In Ms. Willig’s first grade classroom, a sign reads “OUR RULES: 1. Be nice. 2. Listen to each other. 3. Have fun.” – a worthy set of rules for all of us to live by. Mally Smith and I certainly followed rule #3 as we shared some music and activities with the first graders last Friday. You can join in the fun too. Its time to slow down, fix some tea and have a seat at the kitchen table.
Photo: Jerilyn Willig
“If you’re happy and you know it, pat your head and rub your tummy!“
June 10, Friday, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, Hopkinton, MA My daughter Mally and I join a great collection of musicians to benefit the Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center. Other performers include the Dan Cloutier Band and Strange Machines.
Click to view all upcoming shows.
Featured Non-Profit: Women of Means
The mission of Women of Means is to improve the lives of women who are homeless or marginally housed through quality health care, education and advocacy. They “send teams of volunteer doctors and staff nurses into shelters in and around Boston to cut through red tape and provide free, patient-centered medical care to women and children.” There are several ways to volunteer or contribute to this important work. Click here to learn more.
If you have a non-profit to suggest for an upcoming issue of The Kitchen Musician please send me an e-mail.
Last month while playing at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA, I was surprised when a total stranger approached me with a gift of a sketch (left) he made of me at the microphone. I think Aleksey Nelipa captured me rather well. It reminds me a little of the sketches Woody Guthrie used to make as he doodled in the margins of his lyric sheets. Thank you, Aleksey!
For the last four years I have posted most of the songs that have accompanied each issue of The Kitchen Musician on YouTube. Last week, my YouTube channel passed the 100,000 views milestone! It tickles me to think of 100,000 people in my kitchen. (grin)
I have been spending some time in the studio recently, assembling the remaining pieces of my upcoming CD. The process of creating my first album of original music has been fun, challenging and exciting. How could it not be fun to make music with Seth Connelly of Humming Lake Studios? I smile my way through every session and eagerly look forward to the next. But I am more comfortable singing in a kitchen than a studio, so making this album is also very challenging. Although many modern recording artists use studio tricks and other production techniques to enhance their recordings, when all is sung and done the music and the musician have to stand up on their own merit. Hearing my own voice as it is captured by very good studio microphones is a little humbling. I guess I really don’t sound like James Taylor – oh well. But the recording process is also very exciting. The rough tracks and early mixes are starting to give glimpses of an album of which I will be proud. I can’t wait to share the end results with you. Look for it in the fall.
This Month’s Music
Mally Smith and I meet at the center of the universe to share some fun with the first grade.
Click the image above to play the 27 minute video (or see excerpts below).
Being a first grader in Jerilyn Willig’s class must be a glorious experience. Among the many reasons I know this to be true is that every Friday at 11:15 she brings “Something Wonderful” into her classroom. As the week progresses, she gives clues for her students to try to figure out just what that might be. So when Friday arrives, the anticipation must be delicious. “Something Wonderful” is usually an invited guest who shares a special activity or interest or simply to read a book or tell a story. For the last three years I have had the great pleasure to be “Something Wonderful”. This year was special because I was joined by my daughter Mally. I am very happy that I had the foresight to capture it to share with you. The sight and sound of these children will show you that there are times and places in this world where joy is as pure and natural as home made jam.
When I asked Ms. Willig about the mural that the children painted on the wall behind Mally and me, she replied “That is a pink Boto dolphin – it’s platypus-like snout helps it navigate through the trees and vines when the Amazon river floods (we’ve been trying to make our room into the Amazon rain forest… which speaks to the giant hanging banana cluster also making it’s way into the video frame).” I think that this Boto dolphin is actually a metaphor for what all good teachers hope for their students – skills that act as platypus-like snouts to navigate through the trees and vines of their life’s floods.
The above video is long (27 minutes). If you don’t want to take the time to view it all I have included several short excerpts below. Enjoy! Mally and I did!
Everyone should be asked to be “Something Wonderful”, preferably on a daily basis.
(I invite you to leave a comment. Just scroll down to the end of this page.)
Goin’ On a Bear Hunt
When I First Came Into This Land
So Long It’ Been Good To Know Yuh
by Woody Guthrie
© 1940 TRO-Folkways Music, Inc.