I recently told you about my experience with Italian opera and how beautiful and emotional it was. Well, tonite I discovered this wonderful video of a 13 year old girl auditioning for America’s Got Talent. WOW! So awesome. What an inspiring young lady. I just love showing my kids what other people their age are doing, and let them be reminded that YES it is possible to do awesome things even when you are young. Be sure to have your children gather round for this beautiful performance.
One of the fun things we are doing to enrich our homeschool experience this year is memorizing Shakespeare with the help of Ken Ludwig’s terrific book, How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare. This book is laid out easily and the coordinating website includes free printables to make your task even easier.
We have managed to use this very simply, without needing a lot of attention from me. Basically, we have our current printouts up on the wall in our school area. During breakfast we usually go through the current section that we’re memorizing about 7 times. This is a trick I learned from my Classical Conversations Foundations tutor training. 7 seems to be a magical number for getting things to stick in our minds when we have short bursts of time to learn them. The 7 times are usually varied. For instance, we all say it together 2-3 times, then maybe each of us goes around the room and tries to say it without looking, or maybe we do teams of two and two. It just takes a couple minutes and can be done while munching on breakfast or lunch, and if we forget to do it then, often someone will bring it up while we are driving or transitioning from one subject to another. It’s easy and takes up almost no time.
Once we get the basic words down, we work on expression. (Because who wants to hear monotone Shakespeare recitation? Nobody. That’s who. lol) It is very helpful that Ken includes helpful tips and information in each chapter that helps us understand the storylines, the characters, and what the words mean when they are different from what we would know in modern-day English. By the time we’ve read through the section and memorized the passage, we have a pretty good idea of what it’s all about.
And then, for fun, sometimes my guys like to jazz it up with chants and raps. They play with the rhythm and pronunciations and such. We have had costumed performances and dancing, too! And now all of my guys think that learning Shakespeare is pretty stinkin fun. 🙂
I shared about this book (and a few others) on periscope, and two of my boys were kind enough to do a rap(ish) version of some of their Shakespeare. It was too fun not to share. 🙂
Today I am enjoying some really peaceful, beautiful music that I am pleased to be able to tell you about. Daniel Craig, homeschool graduate and former missionary kid, is an extremely talented vocalist. If you enjoy sacred music in a style similar to Josh Groban, you will appreciate this! I’m not particularly conservative in my musical tastes, and I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to Daniel’s beautiful vocals and inspiring orchestration to these hymns. There are many that are traditional, and some that have fresh new arrangements. All are really lovely and I think that other Christian families will enjoy his CD! It will also make a really nice Christmas gift.
Enter to Win THE END of MYSELF by Daniel Craig
We’re pleased to offer a giveaway of 5 copies of Daniel Craig’s new CD, The End of Myself (see below). Everyone who enters will automatically win FOUR FREE SONGS. Read on for some words from Daniel about his background and the development of his music.
ABOUT THE END OF MYSELF
I can still remember my earliest solos. We were missionaries in Russia, and I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Our family attended a Russian church where we were frequently asked to share our music on Sunday mornings. I always enjoyed those opportunities, except when it meant singing the one song in which Dad had assigned me a solo—in Russian.
Unfortunately for me, that was Dad’s go-to song. I’m not entirely sure if he chose it so often in spite of or because of my anxiety, but knowing Dad, the latter is a likely possibility.
Despite whatever emotional consternation I experienced because of those early solos, I’m so grateful that God gave me two wonderful parents, Neil & Mary Craig, who loved God, loved music, and taught me to love God with music.
The End of Myself is a carefully chosen collection of both old and new—but always deeply meaningful—songs, presented in fresh and inspiring settings, designed to edify God’s people and evoke fitting praise for an awesome and holy God.
God gave me my voice. He gave me parents and teachers who taught me to use it. And most importantly, He gave me the only good Reason to sing. That reason is summarized in the final line of The End of Myself, “In You there’s life at the end of myself!”
“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.”
You may have had to play the recorder when you were a kid. Mary Had a Little Lamb and such, right? Well, this guy totally made me smile with his mad skills that combine beatboxing and the recorder. Check it out! Your kids will love this.
Isn’t it just really exciting to see good stuff happening in education everywhere, regardless of location? I think so! Somebody in Louisville is doing something right, because this percussion group rocks! I’m absolutely inspired by the engagement and skill that these kids have.
To learn more about the Louisville Leopard Percussionists and their awesome program, click here.