Posts Tagged ‘music’


paddling song

October 26, 2009

Last week each of the classes in grades 1 through 8 performed for parents and friends of the school. It was meant to provide insight into what was happening in each of the grades and what I got to see of it was great.

I was most struck by what the grade two class did. Their performance was a bit of a medley but their first thing is what stands out the most because it’s so similar to what I’ve been planning to try with my classmates when they pretend to be in grade 2 later today.  (The television poem from last week was someone else’s interpretation on the same assignment.)

In the performance at the school the children went on stage carrying sticks with fabric on the bottom and they kneeled down in two rows as if they were in a giant canoe. Then they started tapping their sticks in time with the song they sang – “My paddle’s keen and bright, flashing with silver….

Some people consider the verse those children sang to be part of one of my favourite songs from back when I was around the same age. The verse I know best goes like this:
“Land of the silver birch, home of the beaver, where still the mighty moose, wanders at will.
Blue lake and rocky shore, I will return once more, boom ditty boom boom, boom ditty boom boom, boom ditty boom boom boom.”

I hadn’t thought to kneel down as if in a canoe but I will stick to my plan of teaching the rhythm in a circle and then learning the words from there. The context – learning a song that helps keep us in time as we paddle – is the same.

I still can’t get over the fact that the grade two’s at the school here did something so much like what I’m going to try out with my mock grade two’s today. Hopefully it all goes well!

On a completely different note, here’s a photo of my recently completed recorder case.  It took me a week to get around to ?finger knitting? the cord….
completed recorder case


solstice weekend

June 24, 2009

After work on Friday, Kevin and I made the trek a few hours north for our first camping trip of the year.  This was, without a doubt, the latest start to the camping season ever.  In one sense I’m ashamed but we’ve been enjoying life close to home and been involved in more things locally so it’s really not much of an issue.  I do miss the mountains but I’m glad we’ve had the chance to discover how much less stressful it can be to stay home and spend an evening in the backyard.

Back to solstice… this year we decided to celebrate it at the North Country Fair where a stage had just been revamped and a new playground constructed in memory of our friends’ son.  Unlike most of the bigger music festivals in Alberta this one has space for on-site camping so I was excited about spending a weekend in one place.

We weren’t really too sure what to expect at this festival but figured it would be a little more of a family focused gathering of earthy folks joining to celebrate of solstice with great music of course.  That element was definitely there but there were easily as many obscene young drunks.  Thankfully those folks were gone before the music really got going on Sunday.

I still can’t quite get over why people would pay $100 just to drink and yell at each other all weekend but there probably aren’t many things like the fair in that neck of the woods.   I just wish we could figure out a way to train them to be more respectful.

All in all though it was a good weekend with some great music including one of our new favourites Trevor Tchir.  I also got to play around with hula hoops a little bit.  Fun times!

06 NCF

Oh, and during the little rain storm on Saturday Kevin and I huddled up in the back of the E to play our own music.  I wish we had the option to do videos with sound on one of our camera so we could have documented the dijeridoo, djembe, jews harp and recorder.  If for some reason we’re still here next year we’ll definitely be going back!


tunes I never tire of

January 9, 2009

So, today was the last day to enter nominations for 49 Songs from North of the 49th Parallel with CBC’s Radio 2.  It’s so cool to be a part of this and the dialogue on Radio 1 has been great.  I’m so glad my favourite musicians are Canadian and I love thinking about how that came to be.

In honour of my birthday in 2003 a good friend gave me the best gift ever – mixed cd’s that introduced me to new musicians including Corb Lund.  She knew his music from when he was a member of the smalls and at the time his folk/country wasn’t very well known at all.  His music was the first step towards my obsession with Canadian, and especially, Alberta, music.

My favourite Albertan today is John Wort Hannam and there’s a story here too.  He was the evening entertainment at a little conference I went to in Okotoks.  There weren’t many of us there to listen but wow did those of us who stayed have a good time listening and sharing knitting stories!  When he started singing about the Lost Creek Fire (near where I’d worked the summer before) I was hooked!  I still love his tunes, and his last CD was produced by another favourite…

Vancouver’s Steve Dawson is a rockin’ musician and producer with his own label, Black Hen Music.  I was first introduced to his tunes courtesy of a friend and colleague from that summer of 2003.  When Steve came to our small town I recommended the show to a few friends and we ended up being the majority of the audience.  It was so cool!  Everyone was amazed by his talent and we were able to converse with him afterwards too.  He’s since produced more of his own cd’s and they’re all in the music rotation in this house!

Some of the other regulars in my play list include Jessica Heine, Harry Manx, Maria Dunn and T. Nile.  I think there’s a theme here – real people, writing real music, telling their own stories.  What could be better?

I’m looking forward to hearing the short list on Radio 2 on Monday – I’m hoping that one of my favourites make the cut!