Studio3Music Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Miss Analiisa’


Searching for the predictable patterns in a topsy-turvy world.

Posted in Child Development, Life with Kids, Music and the brain

Natalie is my 6 (and 11/12ths she insists on adding) year old first grader. This being my third time around teaching 1st grade, I’ve come to the solid conclusion that early learning centers around patterns, and that children who are unable to understand patterns  aren’t going to advance very far in reading, writing, or math, not to mention music.

photo credit: monteregina via photopin cc

That makes sense, because we know that the job of your child’s brain from birth to 7 is to organize all the sensory input it receives. At about the age of 7, brains are ready and eager to learn (If their brains have been able to properly learn to process the sensory information. If not – these are the kids we consider on the “sensory scale”).

So it’s no surprise in the early elementary years that most learning is based on patterns. Patterns of number combinations, patterns to pencil strokes in handwriting, patterns to learning adverbs, patterns to sounding out letter combinations.

But before they are Kindergartners and First Graders, babies and small children alike enjoy patterned activities.  Their brains actually crave them.
Simple games that are predictable and have an element of anticipation, as well as stop and go songs help your child remember, recognize, and anticipate specific patterns in sounds, words, and songs. These first steps of pattern recognition will lead toward understanding more difficult patterns in areas such as math, literacy, and music.

photo credit: cobalt123 via photopin cc

We’ve collected some of our favorite stop and go or highly predictable songs, with download links for the ones you might not know or haven’t had in Kindermusik class yet. I probably don’t have to tell your children what to do with them. They listen for the “stop” and stop, and learn to anticipate the “go”, whether dancing, swishing scarves, or playing instruments. (Weekend craft project – homemade shakers and drums!)

Listen, Listen
I am a Clown
Riding in the Buggy
Shake Your Eggs
Move and Freeze
Bells are Ringing (find some thing to make noise with – keys, spoons, hands – and make up new words. Pause each time after “listen to them jingling/tapping/clapping” before you jingle, tap, or clap)
Walk and Stop
In the City
Aiken Drum (when you sing this, put a “freeze” after every time you sing “moon”)
Stop on a Dot
Giddy up Horsey

Games like Red Light, Green Light and all sorts of Knock-Knock jokes are great, too.

If you have older children, then clapping games like Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar, and A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea are all about patterns, as is the classic string game Cat’s Cradle.

photo credit: Nemodus photos via photopin cc

So, this rainy Seattle Thanksgiving weekend, when the tryptophan-laden turkey has the grownups sleepy, but has had no effect on the children, load your iPod with stop and go music, shut the door, and let them have at it. They’ll have no idea they are getting a brain workout, while you are getting a nap.

-posted by Miss Analiisa, who prefers stop and collapse music at the end of a busy Thanksgiving Day.

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Costume and Cantata with Studio3

Posted in Bits and Pieces, Things to do, Things We Love

The Story Fairy and I have put our heads together, (it hurts, by the way, when you put your head together with the Story Fairy because she always wears such pokey things on her head) and we’ve decided that its about time to produce a family music show over here on the east side of the lake. And when we added Chadd’s head and Michael’s head and Stacey’s head to the conversation, we found that we were all in a chord (Ha!- little musical joke there!) After, that is, we all pulled Story Fairy leafy fall headpiece out of our ears, eyes and my curls.

So it has been decreed – you need to SAVE THE DATE! On October 20th at Lake Washington High School Performing Arts Center at promptly 10:00am, we will march out on stage and serenade you and your youngsters with music and lots of wonderful pretending, and some real stuff, too, for 55 fun-filled musical minutes.

Chadd and I will sing hello and you’ll sing along (real). Seriously, you’d better sing with me. We’ll bounce and play a game (real). Stacey and Michael will be mad at each other (pretend). Chadd and I will be perplexed by them (real). Chadd will play the piano (real -yes, he is that good). And Stacey and Michael and I will sing. (real - no lip synching allowed!).

The Story Fairy will arrive and demand a story (real). There will be dinosaurs, (pretend) and houses on wheels (real). There will be frogs… (somewhere between real and pretend), and majors and minors (pretend, a life-sized doll (pretend and real), and Dorothy and Toto, too, and June Cleaver and a pink, poofy-pokey headed princess thing. (Real… yeah, I really mean it.)

You’ll just have to come see how we manage to weave all these unrelated and weird things into one rip roaring fun Halloween themed 55 minute concert.

I promise a good time, and beautiful yummy cookies from Hoffman’s Bakery for kids and grownups, and stamps and Story Fairy cards and hugs and pictures in the lobby when we are all done.

(Real), all the best endings have cookies.

Tickets are only $10 for children, $6 for their grownups, and parking is ample and free. This concert is appropriate for all ages (we don’t do scary, only funny); and YES, come dressed in costume. We’d love it.

This is one show only, with less seating than our concerts at Seattle Symphony’s Benaroya Hall. So get your tickets now!

See you soon!

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White Whole Wheat Flour (Is that an oxymoron?)

Posted in Life with Kids, Recipes

photo credit: jamie h via photopin cc

Since switching to cleaner eating for myself, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to entice my kids to want to eat more whole grains. Now, I know I could just switch everything out cold turkey, but I want them to eat healthier because it actually tastes better.

My kids love asparagus and raw spinach, and won’t eat eggs unless they are from our own chickens – they say the store bought ones “taste like water”. Every week, they beg me to fix some of the salmon and halibut my husband recently brought back from Alaska.

But they are unabashedly carboholics. Particularly stuff with sugar in it.  And they do like their chips. Having grown up in a no-sugar, no-white flour household, and remembering that I snuck sugar whenever I could get it, I didn’t want that for my kids. We do sugar and goldfish and Doritos in moderation. And then they get to Jr. High and don’t you check under their beds because they just might be eating more sugar than you hoped but aren’t bothering to hide the evidence very well, and frankly I just don’t really want to know…

So, recently I got to thinking about the baking I do. With all the options out there, could I substitute alternate flour for the unbleached white flour and get away with it? Off I went to the store and came home with spelt flour, millet flour, and white whole wheat flour, which is whole wheat flour made from white wheat, rather than the usual red. Totally the same nutrition as I understand it.

First I made my High Protein Breakfast Cookies, which, by the way, was probably one of the most popular posts I’ve done on this blog. I’ve made some more tweaking to it, which if I remember, I’ll repost with the new recipe. Not a single bit of white flour in it, and all members of my family declared them the best version they’d ever had.

Feeling like I was on a roll, I thought I’d tackle my Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaves. I love Jenny’s idea about having “tea time” when her kids come home from school. If only mine would go somewhere, I’d be happy to welcome them home with smiles and tea! (Pause for self-pep talk about why I choose to home school my kids when I could be cavorting around doing what I want to do from 8 to 3…)

But I can welcome them in the morning with my newly revised, newly renamed Pumpkin Maple Gingerbread Muffins, conveniently stored in the freezer and easily re-warmed. And yes, not a single grain of processed white flour to be found.

Again, my family loved the taste. And in spite of the fact that the flours had less gluten in them than regular white flour, the muffins rose beautifully, without the heaviness that whole wheat pastry flour can bring.

So, if I was one of those mommas, I’d have fall-themed muffin tin liners, but I’m not.

Without further ado, here you go: (Without those step-by-step pictures smart bloggers take, because I didn’t even think of sharing until it was too late for pictures.)

Pumpkin Maple Gingerbread Muffins
Makes 24 muffins

1 ½ c sugar (1st revision – I significantly cut the sugar down from the original recipe, and used raw sugar because I like the taste.)
½ cup maple syrup
¾ cup warmed coconut oil (to liquefy it)
4 eggs
1/3 cup water
16 oz canned pumpkin
1 ¼ cup whole spelt flour
1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour
2 t ginger
1 t each: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice
1 ½ t salt
2 t baking soda
½ t baking powder

  1. Mix sugar, oil and eggs.
  2. Beat in pumpkin.
  3. Sift flour, spices, salt, and baking powder
  4. Add to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until blended.

Bake at 350°
2 loaves – 1 hour
Muffins – 20 minutes

-posted by Miss Analiisa, who wonders if you think she’ll nullify the whole nutritious  thing by serving them tomorrow morning with thick-cut Hemplers bacon. But maybe she doesn’t care. She’s getting bacon!

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Back in the (school) saddle again.

Posted in Life with Kids, Music and the brain

I’m back in school. Middle school, that is. But without the acne breakouts and the angst of unrequited love. I’m going with my oldest son. Isn’t that what every 8th grade boy secretly desires? His mom coming to school with him?

Actually, he doesn’t mind. One of the benefits of home schooling is that generally, kids are just as comfortable around their peers as they are around grownups. I’m so proud of the way he can approach grownups (even strangers!) and just start conversations, when many other 13 ½ year olds would recoil at the mere thought. Like any wise grownup, however, I have to know when to back off. Did I mention he invited a girl over for dinner tonight? His first “She’s just my friend, Mom”. Backing off now…

Nathan and friends. He’s in blue. Said girl is somewhere in here, too. ; )

About school, though…I’m taking my second year of Latin at our home school co-op. I started auditing the class (yay, no tests!) last October, as Nathan was having a bit of trouble (standard middle-school boy protocol) organizing himself, and I wanted to know what was happening in class so I could help him.

Oh what fun! Seriously, Latin is fun. (Especially when there are no tests.) Unfortunately, with everything else I do (don’t make me list it – I’ll probably collapse from exhaustion), I don’t have much (really, any) free time. So this past summer I made a very serious attempt to get my noun declensions, verb conjugations, principle parts memorized.

I was horrified to discover that they don’t stick in my brain very well. When I was in high school and college, I was a good student. I even graduated with honors. I didn’t have to study that hard. Things I put into my head just stayed there without a lot of coaxing or threatening. Now I feel like I’ve got Swiss cheese inside my skull instead of grey matter.

I was concerned enough to speak to my doctor about it at my last appointment. He just looked at me and said, “But Analiisa, you’re 43.” Of course, he mentioned that I do carry around a lot more information and responsibilities now than when I was just a student, but I got stuck on the now-that-I’m-43-my-brain’s-not-working-as-well-as-23 idea.

But then on the way home, I got to thinking about my other home school co-op class – band. And how I picked up my Euphonium after 20 years (now that was a useful degree!) and played like it had been just 20 days. And how earlier this year I was instructing the beginning trombones on how to put their instruments together and make a sound and find positions and I remembered the whole process without any effort.

All that stuff I had put in my brain when I was young and used a lot when I was young has stayed there, and came back to me when I needed it. Which goes along with everything I’ve ever told you about why early introduction to music is important.

Because after about age 8, the neural pathways that aren’t used much begin to be pruned away. I’ve been exposed to music from the womb. And although knowing Latin at 16 would have been helpful on my SAT’s, when I get old and gray(er), I want music to be the thing I forget last. It brings me such deep, abiding joy. Latin won’t really matter anymore. Neither will calculus. Or chemistry.

My adorable niece and I, whom I try to gift with as much music as possible!

So I ask you, what are you gifting your children with now? It’ll be the thing they can return to for pleasure and comfort when they are 43 and 83. Choose wisely.

-posted by Miss Analiisa, who is off to prepare the menu hand-picked by Nathan: Fresh-caught Alaskan Halibut, Autumn Harvest salad, artisan bread with Dubliner cheese, and homemade brownie sundaes. He has such good taste! (In girls and food.)

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A Word Contest

Posted in Bits and Pieces

So I tried to get this post up for Allison a few days ago, but every time I logged into the website, I got a horrible, scary FATAL ERROR message. Thank goodness for web guys who start work at 5 am.

Okay. Get out your thesauruses… Translate the following captions underneath the pictures into simpler English. Post your answers in the comments section below. On Thursday, we’ll announce the person who had the closest translation to Miss Allison’s original captions. For some background and clues, see her previous post.

The prize? A $50 gift certificate to the winner’s favorite restaurant. Yep! You get to customize your own prize. Seriously, who else will do that for you? Good luck!

saguaro comprising projections and foreamen for oscine to fabricate aeries in


puerile crustacean clambering on a metacarpus


progeny of kinswoman in chimera macrocosm


agglomeration of relics arrayed for discernible delectation


stripling with quarto in corporeal form and comestible


fimus flavous jalopy with bounteous graupe

-posted by Miss Analiisa, who says that you now have somewhat of an idea what fun Miss Allison is to have as a friend and business partner!

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