Reid’s Kindermusik homework for this week includes composing a breakfast song – both lyrics and score. As you may or may not know, I am seriously rhythmically challenged. Ken can easily carry a tune but neither of can know how to write music. Reid has a innate sense of rhythm and is learning that the notes on a musical staff are related to bars on her glockenspiel and also that there are full- and half-notes (ta and ti-ti sounds if you learned music as a child). She knows about rests, too. All of this means that she can read music better than either Ken or me. What she can’t do, though, is write enough words for lyrics to a song, however short. Which isn’t so bad considering she could not read the lyrics anyway. I have to say that the assignment had me stumped.
When they first got home Monday night, Ken reminded Reid that she needed to work on her breakfast song and she dragged out her glockenspiel. The first instruction that Ken gave was for Reid to draw some pictures to help her remember what she would be singing about. Brilliant! She drew some grapes and a peanut butter sandwich. Next, Ken had Reid choose a few notes to play while looked at her “lyrics” pictures. She played 3 notes to accompany her first 3 syllables and then sang the rest of the song a capella. We suggested that she needed a note per syllable and Reid looked at us dubiously. Even though we don’t have write music we have listened to more than a few songs over the years. We insisted on the syllable-to-word concord. I know that it’s not always so but it’s a good place for a 4-year-old to start.
The resulting song goes like this:
I love to eat peanut butter sandwiches and grapes!
As of this evening, each syllable got its own note – from high C on down – and “grapes” came out on a glissando. I’m not sure if she’ll remember to strike each note or the glissando but at least she did for a bit. Also, I have to acknowledge that Shannon was probably hoping the Reid’s voice would match the notes she is playing but that’ll have to wait for another assignment.
I thought that I’d have until grade 6 math before I was stumped by Reid’s homework. Ah, well, I’ve been wrong before.