Category Archives: Music

A little bit of loveliness for Easter Saturday

The incomparable Marilyn Horne and Joan Sutherland singing “Mira, O Norma”. Ah, this is a wonderful duet!

And now this:

Joan Sutherland singing “Allejua” from Mozart’s “Exsultate, jubilate”. Ah, lovely.

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Posted by on April 19, 2014 in Music


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Music lessons

DD has stopped piano lessons at the urging of her mother. 🙂

She was wasting her time in the lesson, looking everywhere except the piano or the music, sighing, saying she was tired, and I rather think that the piano teacher deserved someone who was paying more attention.

DD is all of 5.5 years old. She was the one who wanted lessons but at $30 a half hour lesson, her darling mother can continue them.

Oops, that means me. Oh.

I guess we’ll start lessons at home tomorrow.

BTW, I’m not one of those fanatical mothers who pushes her darling child into every activity she can think of. DD asked for music lessons, I committed to a term, and now she is thinking she’d like to have lessons from me. There is a real drawback to that in that at her age, I have to supervise every practice at home and consequently the little darling gets about 5 lessons a week if I’m in charge. The good thing is that her letter/note recognition is improving.

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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Music



Busy weekend

I travelled with DD and my MIL to Melbourne to see The Mikado performed by Opera Australia. DD loved it!

The dear little thing sings songs from The Mikado around the house or in the car. Nothing quite like a little kid with an evil grin singing “I’ve got a little list”. She’s also fond of “The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring”, especially the tra la la parts, and “Tit Willow”, and anything that has four-part harmony.

Three Little Girls from The Mikado, Opera Australia

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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Music, Travel, Uncategorized


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On the “oh cute!” side

DD was in the mood for Christmas carols tonight. She listened to the tinny, high-pitched electronica coming from her little Christmas tree, then I suggested that I could play some on the piano and she could have a bit of a practice before we sing on Christmas Day at church. She agreed (a miracle in itself considering that she has wailed mightily for years every time I try to play the piano) and she dragged a chair beside me.

While we went through The First Nowell and other well-known carols, she was particularly taken with Love Came Down at Christmas, the Christina Rossetti poem set to the tune of “Hermitage”. She la-la-la’ed along to the music, tinkled away on the highest notes of the piano, and demanded 3 encores. Here’s hoping that someone puts this on the list at one of the church services we attend.


Posted by on December 10, 2010 in Church, Music


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The music of God

Read here the op-ed piece from Jack Marx about The Terrible Music of God. Terrible as in bloomin’ awful, and maybe also evoking the ability of music to elicit thoughts of the awe-someness of God.

I freely admit to LOVING traditional church music. I attend an Anglican church – have done so for many years. At some point I was going to a Presbyterian church which had solid music, a much-loved and used church organ (two manuals, 2.5 octaves for the pedals, a decent selection of stops and pretty good acoustics). Now I happily attend a church that calls the communion service a mass, that celebrates the beauty of music and gives it up as an offering of worship to God, and my daughter and I really enjoy it. We sing (well, I sing more than she does – she can’t read so there’s a problem with hymn words), DD doesn’t cry during the music and she has a feeling of ritual as well.

Why would I mention this? After all, didn’t I spend time in Baptist churches, and didn’t I teach at a pentecostal school? Well, Baptist music has changed a huge amount over the past 25 years. What’s sung in what was my grandmother’s local church bears absolutely no resemblance to what I knew when I attended it, and when my nanna would go there. The organ is in mothballs. The choir stalls are never used. I’m surprised they’ve kept the baptistry. After all, wouldn’t that be a way cool place to put the drum kit? As for the pentecostal school, the less said about their music the better. I will keep to one comment: if the chorus wasn’t good the first time you sang it, it definitely won’t improve after you sing it for 6 or 7 times.

DD and I attended a church that had a lovely congregation. Welcoming, interested in the Word of God probably more so than the sacrament of communion, keen on outreach through their much-appreciated and -supported charity shop and lunches. But the music made DD cry. I’m not being facetious here like “Your music makes baby Jesus cry”. I really mean that DD would start to sob, tears would run down her cheeks, she’d bury her face in my jacket and say “I wanna go!”

I tried so hard to work out what was going on there. She didn’t seem to do that with old hymns which was a relief. Graham Kendricks’ music made her bawl. Anything with the ‘twisting of the heart-strings’ chord progressions a la much Hillsong made her sob. Things that were out of tune made her cry. The list was getting longer.

That’s when we moved church. The sobbing child has been replaced by one that is happy, cheeky, and sometimes wriggly. i.e. a normal four year old child. She cheerfully goes to Sunday School. And maybe, just maybe, her angst about singing will reduce enough to allow her mum to be in the church choir next year.

And to show that I’m not a total curmudgeon about modern music, here is a link to The Gaelic Blessing by John Rutter. If you go here you’ll find more MP3s of Australian choirs conducted by Michael Griffin, including modern compositions.


Posted by on December 9, 2010 in Child Development, Church, family, Music


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A little bit of singing

DD happily sings along to a variety of songs, usually Justine Clarke songs (irrestible for mama, too!) as well as ABBA and more. I really should video her jiving along and singing to Dancing Pants.

And here’s a lovely gal who loves her music, too, Ani-Rose. What a sweetie!

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Posted by on November 11, 2010 in Music



Ear Worms

On a more cheerful, less whiny note than my previous post, here are some ear worms. You know, the annoying songs or tunes whose lyrics or melodies are stuck in your mind and seem to take forever to remove.

My pet ear worm is Pachelbel’s Canon, particularly horrid since the darn thing in my mind’s ear seems to have no beginning or end. The only way I can get rid of it is by singing Copacabana, though it usually turns out like Rachel from Friends singing it. The shameful thing is, though that song itself could be an ear worm, the reason that I can use it to conquer ear worms is because I can never remember all the lyrics.

Help me Rhonda is a ear worm for many. Do Re Mi from “The Sound of Music” is pretty awful, too.

Something that is not ear worm-ish is this fabulous video from the World Science Festival in June 2009 where Bobby McFerrin leads the audience in working out the total awesomeness of the pentatonic scale. And yes, little kids enjoy those scales, too. I’ve been known to “fix” glockenspiels so they play the pentatonic scale for preschool classes.

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Posted by on April 9, 2010 in Music, Odd stuff