Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

I’M SWITCHING FROM GUITAR TO UKULELE.

There, I said it. I’ve never been very good at the guitar, despite lots of practice and lots of use. I learned to accompany myself on simple songs with kids out of sheer desperation. That’s the wonderful value of having learned to play it to the extent to which I did, for, if I hadn’t accompanied myself with guitar on these simple songs with kids, those songs would not have gotten sung. My guitar (which I named Aunt Mary Pickle) also opened up creative pathways for me. I started writing lots of little songs myself. That’s been fun.

Enter the ukulele (I’ve named her Penny). I initially started to play her when Tim Hopgood, wonderful illustrator from York, England, told me that he was working on illustrating the song MOON RIVER (October 2018). My brain lit all up. The vision of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly playing her ukulele while singing MOON RIVER on her fire escape flashed through my head. I got out my uke, adapted some chords and learned to play that song. Somewhere in the middle of learning to play MOON RIVER, I decided to watch a video of that scene. It turns out, she plays the guitar! But it IS a small parlor guitar. In my mind it was a ukulele.

But the uke stuck. I realized that there is nothing the guitar can do that the uke CAN’T (at least not so far as my novice skill will take me). True, the guitar is more beautiful. But the sweet charm, novelty, and portability of the ukulele cannot be beat. So, I’ve started visiting all the song sheets I made for guitar and I am altering them as needed to better suit the uke. It’s a project and it’ll take some time. But it is an enjoyable exercise and the best way I can think of to hone my skills enough for playing with kids in their classrooms.

This whole essay is to say that yesterday and today I tackled EDELWEISS. What a wonderful song it is. I ended up writing an essay about that, too, as EDELWEISS brings strong memories of my mom and always also makes me think of my grandmother Gram (Ethel May Selka):

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2018/04/23/edelweiss-a-new-song-sheet-with-chords-for-ukulele-and-some-thoughts-about-my-grandmother-ethel-may-selka/

Sweet dreams, friends.

Sweet Dreams.

**********************
Related Posts

*
MOON RIVER, AN ILLUSTRATED SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/anticipating-moon-river-as-illustrated-by-tim-hopgood/

*
TIM HOPGOOD, ILLUSTRATOR, ONLINE
http://www.timhopgood.com/

*
EDELWEISS, AN ILLUSTRATED SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/edelweiss-a-beautiful-song/

*
IN MEMORIAM
This is a page of links to posts I’ve assembled in the memory of people who have meant the world to me.
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/in-memorium/

*
ETHEL MAY SELKA, MY GRANDMOTHER, IN MEMORIAM
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/my-grandmother-gram-in-memorium/

*
CAROLE JEAN EVERSON, MY MOM, IN MEMORIAM
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/a-limerick-in-memory-of-my-mom-carole-jean-geisler-everson/

Advertisements

This post is an addendum to the post
EDELWEISS, A BEAUTIFUL, ILLUSTRATED SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/edelweiss-a-beautiful-song/

edelweiss trace by eleg 4 sbwe - Copy - Copy

Writing this on 4/23/2018, I’ve recently decided to switch from guitar to ukulele.  I have loved my guitar, but, alas, I could not do it justice without putting in so much effort for even what would seem like the most simple of things.

The ukulele, however, is different for me.  It’s got just 4 strings (instead of 6) and it’s smaller.  My fingers are so short and working with the fret board of the uke really suits me.  I’m picking it up MUCH faster and can play many more chords.

If it were not for the guitar (for which I received a wonderful 1.5 years of lessons with a teacher, Josh Walker, at Levine Music in Arlington, VA) I would not have been able to teach myself how to play the ukulele.

So, here I am, now, making the switch.

Over the last few years, I’ve made many song sheets for rhymes with traditional tunes, tunes for rhymes for which I could not find music, and tunes and words for little poems and songs I wrote.  Going through them now, to test my ability to play those same chords to accompany myself with the ukulele, I find that some of the chords don’t sound as good.  It’s pretty easy to exchange a few chords here and there. I always made the sheets expressly with chords that were easy for me to play.  Now, with the ukulele, I can play chords that I could not play with the guitar. Or maybe I chose a chord or two for guitar for which the fingering to switch between one chord and another was more simple and streamlined with, say, a D7 instead of a D.  So, I’d choose D7.  With my ukulele (her name is Penny, by the way), it’s different sets of chords that provide fingering challenges.

So, here, I’ve come along to EDELWEISS, arguably one of the loveliest and sweetest little songs ever written (and under heartbreaking circumstances, it being the last song Oscar Hammerstein II ever wrote, circumstances I cannot allow myself to think of when singing the song or I’ll choke up on the emotion).  I’ve made a new sheet for Edelweiss with slightly different chords, as this arrangement sounds better on ukulele than the chords I assembled for guitar, and, in addition, this set of chords is easier to play on uke than the other guitar set.

I also traced and scanned some new edelweiss flowers.  This was a satisfying and enjoyable exercise. My mother loved edelweiss flowers.  She collected little pins of them on her trips to Germany and Austria.  They always make me think of her.  It was fun to make these pictures that kids can use as coloring pages, too.

Importantly to me, the song makes me think of my grandmother, Ethel May Selka. Edelweiss symbolize nobility and purity to Germans and Austrians.  And there is something about the edelweiss being a mountain flower, hard to reach, and looking like snow.  My grandmother was quite noble, dignified, and beautiful.  Like the edelweiss, which at first glance looks like a delicate flower, it can withstand the harsh conditions of an alpine habitat.  This, too, is my grandmother.  She was tough as nails, and stoic.  She withstood very difficult times, holding strong throughout. She was not emotional and could sometimes seem to be cool, but she was loving and giving and loyal.  You could count on Ethel May.  She was a wonderful human being and I could not have been more fortunate than to have received the influences she bestowed upon my life and character. I will love and revere her and offer my gratitude until the end of my days.

*
edelweiss w uke chords eleg sbwe
Edelweiss (for SBWE w Uke Chords)
Words by Oscar Hammerstein II
Music by Richard Rodgers
From SOUND OF MUSIC
To view or print this sheet, click here:
edelweiss w uke chords eleg sbwe

**********************
Related Posts

*
Edelweiss, a new song sheet with chords for ukulele (and some thoughts about my grandmother, Ethel May Selka)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2018/04/23/edelweiss-a-new-song-sheet-with-chords-for-ukulele-and-some-thoughts-about-my-grandmother-ethel-may-selka/

*
My Grandmother, Gram: In Memoriam
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/my-grandmother-gram-in-memorium/

*
GETTING TO KNOW YOU

16 Rodgers and Hammerstein Songs Illustrated into a picture book byRosemary Wells with links to posts about the songs
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/04/10/a-few-favorite-singable-books-part-59-rodgers-hammerstein/

*
RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN

Singable Picture Books of Rodgers & Hammerstein Songs
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/04/10/a-few-favorite-singable-books-part-59-rodgers-hammerstein/

*
GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK

Singable Picture Books of the Great American Songbook and Michael Feinstein’s Foundation for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/american-songbook-singable-picture-books-and-michael-feinsteins-foundation-for-the-preservation-of-the-great-american-songbook/

*
FLOWERS IN ILLUSTRATED SONG

*
IN MEMORIAM
This is a page of links to posts I’ve assembled in the memory of people who have meant the world to me.
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/in-memorium/

*
IMPRESSIONS WHILE WALKING
Taking walks, noticing the world around me, and writing down what I see
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/impressions-while-walking/

*
oopsie do cover
Oopsie-Do!
Words and Music by Tim Kubart
Illustrated by Lori Richmond

**********************

This song is all about how it’s OK to make mistakes since, gee wiz, everybody makes mistakes.  “Things” happen, don’t they?  Yes, they do.  “Oopsie-do, it’s just a thing we all do.” And gives us an opportunity to be kind to each other, too. So, let’s!

Fits in real nice with the theme of KINDNESS IS CONTAGIOUS.

**********************
NOTES

*
HarperCollinsPublisher’s webpage for this book:
https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062573032/oopsie-do

*
HarperCollins posted Tim Kubart’s recording on SoundCloud:

*
Illustrator Lori Richmond’s webpage for this book:
http://www.loridraws.com/oopsie-do/

**********************
Related Posts

*
KINDNESS IS CONTAGIOUS
In honor of Tuckahoe Elementary 2017/2018 School Year Theme, “Kindness is Contagious,” I assembled these songs from my repertoire, celebrating this important idea
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2017/09/24/kindness-is-courageous-in-illustrated-song/

*
TOLERANCE, KINDNESS AND COMPASSION
Singable Picture Books Celebrating Tolerance and Compassion (another list inspired by Nikki)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/singable-picture-books-celebrating-tolerance-and-compassion-another-list-inspired-by-nikki/

*
sailor went to sea cover
A Sailor Went to Sea Sea Sea
Traditional Words and Tune
Adapted by Lucy Bell
Illustrated by Asha Pearse

*
sailor went to sea for SBWE & book w chords
A Sailor Went to Sea Sea Sea (long, w chords)
Traditional Words and Tune
Adapted by Lucy Bell
To view or print this page, click here:
sailor went to sea for SBWE & book w chords

*
Sing this with Emily’s scratch vocal and her ukulele:

*
sailor went to sea for SBWE w chords
A Sailor Went to Sea Sea Sea (short, w chords)
Traditional Words and Tune
Adapted by Lucy Bell
To view or print this page, click here:
sailor went to sea for SBWE w chords

*
sailor went to sea for SBWE no chords
A Sailor Went to Sea Sea Sea (short, no chords)
Traditional Words and Tune
Adapted by Lucy Bell
To view or print this page, click here:
sailor went to sea for SBWE no chords

**********************

*
Sailor Went to Sea wiki:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Sailor_Went_to_Sea

*
SAILOR WENT TO SEE is often sung and played as a playground clapping game

*
GREAT musical resources for this song on Singing-Bell.com:
https://www.singing-bell.com/a-sailor-went-to-sea-mp3-free-score-pdf-lyrics/

**********************

Here’s a video so you can get the tune:

**********************
NOTES

*
4/19/2018
This version of A SAILOR WENT TO SEA SEA SEA was purchased with a kind 2017/2018 school year Teacher’s Grant from the Tuckahoe Elementary School PTA, put in for Sing Books with Emily by the Kindergarten Team. THANK YOU!

The book was delivered to me at the school and I got it while on the way to Sing Books in Ms. Sackett’s first grade class.  The box was all sealed up so I thought it would be fun to open it and discover what song surprises lay inside with the class.  I’d asked for a couple of books and this is one of them that arrived that day.  When I found the book, I thought it was really cute, but did not know the tune for it.  Since the words were in a rhyme, I figured if a tune was not easy to find, I’d write one myself.

So, when this book emerged from the box, I told the kids that I did not know what the tune was.  About 5 hands shot up in the air.  They knew the tune and sang it for me. It was adorable.  Of course, once they sang it, my own childhood memories came flooding in to remind me that I, too, had sung this song when I was their age.

Thanks kids!!

*
4/20/2018
In my over-enthusiasm to sing this with kids, I drew up a song sheet with chords with what I thought was the full song.  Some of the verses didn’t seem to fit correctly with the tune as I thought I knew it, but assumed this was my lack of knowledge.  So I did my best to make it fit by changing the tune a  little.

When I sang it with the kids (struggling because it really did NOT make sense), the teacher Ms. Bishop pointed out that A COUPLE PAGES WERE STUCK TOGETHER!  Low and behold, there were my missing words.  I got home and fixed up the song sheet in which all the verses fit snugly with the tune.  Thanks Ms. Bishop! I sure does take a village.

 

**********************
Related Posts

*
A 2017/2018 School Year Tuckahoe Elementary School PTA Teacher’s Grant (and what I got with it)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/a-tuckahoe-elementary-school-pta-teachers-grant-and-what-i-got-with-it/

*
OCEANS AND SEAS
A list of Singable Picture Books that celebrate the Oceans and Seas
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/songs-of-the-oceans-and-seas/

*
LITTLE SONGS: SING BOOKS WITH EMILY SONGBOOK SERIES (SBWE SBS)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/sing-books-with-emily-songbook-series-little-songs/

*
Ocean and Sea Adventures (On and Under the Water), a list of illustrated songs
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2018/04/20/ocean-and-sea-adventures-on-and-under-the-water-a-list-of-illustrated-songs/

*
sleeping bunnies cover
Sleeping Bunnies
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Yu-Hsuan Huang
Published by Nosy Crow “Sing along with me!” Series

**********************

*
Clicking this link takes you to Nosy Crow’s webpage with sound player for this illustrated song:

https://player.fm/series/nosy-crow-stories-aloud/sing-along-with-me-sleeping-bunnies-HyEvwSbmXZ9x1muu

*
Link to podcast with sweet song

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/nosycrow/episodes/2017-12-04T09_08_31-08_00

https://podomatic.com/embed/html5/episode/8641797?autoplay=false

**********************
Related Posts

*
A 2017/2018 School Year Tuckahoe Elementary School PTA Teacher’s Grant (and what I got with it)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/a-tuckahoe-elementary-school-pta-teachers-grant-and-what-i-got-with-it/

*
LULLABIES IN SINGLE SONG SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/illustrated-lullabies-in-single-singable-picture-books/

*
EASTER

A list of Singable Picture Books that celebrate the Easter
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/singable-picture-books-for-easter/

*
SLEEPING BUNNIES, AN ILLUSTRATED SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/sleeping-bunnies-an-illustrated-song/

 

*
firefly (by EMR and ELEG 4 SBWE) cover only
FIREFLY
Poem by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
Tune by Emily Gleichenahus for Sing Books with Emily

*
firefly (by EMR and ELEG 4 SBWE)
Firefly (for SBWE, w chords)
Words by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
Tune and Chords by Emily Gleichenhaus for Sing Books with Emily
To view or print this page, click here:
firefly (by EMR and ELEG 4 SBWE)

*
firefly (by EMR and ELEG 4 SBWE) no chords
Firefly (for SBWE, no chords)
Words by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
Tune and Chords by Emily Gleichenhaus for Sing Books with Emily
To view or print this page, click here:
firefly (by EMR and ELEG 4 SBWE) no chords

**********************

Sing along with Emily’s scratch vocal, here:

**********************

It will be fun to ask for kid volunteers to be fireflies when we sing this little ditty.
firefly finger puppet
Firefly Finger Puppet (it even lights up!)

**********************
NOTES AND INFO

*
FIREFLY EXPERIENCE is a lovely website with gorgeous firefly photographs:
http://www.fireflyexperience.org/photos/

*
Seeing the synchronous fireflies in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee is definitely on my bucket list:
https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/fireflies.htm

*
CBS Video about the synchronous fireflies in Tennessee Smoky Mountains:
https://www.cbsnews.com/video/tennessee-fireflies-a-summertime-light-show/

**********************
Related Posts

*
SING BOOKS WITH EMILY SONGBOOK SERIES HOST PAGE
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/sbwe-song-book-series/

*
SBWE Songbook Series: Poetry
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/sing-books-with-emily-songbook-series-poetry/

*
SING-ALONG RESOURCES AND PRINTABLE MATERIALS
This is the place to find Print Materials Created by Emily
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/sing-along-resources-2/

*
SONGS BY EMILY
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/songs-by-emily/

*
A 2017/2018 School Year Tuckahoe Elementary School PTA Teacher’s Grant (and what I got with it)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/a-tuckahoe-elementary-school-pta-teachers-grant-and-what-i-got-with-it/

*
waltz of the snowflakes cover
Waltz of the Snowflakes
Illustrated by Elly MacKay
Set to Tchaicovsky’s WALTZ OF THE SNOWFLAKES
From the ballet The Nutcracker

***********************

I acquired this book thanks to a kind teacher’s grant from the Tuckahoe Elementary School PTA.

I have always adored the NUTCRACKER ballet. WALTZ OF THE SNOWFLAKES, illustrated by Elly Mackay, is a wordless book told only in gorgeous pictures about a girl going to the ballet (at first reluctantly and then with wonder and joy) with her grandmother.  I immediately wanted to sing this book when I saw it.   My plan is to write words to part of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s melody for WALTZ OF THE SNOWFLAKES

***********************
VIDEOS

*
WALTZ OF THE SNOWFLAKES as danced by Bolshoi Ballet

 

***********************
INTERESTING INFORMATION

*
Publisher’s webpage about the book:
https://www.runningpress.com/titles/elly-mackay/waltz-of-the-snowflakes/9780762462278/

*
NUTCRACKER BALLET Wiki:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nutcracker

*
WALTZ OF THE SNOWFLAKES on GoogleReads:
https://books.google.com/books/about/Waltz_of_the_Snowflakes.html?id=I5CYDgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button#v=onepage&q&f=false

***********************
Related Posts

*
A 2017/2018 School Year Tuckahoe Elementary School PTA Teacher’s Grant (and what I got with it)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/a-tuckahoe-elementary-school-pta-teachers-grant-and-what-i-got-with-it/

Calendar of SBWE Posts

April 2018
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Archives

Advertisements