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  • Why Music ?

    “When a child learns by experience that music forges direct links between self and world, self-expression becomes more fluent; the music helps interpret ‘who I am’.” -"Growing up Complete”, the report of the National Commission on Music Education
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The Old Woman in a Shoe gets a Mommy Makeover

There Was an Old WomanA nice short sweet note for you for Mother’s Day. 

Enjoy this loving revision of  There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe (by Becky Bailey) with your child.  

Look directly into your child’s eyes, use your most expressive voice with your young child as they sit on your lap, or lay in bed.  Lovingly, hold their hand and enjoy this finger play.

A wonderful woman who lived in a shoe,   (place your child’s hand between your two hands)
She had so many children she knew exactly what to do.  (with one hand wiggle each finger individually on the child’s hand)
She held them. She rocked them, and tucked them in bed.  (hold & rock the hand, bring to your chest)
“I love you, I love you” is what she said.       (speak directly to the child, then snuggle)

You may even hold the hand against the heart and ask the child if they can feel the heart beat.  Then have them feel their own.  A child’s heartbeat is a little faster than an adult’s, can they tell the difference?    If you HUM a familiar lullaby right now, the child can feel the vibration in your chest.

This quiet activity allows the child to be bathed in a full sensory experience: they HEAR these sweet words, they SEE your adoring eyes, they FEEL your sensitive touch on their hands, they hear and feel the deep underlying rhythms of the poem, and of the heart, and deep in their heart, their EMOTIONS absorb the love.  In their brain, natural chemicals are released that allow the stress of the day to melt away, and different chemicals set the stage for new connections, strong connections of language, of love, and of the comfort of a safe place to be.

“Again… Again, mommy?”  Say yes.  Repetition makes the connections stronger.  Strong enough to make them feel comfortable even in a strange place when you recite the rhyme.  With enough repetition, the child may, at some point, replay the scenario in their minds, even when you are not there, to help them reach that sense of calm when they need it most.

A mother’s love extends far beyond their physical being.  It extends into the heart – forever.

***  For more such rhymes and loving rituals with your child, please order the book (and maybe even the CDs) called “I Love You Rituals” by Becky Bailey.  I LOVE her perspective… so will you.

PS.  Of course, Kindermusik is FULL of these types of magical musical moments, which you learn in class, with other loving parents, and build your “musical and literary” mommy library, so you can use them in your daily routines with your family.  Repetition is good for the child, but the mommy brain LOVES new material to work with. 

Check out a Kindermusik program near you.

Wow!  While looking around, I found an amazing website based on this rhyme.  New verses, coloring pages, games, even recipies.  Ha !  What fun !  When you get a chance, check out Alphabet Soup.    Then you can submit your own fun ideas !

PLEASE share the song or rhyme that you use with your child to connect, calm, and thrive.


My Dream of Motherhood

It’s a serious predicament when a woman strongly desires to have children, yet her husband, the desired father wants NO part of it.  Since this occurred with both MY parents, and my father’s parents, I suspect it is far more common than I felt at the time.  But, it is interesting to learn how each individual deals with this predicament.  This is my story, my song, and my way of helping my DREAM COME ALIVE. 


My husband and I married quite young, and CHOSE to complete our educational goals and begin our careers before having children.  Or so I thought.  As time passed, my husband somehow came to the conclusion that he was not interested in having children and became quite adamant about it.  I did want children, just not yet, and we decided to agree to disagree and not discuss it  (saves a marriage sometimes, you know.) 

Of course, there came a time when my desire to have a child swelled inside me.  AND, I needed and wanted him to be an active part of the child’s life, and be willing to undergo the sacrifices and changes that come with an expanding family.  Only with his true consent, not forced choice, was I willing to risk bringing a child into this world.

Family Close up 2I decided to write a song to express how strongly I felt about having a child, not just any child, but his child.  Right before Christmas, I brought out my guitar and told him I had a song to share with him. 

Dream Come Alive

By Debbie Mondale


Thinking myself to sleep I watch time passing like a breeze,

Been making my childhood dream comes true,

it often puts my mind at ease.

Every step of the way, you’ve been by my side,

going up or down, a roller coaster ride.

There’s one more thing you can help me see through,

I want a child that looks like you.

Please help me

make this dream come alive.

Yes, I’m scared too,

but we will survive.

I know you think I’m crazy,

that I don’t know what I’m saying.

And you’re probably right,

but the feeling inside

is so strong that I’m saying it.


I’ve thought about this a lot, its  taken years to decide.

I didn’t know if I wanted it, we lead such a carefree life.

I know it isn’t your goal, quite the contrary,

I only ask because it means so much to me.


I think that as a father, you will have so much to give;

telling stories, making him laugh, teaching him how to live.

It’s a strange, strange world to grow up in,

but with both our guidance, he’ll be strong within.

All I can see is you and me in the heart and mind of one to be. 


As soon as I sang the last line of the first verse, his smile vanished, but he listened to the rest of my song and my explanation.

I told him that there was no pressure, he could say “no” and we would continue our lives with our current footloose and fancy free approach.  Or he could say “yes”, and we could start a new strange existence full of spontaneity and learn new nuances to the meaning of love.  He didn’t have to answer me at any specific time, but that I would love to know as soon as he had reached a decision.

Nothing was said about it for several days until we were on a road trip to visit his mother for Christmas.  “Do you want an answer to your question?” he asks.  Knowing immediately what he was talking about, I almost shouted, “YES”.  He quickly spits out, “Yes, and I don’t want to talk about it.”  I smiled.  It was a wonderful … slow … start.

Now, he is a wonderful father of 2.  He does have so much to give – just as the song says, and just as I expected.  The second pregnancy was eight years later, and quite a surprise… to me.  I was quite worried about how he was going to respond.   But, he knew about our second child before I did, as he was having dreams about her during the first few weeks I was pregnant.  When I told him we were expecting, he told me we were going to have a girl.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I know that my true gifts are my loving husband, and my two delightful children, as well as my own caring mother (who also insisted upon becoming a mother) and my father, who also became a great father despite his early reservations).

The following two postings were developed by me last year, but I believe they will always be relevant on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day Sing-a-long and Traditions – includes a fun cartoon video of a parent /child relationship, as well as some traditions we have in our family on Mother’s Day.  Telling and singing the above story is part of that.

Songs for Mothers and Fathers   Many of the songs that I recommend are a part of my heart’s memories, they will never fade.  Most all of them were written by parents who had that same strong feeling about being a parent.                       It is powerful.                          It is love.

I hope that you have a wonderful Mother’s Day as well, as a mother, or with your mother.

Mother’s Day Sing-a-long and Traditions

This sweet animated clip features a mother spider and her loving child, who is singing about how his mother loves him just because he is her child.  The words are included, and I know you and your child will enjoy watching and singing along with this one!

You may even enjoy coming up with your own words to the song, pointing out specific things that you love about each of your children, and what they love about you.  No matter what their age is, children thrive on hearing all the different things you love about them.  Adults do too.

Mother’s Day is also a wonderful time to retell the story of your child’s birth, from the moment there was a desire in your heart for a child through to the day they were born.  This tradition will become a beloved bonding experience each year. 

Since I wrote a song for each of my children before they were born, I include that song in their story.  Other parents I know CHOSE a favorite song to represent their love.  To see a list of songs parents have chosen to be a special connection with their child, see my resources blog posting:   Songs for Mothers and Fathers 

I also bring out the artwork that I did while I was pregnant,  (I crafted a little baby and several acessories out of beeswax modeling clay), as well as their artwork from each Mother’s Day.  I keep them all in a treasure box to bring out for special occasions, like this and their birthdays, and even days when I can tell they just need to be reassured of their worth.  Or sometimes, just for myself, when I need to refocus on the love that brought them into the world, instead of the daily frustrations that sometimes block that vision.

On Mother’s Day, and all the days of being a mother, even on the really tough days,  I wish you peace, contentment, and a full heart!  Life just wouldn’t be the same, it wouldn’t be so full of laughter, love, and learning, without our children.  I am so glad to be “MOM”!

Merry Melodies,
Debbie Mondale