David and I are spending Thanksgiving weekend in NY with his parents, and today we are going into the city to sing Georgian music at a workshop lead by Carl Linich of Kavkasia.
David introduced me to Georgian music (among other freaky types of music). My first response was, “I like Georgian Music. The Indigo Girls are my favorite!” David’s response was probably something like, “oh, I didn’t know the Indigo Girls sang Georgian Folk Music,” confusing me with his combination of sarcasm and sincerity.
The first Georgian song I learned, here sung by Carl and his sons:
We haven’t been singing in a while, and singing is getting more and more difficult as Raspberry pushes upward into my diaphragm and lungs. I have barely been able to keep up with my favorite Georgian duo, holding now-gasping sing-a-longs with the Indigo Girls.
I miss singing. It is hard to be sad or angry when you are singing (unless singing along with Alanis or Pink or something, which I don’t usually do). Singing in a group, whether during Shabbat services, Sacred Harp sing-a-longs, or choir practice, builds community effortlessly.
I’m excited to introduce Raspberry to Georgian Music. And everything else.
Before I knew I was pregnant, I suspected I might be when I watched Glee (the one when Mercedes sings that “You are beautiful” song at the Pep Rally) and I cried like a…pregnant woman.
For the past 5 and a half months, I haven’t had too many weird food cravings. But I have had cravings for Glee. I can’t even watch all the episodes because Hulu only puts up 5 at a time and has been skipping episodes left and right!
- The stereotypes are a bit much.
- How does a high school glee club in Ohio have so much money for fancy costumes each week? Professional theatres can’t afford that, much less high school. And who makes all the costumes? And how do they have not only an accompanist but a whole band who plays with them?
- How come they are all so beautiful? Everyone in the school is always calling them freaks, but the actors are all so attractive. And even when they dress “freaky,” they still have very nice, well-fitting clothes.
- How does Quinn move like that when she’s pregnant? I can still shake my butt, don’t worry, but I can’t jump around and sing at the same time. I can barely walk and sing.
Ok, Vicki, you are thinking, it is television. I know, but still. I like my art to have either a taste of reality or to be obviously art. Perhaps this is why I don’t like much TV (except the shows that are obviously ridiculous, like 30 Rock or Arrested Development).
There are, of course, things that are great about the show. I love how they take seriously all the issues that we all, in some way or another, faced in high school. I love that there are characters who are gay, disabled, overweight. I love they all rock the Glee Club. I love that Rachel isn’t perfect though an amazing singer. I love that there is a pregnant character and that there are also teenage love triangles.
My cravings for Glee are still going strong. I’m mostly concerned about Quinn’s dance moves and the baby!
Even though I spent about half of summer camp in tears (first because I didn’t want to stay, then because I didn’t want to leave), I have incredible memories from the summers I spent at Henry S. Jacobs Camp in Utica, Mississippi. The song sessions, Shabbat by the lake, the boys, the friends, pottery and yoga, the joy of AC in the museum. Camp really shaped who I am and I miss it. I wish there were something like it for adults.
When I lived in Bethlehem with my friends, we called our house Camp Fancy Town – Camp because of the singing, open doors, shared food, and variety of activities. Fancy because we anything but. And Town because such a diversity of people lived there. And because all three together are better than any one alone.
I found this article about Make Believe Camp that combines my desire for camp and my desire to play – what could be better?! If only I could go back in time. Or perhaps start something like this in Reading? Is Reading ready for make believe?
It is summer camp season and the thing I miss most is not running around the lake in the morning (HA!) or the Mississippi summers, but I miss Song Session! Each morning and evening, after breakfast and dinner, the whole camp would be lead in song for what was never long enough. We sang all kinds of songs – Hebrew, Jewish, English, old fashioned, original…but it really brought us together as a camp, as cabins, as people.
The Association of Teaching Artists posted this article this morning. Here is a highlight:
The researchers conclude that engaging in the “shared goal of vocalizing and moving together in time” strengthened the children’s “sense of acting together as a unit.” Their results support the hypothesis that music — at least in part — evolved as a way of fostering group cohesion, by “generating an intuitive feeling of community and bonding among the performers.”
After giving myself a high five to discover have research that supports something I’ve felt for a while, I considered how I have seen this in action and the possible implications. In preschools where I have worked as a creative drama teaching artist, I have seen teaching lead children in song during clean up time and before eating (so children will all clean up the whole mess, not just their mess, and so lunch time will be kinder and gentler and the students all begin eating together). I’ve felt how working on a musical with people you don’t know bring you together quickly, in a way that I haven’t felt with other work. I know militaries use chant and songs and sororities and fraternities do too.
When I taught Neighborhood Bridges this school year to 4th graders, we sang this very silly song, the Tootie Tah, after some of the sessions. When I teach it again this year, I will try it each time and see if it helps bring the kids together as a group more quickly. I wonder where else I can add music to my life.
I’d love to hear your thoughts or reflections.