Tag Archives: music

Play Music On The Porch – This Saturday!

Porch day music iconWe’re excited to share news of a great new day and a great way to bring the family or community together – through music! Check out this guest post from the good folks at Play Music on the Porch Day.

What if for one day everything stopped…and we all just listened to the music?

Imagine, if you can, one day where the sounds of arguments and fighting are replaced with sounds of unity.

One day where those who normally build walls against each other, instead build bridges; note by note.  One day where common ground can be found regardless of your race, religion, culture or differences. For there is a sound that rises above it all.  One day where language is not a barrier. For, what is being communicated porchmusic pixtranscends our many different languages and each person feels in their heart what is understood by all.

A day where all can find shelter, unity and a greater understanding of each other. Where we can celebrate the diverse sounds our world holds.  Play Music on the Porch Day is offering a platform to do just that.  We believe everyone has their own unique sound, let the world hear it.

Join us and share your music and let yourself shine! Together we can light up the world with music!

Register to be added to the map:tinyurl.com/Register4PMOTPD and you can join this amazing group of people ready to make some great music on the 26th!

porch music map


A Vuvuzela – This Horn’s For You!

The world cup is coming up and who doesn’t love to cheer on their favorite sports team with a mighty blast of a honking horn? Whether you’re a soccer fan or just want to make some joyful noise, it’s easy to create your own homemade horn that looks a lot like the vuvuzelas used in soccer matches around the world!

What’s a Vuvuzela?

Although it’s now a common site at soccer matches all over the globe, it’s hard to tell exactly how the vuvuzela was invented. One South African soccer fan claims stadium workers vuvuhe invented the vuvuzela by reshaping a bicycle horn into a mightier instrument and there are pictures from the 1950’s and 1960’s that prove it. Later, the vuvuzela was used as part of worship in South African churches but this type of stadium horn clearly took center stage when the world cup came to South Africa. Dozens of reporter from around the globe declared their love (or hatred) of this new musical fad!

A Real Vuvuzela Is Loud!

vuvu south koreaReal vuvuzelas are incredibly loud and are actually banned from some public areas in South Africa for that reason. They are also rather big – some more than 18 or 24 inches long! Thankfully, kids versions are smaller, quieter and some even come as plastic, collapsible horns that can be easily taken to a local game or sports events.

Make Your Own Vuvuzela

Can’t find a vuvu near you? Then make your own version out of some basic materials from around the house. Here’s what you need:

kyra pl;ays a vuvuMaterials:

Plastic cup

Cardboard roll from paper towels

Manilla folder

Sturdy tape and

Materials for decoration

vuvu brazilYou can find step-by-step directions in the craft pdf below, but it’s quite easy. The plastic cup becomes the bell of the horn and fits into the cardboard roll. You’ll add a bit of manilla folder to fill out the horn and then decorate with your favorite colors or emblems from the team of your choice. Then, you play.
Check out the free craft pdf’s below for playing tips as well. And get ready for a good, hearty hoooonnnnk!

Win A Vuvuzela Plus a World Cup Activity Pack from KBN

On June 5th, my friends from Kid Blogger Network will give away a pack of world cup activities and prizes. I’ll donate the plastic vuvuzela, so you can win one of your own. Check back to this blog to get word of when the contest is live or subscribe to my feed to never miss a new musical post!

vuvu thumbnailResources

Make A Vuvuzela Craft Activity – Free From TeachersPayTeachers (Follow me on TPT!) http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Vuvuzela-Make-Play-Your-Own-South-African-Stadium-Horn-1242716

A Music Tree Or Rhythm Clothesline For Outdoor Musical Fun!

rhythm tree - playground

Getting outdoors and making music are two great activities for children of all ages – especially when the weather is wonderful!

If you have a special tree with low branches in your backyard or local park you can easily create a living musical sculpture for outdoor play.  If not, no worries.  Almost any playground, driveway or open space can accommodate a sturdy clothesline that will easily transform into a magnificent musical monstrosity just as easily!

And the best part of this project is that you already have everything you need to create a truly unique music tree or rhythm clothesline right in your garage, home basement and recycling bin!

Gather Your Materials!

If you’re making a musical tree, find some sturdy twine or rope to hand the instruments.

If you’re making a rhythm clothesline, you’ll need a longer, sturdy rope that will reach across your desired area.

A safe, sturdy stepladder

For Both Projects 

Extra string, twine or pipecleaners to attach instruments


STARR GARDENS - a few instruments for Rhythm TreeInstruments

We’ll describe a variety of instruments perfect for this project and you can pick out what you want to create.  Or come up with some of your own awesome ideas!

Quick Tips and Suggestions

The pipecleaners help smaller children attach instruments without the need of knot-tying skills.

A basket for mallets keeps the area neat and organized.

If you make the instruments or gather the things you want to hang in advance, this project makes a fun activity for a party, family event or gathering of homeschoolers.

A Recycled Gong!

What better way to start off a musical session than banging a gong.  Take a used serving plate or aluminum turkey roasting pan, decorate and hang for a homemade gong.  (A complete Chinese gong craft is in the resource links below as well).

A Cardboard Roll Guiro

rhythm tree - paper towel roll guiroIf you’ve collected paper towel rolls, you can string them together and create something that looks like an oversized washboard.  Dragging a stick, mallet or whisk over the ridges will result in a wonderful “brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” sound.

Hang Some Jingling Things

Filling up any clean gallon jugs or similar recycled plastic containers with things that ring or jingle makes a great addition to this project.  Add actual jingle bells; if you have them, or look for pebbles, birdseed, dried macaroni or similar objects that will ring, ding, whoosh or swoosh when the jug is tapped.

Rhythm tree - clothesline instrumentsTap A Tambourine

Do you have any older or almost discarded musical instruments?  Any broken wind chimes?  These sound great when attached to the tree and played.

And The Kitchen Sink?

rhythm tree playing tubeWhat else do you have around the house?  Here we found a large roll used to mold concrete in our garage and put it up so that it could be played like a hanging log drum.  What other items or objects can you find that might make some neat noise?

Make Some Mallets

Obviously, you can tap the instruments hanging from the tree with your hands.  But you can also make some mallets and show the kids how to play each item in new and different ways.  Great mallets can easily be created  from wooden dowels, sticks, unsharpened pencils, chopsticks or similar objects.

tippers yellowMost mallets used in world drumming have some kind of “head”, and this not only creates a better sound but helps kids move away from the concept of poking or hitting with sticks, to the idea of using them as real tools and instruments.

Play The Tree

Kids can get really excited about this project so it helps if the adults or older kids model different ways to play the instruments and encourage the kids to listen and try different techniques instead of just hitting or banging away.  For instance, tapping the gong in different places and in different ways results in distinct sounds.  Using two sticks to play a large tube can create some amazing rhythms.  Tapping different jingling jugs can make a series of different sounds that are like musical notes.

Rhythm Tree drumming aroundDance and Drum, All Around!

And, in addition to instruments hanging up, you can create things like jingle sticks or sistrums made from tree branches to dance and play around the musical sculpture.

Don’t forget that you can also bring or make drums to play beside the tree.  You can create free form rhythms or you can sing and play the tree or clothesline at the same time.  Invite someone who plays guitar or another instrument to come and be part of the fun.  Or bring a music device and play recorded music as a soundtrack for your creative percussion.

Listen, learn and love it!

What different ways will you play?

wooden sistrumResources

Chinese Gong


Tree Branch Sistrum


Jingle Sticks








Play A Washboard – With Your Child!

bella and washboardIf you’re a parent with young children, you won’t be surprised to see that kids can be truly creative with the simplest items.  A overturned pot becomes a drum, a scarf becomes a dancing kite, a box turns into a home for stuffed animals and a washboard can be used to make music!

Although a washboard is actually used to make music in the Cajun South of the USA and in some “old timey” Americana music, it’s a great informal instrument to get young kids started with music and playing with rhythm. If you have one around the house (or at the grandparent’s house) then clean it up and bring it out.  You can also look for a good buy at a yard sale or – if all else fails- check out my craft below and you can make your own kid-size version.  What’s next?

Your child can rub the ridges of the washboard with any kid-safe item you find.  My favorites are spoons, wooden spoons, plastic spoons, plastic forks/sporks, Magic Mary and washboardplastic comb, hair pick or an egg whisk.  I’ve also heard from a wonderful music therapist who directs a program called Magic Music Time.   Magic Mary; who gets to play music with almost 200 children a week, shares her ideas for wonderful washboard play: “ Besides the thimble we used a paintbrush, small roll of tape, library card, toothbrush, softball, pencil, marker, plastic spoon, hair clip, empty water bottle, butter tub lid, tassel and soft sponge.  The kids are fascinated with the different sounds!  Sometimes, I put the items in a surprise bag and made up a little chant for each child to choose their item.  They also listen to the sound it makes and tell us loud or soft.”

So how can you play with your washboard at home? You can show your child how to rub up and down, down and up or create patterns with how they brush an item up against the ridges of the washboard.   If you love to sing, you can pick a little guy and washboardfavorite song and your child plays along.  Or trade places and you can keep a beat while your child sings. You can put on some lively music and play along.  You can talk about whether the music is fast or slow or loud or soft and how you might like to play along.  Or you can try some of the great props listed above for different sounds.

One the best parts of homemade music play is that there is no “wrong way” to do it. Let your child get creative and you may not only strike up a band but also a life-long love of music and creative play!  At the very least, you’ll have a musically magical day!

Zeke's washboardHEAR A WASHBOARD


MAKE YOUR OWN washboard craft

About Magic Mary and Magic Music Time

“I’ve been in Early Childhood Education for over 25 years. I’m currently the owner and Director of “Magic Music Time” and also lead Professional Development Trainings for Teachers and Directors.

All of the props we use at “MAGIC MUSIC TIME” are made from recycled materials that the children can find easily in their homes. The props takes the focus off the children and persuade them to participate.

The “Magic” is…There are no wrong ways to move, only right ways so each child can feel successful.”

Using Multicultural Music to Bond with Your Toddler

A Guest Post by Prerna Mallik of “The Mom Writes”

Need a fun and interesting way to spend time with your always on-the-move toddler? Check out multicultural music CDs and videos. These song-filled CDs derive inspiration from the variety and richness of cultures around us and are a great way to bond with your preschooler.

Here’s more about them:

What is Multicultural Music?
Multicultural music consists of songs, videos or lyrics that present a variety of different cultures. These can be used as is or maybe adapted to suit our own native culture. You may not realize it but we’ve all been exposed to multicultural music at some point of time or the other. Feliz Navidad is an excellent example of this.

How Can Multicultural Music Help Your Toddler?
Multicultural music is a fantastic way of spending time with your toddler, having fun and learning as well. Music from across the world teaches toddlers that while we may have different colors, languages and homes, we are all one. We feel the same emotions, experience the same challenges and celebrate in pretty much the same way.

Multicultural music opens up a whole new world for a toddler. Literally. Listening to a song can lead to many fun bonding activities. For instance, if you listen to a song from Mexico, you can do the Mexican hat dance, spend time reading about that country and try to make some hot chocolate like in the popular song “Bate Bate Chocolate”. If you like songs like “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” from Africa, you can make a great preschool craft – a sticker shekere (http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2011/07/30/make-a-sticker-shekere/ ) that is just as much fun as the real instrument from Africa. And you and your young child can play along to your favorite songs.

Doesn’t that sound like a whole lot of fun!

Another great way to use multicultural music is to pick a country each month and then, listen to the songs from that part of the world. For instance, you can pick Latin America and listen to a variety of songs in Spanish and other languages found in Latin America. You can find a lot of fun, free songs online. Three great websites are DARIA’s World Music for Kids (www.dariamusic.com), Mama Lisa’s World (www.mamalisa.com/world/) and Kiddiddles (www.kididdles.com/) .

World music is a fantastic way of inspiring interests in geography, history and cultural studies. Pop in a CD on your way to the school or on a road trip and you’ll have preschoolers singing in a variety of languages before you know it!

Have you listened to multicultural music with your toddler?

Prerna Malik is a mom, a home manager and a web content expert. Join her at The Mom Writes where she talks about parenting toddlers, living green and simple, and being in the business of writing. Find her at www.themomwrites.com

Where Can You And Your Young Child Hear Music? At The Library, Of Course!

As an active children’s performer for the past fifteen years, one of my favorite places to play music for parents with small children is at the library. Concerts or music performances are generally geared to small ears, free and open to the public and participants get to explore some high quality fun with low pressure on kids to sit still and be quiet.

In addition to kids concerts, music events or other great programs and family activities, the library presents a variety of great ways you and your child can explore and share a world of musical fun.

Books, CD’s , DVD’s and More
What’s your passion? Do you love to read books, listen to CD’s, watch children’s DVD’s, travel DVD’s or learn new languages? The library is a great spot to borrow any of these so you can enjoy them at home – and it’s all free!

If you’re looking for books, you can check in with your children’s librarian who can direct you to board books, early reading books or even craft books that will help you create musical instruments or “how–to” books on making music with your child. In the children’s section you can also find a world of DVD’s of quality children’s programming including music, dance, culture and other programs that are fun for you and your child to enjoy together.

In the CD area, you can check out music by your favorite artists or discover new children’s artists that will make you smile. You can also browse the CD section to connect with some new styles of music. Maybe you can pick up something to relax too or for nap time – like jazz, lullabies, folk or world music. Or maybe you’ll pick something upbeat for when you’re doing chores, exercising or just having fun with your little one(s).

Have you wanted to travel or does your family come from another culture? You can check out DVD’s that share the great experience of being in that country plus the music, dance, language and customs that are a part of that heritage. And languages. You can brush up on a language you speak or learn a new one while your child listens in, all with resources that can be borrowed from the local library.

Then, there are the regular programs you might want to connect with.

Preschool Story Time, Summer Reading and Family Fun
Although this varies from library to library, state to state and budget to budget, almost all libraries offer some variety of programs for children of all ages. Many even have programs that are “lap time” for their youngest patrons who come in with their parents. Most have preschool story time. Many have bilingual story time and almost every library has some form of a fun summer reading club or set of activities for children who are readers. It’s been my experience that children’s librarians are pretty awesome people who love to make their activities fun – and although story time is not necessarily a music class or presentation, many libraries love to add songs, props, puppets and other things to create a really great experience for kids or kids and their parents.

What does your local library have? Ask your librarian! They can tell you what is available at that particular branch and also what may be available at nearby branches or other community-based resources that may be perfect for enjoying with your child. Is your library missing a kind of program that you’d like? Ask them about adding it. You can also see if there is a Friends of the Library group. Often, this group helps to raise money and funds or creates programs such as music at your library. It’s usually very easy to get involved and make a difference with this type of group, even if you are a busy parent.

Kid-friendly concerts, free resources and a fun place to rock on or chill out and relax – the library is a great spot for sharing music and culture even with very young kids. So whether or not there’s a concert at your branch this week, you can always find some great fun at the local library that’s nearest to you!

A Lullabye To Make Your Own

Recently a wonderful website called Mama Lisa’a World posted a great question. She asked if any dads (or granddads) sang lullabyes to their babies? Answers came in from all over the world showing that lullabyes are still alive and well, not only as special moments between mommies and babies but also among dads, siblings, grandparents and anyone else who might want a baby to fall sleep!

So what songs can you sing? Many folks suggested traditional lullabyes from their own country or culture and a few folks; especially dads, seemed to like modern or pop music – songs that they found soothing and held good memories for them.

Are you looking for a simple lullabye to make you own? You can easily take a popular folksong like “My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean” and turn it into a great bedtime lullabye. But, why sing about Bonnie? Why not add your child’s name to the song and take it from there. If your child’s name is short, you can sing it with the “my” or add “sweet” to make it fit in. For instance:

My David lies over the ocean
My David lies over the sea
My David lies over the ocean
Oh bring back my David to me

Bring back, etc.

Sweet Sarah lies over the ocean
Sweet Sarah lies over the sea
Sweet Sarah lies over the ocean
Oh bring back Sweet Sarah to me

Bring back, etc.

If your child’s name is longer, you can omit the “my”, shorten the name a bit or get creative and fit it in. For instance:

Anastasia lies over the ocean
Anastasia lies over the sea
Anastasia over the ocean
Oh bring back Anastasia to me

Bring back, etc.

Elias lies over the ocean
Elias lies over the sea
Elias over the ocean
Oh bring back Elias to me

Bring back, etc.

Whether you have a newborn, a toddler or even a slightly older child, there’s something very precious about a parent creating a simple song for their child as a happy way to end a busy day or to make a special bedtime moment.

If you want to get even more creative, you can dive in deeper as well. Using the same tune of “My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean”, why not try these lyrics but adding your own children’s names, stuffed animals or other special elements that talk about your home and family.

(To The Tune of My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean)
New lyrics by Daria A. Marmaluk-Hajioannou

It’s time that you sleep now, my darling
(or put in your child’s name)
It’s time that you sleep now, my dear
It’s time that you sleep now, my darling
And know that your mommy (or daddy or…) is near

Sleep well, sleep well,
And know that your mommy (or daddy or…) is near
Sleep well, sleep well,
And know that your mommy (or daddy or…) is near

Your pony (or teddy bear or special toy) is nearby my darling
Your pony is nearby my dear
Your pony is nearby my darling
Your pony and mommy (or daddy or…) are near

The stars keep their watch from the heavens
The stars in the heavens are clear
The stars keep their watch from the heavens
The stars and your mommy (or daddy or…) are near

You can add children in the house:

Soon your sister Anna will sleep, too
Your sister is nearby my dear
Soon your sister Anna will sleep, too
Your sister and mommy are near

If you like, you can add verses like:

Outside the crickets are chirping
Outside the train, it’s a rumbling
Outside, it’s quiet and peaceful
Outside, I hear cars on the highway

With very little effort, you can create a memorable new song that’s all about your family. And it’s verses can go on long enough to put almost any child to sleep!

So, go ahead, croon a lullabye. No matter how tired you may be at night, the sound of your voice singing to your child will be a memory that will always be treasured!

-Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou

Mama Lisa’s World can be found at:

Daria’s website can be found at:

Daria’s online songbook (with lots of lyrics) can be found at:

A wonderful site with lots of lyrics for simple songs can be found at:

When To Introduce Music To Your Child?

When to Introduce Music To Your Child?

You’ve Already Begun!

One of the things that surprises and delights most new parents is how awake and aware their infant or young child is. Although they can’t walk or talk like an adult, it is still clear that they are responding to their environment; learning, growing and taking in what is around them. So what is the right time to introduce music…? The answer to that you’ve already begun!

Even while your baby was still in the womb, he or she basked in the beauty of your voice and moved to the rhythm of your heartbeats. So; without knowing it, you’ve probably already opened their world to the wonder and sound of music. Now it’s just a matter of building on that great foundation and exploring more ways that baby, Mom and the whole family can enjoy and share some musical fun.

So, let’s start with the obvious.

Music helps set the pace when you want to get things done and get moving. Your child will easily connect with the beat in the same way they’ve already begun to follow your voice, your tone of voice and your verbal cues. If you sing with them or tap out a rhythm, they will focus on the activity even more and it’s a nice way of drawing their attention to words or rhythms. And don’t feel self-conscious. Not only do you have a captive audience – you have an adoring one. Nothing will ever sound as sweet to a child as the sound of the voice of someone that loves them.

Best of all, music is just amazing when setting a relaxing tone for naptime or bedtime… for both grown-ups and children. Although it isn’t a cure-all, if everything else is in order, a sleepy baby can be lulled to dreamland with just the right combination of sounds as part of a bedtime or naptime ritual. And relaxing music you enjoy can create a quiet oasis for mom or dad – even if you have to get back up and keep going after your child has gone to sleep.

Favorite naptime or sleepytime music? I’ll tell you about some of mine in future blogs. But for now, I’d love to hear what you parents have as favorite quiet time music choices. Please comment, drop me a line and let me know.

Have a great and musical day!

Acabas de comenzar!

Una de las cosas que mas impresiona a los padres es  darse cuenta de cuan despiertos y concientes sus bebes o niños son. Si bien  no pueden hablar o caminar como un adulto, es claro que estan  respondiendo  a su entorno; aprendiendo, creciendo y absorbiendo todo lo que hay a su alrededor . Entonces cual es el momento indicado de introducir la música…? La respuesta es que  ya lo has empezado hacer.

Cuando tu bebe todavía estaba en tu vientre, el o ella se deleitaba con tu bella voz y se movía al ritmo de los latidos de tu corazón.  Así que sin saberlo, probablemente  tu abriste la puerta  al mundo  sorprendente  del sonido musical . Ahora es cuestión de construir sobre esta estupenda  fundación y explorar los diferentes caminos que el bebe, la mama y toda la familia pueden disfrutar y compartir un poco de diversión musical.
Así que, comencemos con lo básico.

La música ayuda a marcar el ritmo cuando tu quieres terminar algo y ponerte en movimiento. Tu niño se conectara fácilmente a este ritmo, de la misma forma que el ha seguido tu voz, tu tono y tus gestos verbales. Si tu cantas con el o tocas un ritmo, ellos tomaran mas interés a la actividad y es una bella manera de llamar su atención a palabras o ritmos. No te sientas cohibido. No solamente tienes  un publico cautivo,  tendras un entregado a ti. Nunca nada sonaría tan dulce  a un niño como el sonido de la voz de una persona que lo ama.

Lo mejor de todo, la música es  asombrosa cuando es colocada en un tono relajante para una siesta o a la hora de ir a la cama…  funciona tanto para adultos como para niños. Si bien no es la solución para todo, tomando en cuenta que todo lo demás este en orden, un bebe somnoliento puede ser llevado a la tierra de los sueños con la combinación correcta de sonidos, como parte de la rutina para dormir o para su siesta. Y una música relajante puede crear un oasis de tranquilidad para mama o papa -  a pesar de que tengas que regresar una y otra vez después que tu bebe esta dormido.

Música favorita para la siesta o hora de dormir? Te lo diré mas adelante en mis futuros blogs. Pero por ahora, me encantaría saber las selecciones de música que utilizan para momentos de tranquilidad. Por favor  comenta, escríbeme una línea y déjame saber.

Que tengas un estupendo día musical.


Tu tienes un bebe o un niño pequeño en casa. Felicitaciones.  Estas estática, contenta y probablemente agotada.

Lo ultimo que necesitas es agregar algo mas en tus tareas del día. Pero tengo una buena noticia. Creando música con, para o alrededor de tus pequeños puede ser un proceso que no solo despertara sus sentidos,  aumentara el poder de su cerebro, sino también creara un vinculo familiar -  además puede ser relajante, divertido y fortificante para ti. Este es uno de  los momentos  en que  al intentarlo siempre sales ganando. Mientras mas arte, música y creatividad traes a la vida de tu familia, cada uno de ellos  florecerá y crecerá cada día mas.

He creado este pequeño espacio para que tu explores    ideas divertidas para que tu día sea mas harmonioso y agradable.

Espero que disfrutes…Música para niños! Si quieres encontrar mas información acerca de mi, por favor visita mi pagina de música para niños, ganadora del 2009 Parent’s Choice Award- www.dariamusic.com.

Por  favor comparte tus ideas, sugerencias y  opiniones.

Acerca de DARIA

Artista multicultural, Daria (Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou) tiene uno de los mejores trabajos, el de viajar alrededor del mundo llevando su canto de paz. Ella a visitado 16 países, compartiendo su música con diversas comunidades; se ha presentado en la Exposición Mundial de Sevilla, España, campo de Paz en Arabia, Israel. Talleres de música en los barrios de Lima, así como también en las zonas rurales de Perú y en las reservas Indígenas de Norte America.

Su CD ha ganado cinco premios nacionales y sus canciones originales son utilizadas alrededor del mundo en “Enseñando Tolerancia” y ” Respetando a otros” . Su canción ” Yo tengo un sueno”   es usada en Estados Unidos para celebrar el día nacional de Martin Luther King.
Para mas información sobre DARIA, y otras fabulosas actividades musicales, por favor visitar su pagina de internet www.dariamusic.com.