In this episode of Confetti Park, Hazel shares a music memory from her early childhood. When she was just three years old, she knew wanted to play music, and asker her parents for a real piano. Much to her chagrin, the piano she received was a TOY!
“My parents bought me a toy piano,” she recalls. “I was only three years old, but I looked at the toy piano and the black notes were painted on to the white notes. I knew this was not a real piano, and I was very sad.”
But little Hazel persevered, and kept on asking for a piano. About a year and a half later, her parents finally gave in.
“So kids, don’t be fooled!” advises Hazel. “Just keep asking, keep after them, and maybe your parents will come around.”
Confetti Park is a community radio program out of New Orleans. We feature local storytellers and songs that kids love, songs created for kids, or created by kids, right here in Louisiana. This medley of kids music shows the diversity of Louisiana musicians.
Songs featured in this episode, in order:
For more information about these artists, and kids music in Louisiana, visit http://confettipark.com
The Confetti Parkhosted by Katy Hobgood Ray, features music and stories spun in Louisiana. It showcases songs that kids love, songs created for kids, and songs created by kids. Sparkling interviews, in-studio performances, delightful music medleys, jokes, local author storytime, and a little surprise lagniappe make for an entertaining show!Subscribe on iTunes
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Community radio stations, interested in carrying Confetti Park? Contact Katy Ray.
In this edition of Confetti Park, Katy Ray sits down with Judy Caplan Ginsburgh of Alexandria, La. to talk about children’s music. Judy has been creating music for children since 1981! Among the topics they discuss: what kinds of songs do little kids love? How does Judy share her Jewish heritage through song?
Judy specializes in music for young children and in Jewish music. In fact, Judy is a rabbi, a Jewish religious leader. While she has a degree in vocal performance (from Indiana University), she never intended to become a children’s musician. She was singing songs with the children at her office’s preschool regularly (on her lunch breaks), when parents and teachers started asking her to record some of the songs. Thus, her first album was born: Sing Along with Judy. That was in 1981—the rest is history!
Judy writes original music but also plays traditional songs.
“I’m a huge believer in not forgetting these old nursery rhymes and folk tunes that have been around for so long. They’ve been around for generations because they are good,” says Judy. “We ought to teach new things and write new things, but we shouldn’t forget these old tried and true songs, either.”
What makes a children’s song good?
“Number one, they’re simple. They’re short. The tunes are very catchy, they’re easy to catch on to,” advises Judy. “Many of the tunes a lot of us use in early childhood music are also call and response… and also things called zipper songs, where the tune and the words remain the same except for one word. So those kinds of songs work very well for young children because they’re repetitive, they’re repeating after you, they’re reinforcing one thing at a time so they actually can be used for learning.”
Judy also uses a lot of props, audience participation, and movement when working with children in music. “You cannot sing to children. You sing with children,” she emphasizes.
“There are so many interfaith families now, and that’s really why this started,” she explains.”Mainly the mothers were not Jewish, but they were the ones raising the children. So they needed to learn the traditional songs that their kids were singing at Sunday School and at Jewish camp. To help teach non-Jews about our Jewish heritage…This is music that we all grew up with, they they may not have.”
While Judy’s earlier Jewish music CDs feature mostly traditional songs, her later CDs feature originals.
“I used to teach in a Jewish day school, and a lot of times we’re trying to teach a concept, an ethical philosophy, and I always taught with music,” explains Judy. “But there wouldn’t be a song, for instance, about tzedakah, which means charity, or helping people. And, so I wrote a song about tzedakah.”
Just loves performing and is also available for teacher training, to teach teachers how to use music in the classroom. You can reach her through her website at http://www.judymusic.com/
Songs featured in this episode: “Aiken Drum,” “Sing Along Song,” and “Tzedakah.”
It's Christmas Storytime on Confetti Park!
You've heard about the friendly beasts in the manger, who all gave their own special gift to the baby Jesus, who was born in a stable so rude.
There was the donkey, who gave mother Mary a ride, and the cow, who gave up her manger and hay for the newborn child. The sheep gave his soft wool to keep the baby warm. And the doves cooed the baby to sleep with their sweet song.... did a kitty also offer some comfort to the baby?
In this retelling of the Christmas story, Mary Jean Chester of Bayou Gauche, Louisiana, imagines what role a barn cat might have had in the wee hours of the morning, when baby Jesus needed soothing.
Mary Jean is a retired teacher and has spent years telling stories to children in south Louisiana. Thank you, Mary Jean, for sharing your gift with Confetti Park!
New Orleans musician Roger Lewis shares a childhood music memory with Confetti Park about his first love, the saxophone.
Roger Lewis has had a wonderful career in music that keeps him traveling around the world to this day. The baritone saxophonist is a founding member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, which began in 1977! He is also a member of the Treme Brass Band, the Delfeayo Marsalis Uptown Jazz Orchestra, Walter “Wolfman” Washington’s band, and several other bands around town.
Roger, who is still going strong at over 70 years of age, recalls how it all began:
“When I was a little guy, maybe around 8 years old, I was fascinated with the shape of the saxophone. I used to take newspapers and form them in the shape of a cone, and shape them into the shape of a saxophone….and I would be in the backyard [pretending to play musical notes].…. pretty much that was my toy as a kid! I got my first saxophone when I was 10 years old.”
He also talks a bit about his mechanical inclinations as a kid.
Thank you, Roger, for sharing this wonderful memory with Confetti Park.
In this episode of Confetti Park we hear The Jungle Grapevine by author Alex Beard!
Alex is a fine artist who paints and draws beautiful animals and other inspiring sights from the natural world. He owns an art studio and gallery at 608 Julia Street where he displays his work, and which serves as a base for The Watering Hole Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on conservation. Alex wants to preserve the wilderness, natural beauty, and wildlife of our planet. He hopes that when children read his books, they will learn about the importance of conservation, even as they are entertained by the whimsical animal adventures.
The Jungle Grapevine is his first children's book (2009). It’s a comedic game of telephone between animals in an African savannah:
When Bird mixes up something Turtle says, he accidentally starts a rumor about the watering hole drying up. One misunderstanding leads to another, with animals making their own hilarious assumptions.
No one is hearing anything right, and soon the animals are in an uproar from one end of the jungle to the other. Elephant is trumpeting, Croc is snapping, and the Flamingos are fleeing!
There are two more books in the Watering Hole trilogy: Monkey See, Monkey Draw, and Crocodile’s Tears. Learn more about Alex and his mission in an upcoming interview with Confetti Park and at his website, http://alexbeardstudio.com/
Thank you Alex, for narrating The Jungle Grapevine for us!