!
There is a person that I know; we’ll call her “Julie” for privacy. She is an awesome woman. She’s strong, smart, serious, and organized. She’s very direct when she’s talking to you, and you can feel that she’s guarded. This was my picture of her up until one day she met my daughter Gia. Julie was all of the sudden a different person! She let her guard down. Her tough exterior melted. Her voice became sweet, melodious, engaging. “Hello, little sweet Gia!,” she exclaimed with a true smile… Pretty cool to see.
Now, wouldn’t it be neat to see grown-ups greet each other like this?
Unguarded. Engaging. Nurturing. Lyrical.
What if we went around talking to each other as if the other person was the sweetest little thing in the world?
“Oh, Hello, sweet little Cassie! Aren’t you just the cutest little teacher!”
You know those people in your life who say that they don’t sing? Most will sing for a baby, and I don’t care if the notes or the words are wrong, it’s the most authentic thing to hear. We know that babies won’t judge us. We know that they are vulnerable and need care.
So my challenge for you today is to be a little less guarded when interacting with people today. Be more lyrical with your voice. Let your intonation go up and down freely. Surprise someone today with your warm, melodious authenticity.
What are some other instances where you observe people are less guarded?
Music is the universal language of mankind.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This post can benefit musicians and non-musicians alike. This is for those who value authentic communication and presentation. Each Tip has a “Kid’s Corner” Exercise to match.
Hi, Lifesong Friends!
What a quote. Musicians, in general, are awesome communicators. We’re eloquent, deep, creative, and tend to not be afraid of crowds. But even musicians can get caught up in the “what will people think of me” vortex when we’re presenting our craft. I have three tips for you today to help you begin to speak, sing, write, and/or play … your truth.
1) Relaxation and Alignment
When you’re expressing musically or non-musically, pay attention to any tension in your body. Sit or stand up straight so that you are able to freely bobble your head like one of those bobble-head dolls. Close your eyes, tense, and relax each part of your body, just as if you were about to experience a guided meditation. One place we often breeze over is the face. Your tongue, jaw, and eyebrows tend to hide a lot of unseen tension. Massaging your face helps you to be more conscious of those particular tensions.
Kids’ Corner: Guide your child through a body relaxation. If you have a baby, lightly massage each part of his or her body. For kids with language skills, ask them to think about their favorite thing and ask them to let each body part be nice and calm.
2) Express Gently
“Gently” does not necessarily mean that you have to be as quiet as a mouse. Let your music, conversation, or speech flow without over-thinking. In two weeks, I’m going to write a whole post on expressing gently with some amazing exercises that have helped me immensely, so check back!
Ooh, kids LOVE butterflies. I ask my girls and my students to breathe and speak as if there was a sweet butterfly on their nose.
3) Don’t Express to Impress
Any judgement of your own communication and others’ needs to be put in an imaginary bubble and blown away. You have so much value, and you can’t give of your value if fears, doubts, and judgements are in the way. Love the beauty of what you’re giving. Talk and make music for a higher reason. Once you reach a certain level of consciousness, you’ll be able to feel your sound waves throughout your entire body.
One of the best things you can do for your kids in this case is to model speaking from the heart. Listen non-judgementally when they speak to you. Remain gently engaged. Tell them that who they are and what they say matters, no matter how young.
Thanks for reading! What kind of exercises do you do before speaking, writing, or making music? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below to share.
Dear Lifesong Friends,
Did you know that January is International Polka Month?
Let me share a childhood story with you.
You can believe that during the hot Summers, we would ROLL down our windows in the car to get some fresh air. (Do you remember the time when there were no power windows?) Mom loved to turn up the radio. One day, she was channel surfing when she found polka music. My sister and I immediately started dancing in our seats. There’s something so light and bouncy about a polka!
We rolled down the windows, turned up the polka music, and circled the neighborhood a couple of times to spread the joy.
This is one of my favorite childhood memories.
Create a memory filled with music for your child today. You don’t necessarily have to blast polka music to your neighbors, but feel the polka joy.
Dancing into 2013,
Hi, Lifesong Friend!
Welcome to my blog! 2013 is going to be amazing, isn’t it?!
A couple of years ago, I dressed up as a superhero for a recital. I was goofy, high energy, and entertaining to the kids who were learning about music. I tied a belt around my head, made a cape out of an old sheet, and even put underwear over my leggings. Yes, I know I’m goofy, and I love it! You can imagine the comedy routine was a hit with lots of laughs from the little ones… (and the grown-ups too).
After the recital, an older woman from the audience approached me. She asked, “Have you ever heard of Musikgarten?” I hadn’t. “It’s a music and movement curriculum for young children. You’d be a great teacher. You should get certified.”
As a mom of two toddlers at the time, a piano teacher and choir director, I thanked her and swept the idea under the rug. “No time,” I droned inside of my head.
Six months later, the time came to find a music class for 3 year-old Gia. I researched and researched all the programs, and finally decided on one. She went through one semester, and I was completely disappointed. The teacher had ZERO energy, I wasn’t allowed in on the class, and Gia wasn’t getting a well-rounded experience at all. I took her out of the program, even though the music school was the most reputed in the area.
“You should get certified,” rang my thoughts. So, another six months later, I checked out Musikgarten. I fell in love with their music, resonated with their teaching philosophies, and decided to train.
And here I am now! I’m a new business owner and having a blast with the kids. What a big change, and all because of my cape.
My resolution for 2013:
I must express more authentically and without fear, and help others (BIG and SMALL) express more too! I’m so excited to help you and all my little students find their voice through music and movement. I’m psyched to help everyone put on their cape and fly.
So, friend, dawn your cape, strap a belt around your head, and let’s venture off into 2013!
Happy New Year!