Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Planning Your Wedding Ceremony Music

The candles are lit, the flowers are elegantly scattered, and the groom is ready to see his bride.  What type of music do you hear?  Would you prefer a soft solo violin, a majestic organ, or an ensemble?  No matter what your preference, you will need to know the different parts of the ceremony that will require music. 

1. Prelude- The prelude happens at the beginning of the wedding while guests are arriving and being seated.  It is important to have music during this time to set the atmosphere for the wedding.  The music should be light and subtle.  This is not a time for vocalists or special music.  The location and time of your wedding will be important factors in choosing the prelude music.  For instance, at a December wedding, a couple may choose light Christmas music, but an all classical prelude might be a better choice for an outdoor spring wedding. 

2. Procession The procession is the time in the ceremony where the bridal party enters.  One song could make up the processional, but sometimes the couple will choose a different piece for the bride's entrance in order to make it more dramatic and noticeable.  Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, Cannon in D, and the Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin are all popular choices for the procession.  Less traditional music such as popular love ballads can be beautiful as well.  Some venues, however have restrictions about the music that is allowed to be played, so be sure to check with your ceremony location before making your selections.

3.  Special Solos and Ceremony Moments- Different traditions incorporated special moments into the ceremony.  Candle lighting, communion, exchanging flowers, remembering loved ones who have passed, and signing a religious document are just a few of the endless possibilities.  These are often an excellent opportunity to incorporate special songs into the ceremony.  Vocalists may or may not be incorporated, but usually the songs mean something special to the couple. 

4. Recessional- This is that joyous moment when the officiant announces the Mr. and Mrs. for the first time.  They leave the ceremony.  The song selection for this is usually joyful and upbeat.  The Wedding March, Ode to Joy, and Pachabel's Cannon are popular selections for this moment. The instrumentalists will probably repeat the song several times until the guests have made their way out. 

Every wedding is different, and the ceremony music is no exception. This is the bride and groom's chance to add their own personal touch to the ceremony.  Their personal choices will really stand out depending on the music they select.  These are the songs that will frame these happy memories for years to come.  Happy planning!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Canopy Has Arrived

The play canopy has arrived at the studio (along with some other great props which I will be sharing soon).  Ana and I spent some time trying it out.  It was great fun, but it's going to be even more fun with lots of little hands to hold the handles and make it really fly high!

colorful parachute

Playing with the parachute music prop

parachute music prop

parachute music prop

parachute music prop

parachute music prop

parachute music prop

parachute music prop

parachute music prop

parachute music prop

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, August 10, 2012

Piano Adventures

Piano Adventures Lesson Book is the other piano curriculum that I regularly use.  (If you missed the post about the other curriculum, you can get caught up here.)  This is a slightly less traditional approach, and my favorite thing about it is that it does not focus on set hand positions.  Instead, the student finds the first note and uses the finger number above the note to place their hand on the keyboard.  I have noticed that learning to read music happens much faster with this method, and that is what draws me to it.

Tags: , , ,

Thursday, August 9, 2012

New Supplies

With fall quickly approaching, I am starting to make purchases, gather materials, and clean the studio.  I have some scarves, but I wanted to supplement them with some new ones as well.  These ones are perfect for early childhood because of their bright colors.

Activities that we will be doing with scarves will be numerous.  The basic peek-a-boo is just the beginning.  They are fun to throw in the air and watch waft down softly, and they are great for creative movement.  I like to use the "Carnival of the Animals" and use the scarves to imitate different creatures.  They can also be a flag, a banner, or a way of expressing emotion to a particular piece of music.  I have a feeling that they might even become a cape or a set of wings for some little ones.  They are a great tool for the new studio, and I can't wait to use them.

6 Play Silks RAINBOW SWIRL 11" x 11" in Muslin Storage Bag, CUSTOM
I also bought this canopy, and that makes me extremely excited.  My husband helped me to measure the studio today, and it works!  I love the colors of this one.  They are so vibrant and energetic!

Canopies are an amazing prop for many styles of music.  They can be used to pop balls and soft toys into the air, and they can also be used to lift up and create a cozy dome.   I know that the kids and babies will love using this as they explore.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Piano: Keys for the Kingdom

I currently use two different piano curriculum- one is secular, and one is Christian.  I like the technique, scope, and sequence of both of them, so then I leave it up to the families to decide whether they want a Christian or secular approach. 

The Keys for the Kingdom series features most of the same concepts as theAlfred's Basic Piano Library , but the Christian focus is really the draw for me.  Each piece honors God and parents don't have to worry about what music their children are being exposed to. Stay tuned for details about my secular method. 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Beauty of Beethoven

I would be remiss if I didn't share my favorite classical song.  It has been since the moment I heard it and I can't imagine any other song taking its place.  I should play it for you, but instead here's a beautiful recording by Glenn Gould.  He does it so much better than me.  It gives me chills just to hear it.  Now don't just sit there and wonder what it sounds like- listen to it. 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Monday, August 6, 2012

An interesting Article

I found this article today on the babycenter website.  I like how it details the benefits of music for young children and the types of music that children enjoy. 

Tags: , , , , ,

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Using Music to Establish Routines

Routines are vital to every young child's life.  It brings them comfort for their day to unfold in predictable ways.  Music can ease the transition from one activity to the next by letting the child know what routine is about to happen.  They start to associate that activity with the song, and then when they hear the song they naturally do the activity.  Although there are many times when music can ease transition, I will share several with you.
Good Morning
Good Morning 
Good Morning to You!
This simple song greets my toddler each morning, and it, without fail, turns her face from a frown to a smile.  She knows that this song means that it's time to get up, and even as I open the blinds, she waits patiently in her crib while I get her up. Any song will work for this routine, as long as it's the same song each morning.
Hand Washing- Hand washing can have two difficulties: the kids don't want to do it, and the kids don't know how long to wash.  A simple singing of the ABC's during the wash makes the routine easier, but it is also a cue for the end of the wash (about 30 seconds long).  If the child knows that "Z" signals the end of the "torture," it will be a bit more predictable.  

Clean Up- It doesn't matter if the child is 1 or 12, I have had experience after experience when singing of the classic
Clean up!
Clean up!
Everybody Everywhere!

Clean up!
Clean up!
Everybody do your share!
sends a child skittering around for toys directly after asking nicely for the child to clean up and having them tell me flat out, "No!"  

Prayer-  This routine is one that is nostalgic for me from my childhood.  I loved singing grace before snack at Girl Scout Meetings, and being the lucky girl to get to choose the song was a coveted position.  This prayer song was a favorite: 

Lullaby- Most parents will agree- bedtime is crucial!  If things go smoothly, lovely snugly memories are made, but if it doesn't go smoothly...  Watch out!  Routine is key to a great bedtime.  Parents should set the routine and stick to it.  An example is bath, pajamas, book, lullaby, prayer.  The lullaby should be the same song each night, and it can be any soft, gentle, and loving song.  We use Lullaby Baby-O from Bless My Little Girl.


Sleep Music- A soothing, sweet lullaby CD helps children ease from the bedtime routine into actual sleep.  The soft sounds of their favorite lullabies bring peace and comfort after a busy day.

These are just a small sampling of the many routines that can be aided by music.  Choose one or two to try to incorporate into your day (either with your students or your own children), and decide for yourself if it is worthwhile.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, August 2, 2012


It's exciting to be planning my early childhood curriculum!  There are so many excellent activities for babies and toddlers that help them develop musically as well as cognitively as well!

Tags: , , , , , ,