Tag Archives: Song

Saturday Song: The Soundtrack to My Life

Do you ever have a moment where a song plays that fits exactly with the soundtrack to your life?

Last weekend, we piled into the car and drove to Grass Valley and Nevada City, about an hour outside Sacramento. Both towns are charming, Gold Rush era relics, just high enough in the mountains for pine trees to punctuate the skyline, the air to feel a little crisper.

When I was a little girl, we’d visit Nevada City at Christmastime, the decorated storefronts and snowy walkways a world away from Sacramento. Maybe that’s why an afternoon spent walking through the shops and eating with my family feels so familiar, so comforting.

In one store, this song played and I had to know what it was because it fit the mood and moment so perfectly. Nostalgia, love, life.

Ready for our mini road trip

Ready for our mini road trip

Grass Valley, CA

Grass Valley, CA

Pretty sister.

Pretty sister and late winter sunlight.

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All I Really Need…

Is a song in my heart,

Food in my belly,

And love in my family.

Turns out the song I’ve been absent-mindedly singing around the kitchen for years is really a Raffi classic. Did not realize this until it was stuck in my head this morning and I googled it. In case you didn’t know, Raffi is famous for other such gems as “Baby Beluga” and “Banana Phone.”

I’ve decided this is my February Bloggers for Peace¬†challenge: getting this sweetly annoying jingle stuck in everyone’s head. Just try and be angry when you’re singing this all day, (you’re welcome and I’m sorry simultaneously). Warning, clicking play may result in singing this song for the next three decades (or longer), but at least it has a good message, (as opposed to other childhood favorites like “The Song that Never Ends”).




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The Girl With the Purple Guitar

Today I have to share one of my favorite moments of my teaching career so far. As a creative alternative to our book report over break, one student asked if she could learn a song from Hunger Games to play for the class. I agreed and she did a beautiful job connecting the lyrics of the song to her reading.

This morning her mom showed up with her guitar in a big box. We weren’t going to present today, but since her guitar was already in class, I let her go as the first and only student for the day. Late in the afternoon, when students are usually too wiggly to sit still, we gathered on the carpet and she pulled out her pretty little purple guitar.

A bundle of nerves, she asked if we could close our eyes. With the sweetest ten-year old voice, she sang Taylor Swift’s “Eyes Open” as she strummed along. The whole class covered their eyes and swayed back and forth, mesmerized. In the middle, she messed up and asked to start over. This time she told everyone they could uncover their eyes. She played the song again, beautifully, with 30 pairs of eyes on her. When she finished, the room erupted in cheers.

It was one of those moments I wish I had on film. So sweet and filled with emotion. I wanted to cry as I watched her. She was so nervous, but she forced herself to be brave and do it anyway. It took at least five years for me to let Alex hear me sing. She sang to a room of ten and eleven year-olds with a presence, grace, and soul uncommon in most adult performers.

I guess you can say I’m glad to be back to work with my students. It always takes a couple days, but I get there.

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