Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Archive for the ‘Power of Music’ Category

A couple weeks ago, a pal from DC Cabaret Network sent a few questions for the DCCN August 2015 Newsletter.  It sure was fun remembering my time serving on the organization board, thinking about all I’ve learned and about the wonderful friends I made through the DC Cabaret Network.  It was a real honor to be asked these questions and I hope the answers make some sense.

Here are the questions and answers (cut/pasted from the newsletter)…

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Backstage with… DC Cabaret performer

Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus

Q. Emily, how did you come to join the DC Cabaret Network?

A. I came to the DC Cabaret Network through Wendy Lane Baily and George Fulginiti-Shakar and a song performance/cabaret class through Theatre Lab. This would have been in 1999, probably. The rest is a blur… I went to open mics, got private coaching from Wendy (and through her Erv Raible) and also private coaching from George. That led me to the Cabaret Conference at Yale in 2003, which is when I met Judy Simmons.

When Wendy left for NJ/NYC, Judy became Executive Director of DCCN and I got an invitation to serve on the board, which I did with great love. It was a great honor to serve on the board and I learned so, so much.

I had to leave DCCN board (with heavy heart) due to growing success of my Sing Books with Emily program. I’d started the Sing Books blog (to archive and document the wonderful world of illustrated song) and gotten a grant from Arlington County Commission for the Arts to do a show and create a CD and I began performing 1-3 performances each day, which along with being a mom was (and still is) as much as I can do.

Q. I think your work as an educator, turning books into songs, must keep your imagination fresh and active. How do you bring that spirit into song selection for your own repertoire?

A. Sing Books with Emily (an expansive repertoire of illustrated songs) and the art of cabaret are completely intertwined.

I apply everything I ever learned through cabaret (acting and music theatre, too) into every Sing Books performance. Every song is a story and has a story. I work to understand the song and to put my own stories and personal experiences into each one. Also, each song has a context (who wrote it, when and why, what does it say, etc) which is important to know and understand. And, each Sing Books performance is a conversation between me and each person (regardless of age) in the audience. I never sing down to children. I give them the same level of commitment and brain power that I would give to any grown up. The music and the stories are magically engaging.

I’m amazed every time how it works. It’s a variation on the cabaret theme, but the technique is the same. It is only effective, however, because of the homework that goes into it. I like to know everything I can about a song and my personal experience with it. Over the years, I developed a technique for working on songs and I apply that work (admittedly to varying degrees) to every song. Much of this work is what gets published in the posts for each song in my blog. I started the blog to collect and share all that work in one place.

In terms of repertoire selection, I must admit to being a sort of jack-of-all-trades with the songs. If I have any glimmer of connection to a song, I am weirdly compelled to explore and document it, make the music for it, arrange it and sing it. This is why my top favorite songs include WINTER SONG (words by William Shakespeare, music by 18th c. composer Thomas Arne), TAKE ME HOME COUNTRY ROADS (words and music by John Denver, Taffy Nivert and Bill Danoff), THERE’S A TRAIN OUT FOR DREAMLAND (music and lyrics by Frederich H. Heider and Carl Kress).

I love them all. Singing these songs weekly (and often daily) for children, their teachers and caregivers has deeply embedded them in my heart and soul. The most magical part of all, though, is developing relationships with my repeated audiences who come to know and love these songs along with me, as they then attach their own stories to the songs, and together, we write new chapters to the stories.

Of course there is a lot that would not be appropriate as Sing Books/Cabaret crossover repertoire, but there is a surprising amount that would work in either context. In a cabaret performance for adults, of course I would not hold a book, but songs like THE CIRCLE GAME, RHODE ISLAND IS FAMOUS FOR YOU or I’M IN LOVE WITH A BIG BLUE FROG are joyous, wonderful songs for most folks, just about anywhere.

Q. Where will we see and hear you next?

A.What’s next? I’m looking forward to the 2015-2016 school year, visiting about 20 classrooms at 4 schools on a regular two-week rotation. I’m planning to present a 4-week program for this autumn to help parents and caregivers learn to sing songs in 4 themed songbooks (lullabies, poems, Mother Goose and many songs/one twinkly tune) one of which we’ll assemble in each session. There are a few private event and library gigs on the schedule. And, as always, I’ve got about 25 cabarets percolating in my brain. I’m sure one of them will come to life before too long.

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Related Posts and Links

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DC Cabaret Network
http://www.dccabaretnetwork.org/

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Sweet, August 2015 DC Cabaret Network Newsletter Interview “Backstage with…” Me and SBWE
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/sweet-august-2015-dc-cabaret-network-newsletter-interview-backstage-with-me-and-sbwe/

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Nancy Wilson sings THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU (music and lyrics by Ray Noble)

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Kennedy Center Honors 2012, Heart sings STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN in honor of Led Zeppelin

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Related Posts

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INFO AND THINKING ABOUT SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/resources-for-inspiration-and-information/

A New Yorker Article has hit home for me:
I CAN’T GO ON, What’s behind stage fright?
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/08/03/i-cant-go-on

Stage fright, that demon, is a fact of my existence.  But I’ve come to think of it as a “blessing in disguise,” as my stage fright is one of the factors that drove me to Sing Books with Emily.  For regular performances of plays, musicals, reviews, recitals or cabarets, my stage fright is so strong in the days and hours leading up the the performances as to almost be a deal breaker.  I can’t eat or sleep and my hands tremble.  The anxiety and nausea are almost unbearable.  But with Sing Books, there is no stage fright.  Only stage excitement.  I look forward to every Sing Books visit.  As some point I asked myself, if other performances cause me such grief and if Sing Books gives me such joy and fulfillment, why don’t I just do what makes me happy.  So, besides occasional forays onto a cabaret stage, this is the path I’m treading.  Maybe things will change.  I do have a long list of songs, not appropriate for kids or books, that I YEARN to sing and suppose that the urge to sing them will take over.  For now, though, Sing Books is the right thing as the right time.

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Related Posts

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INFO AND THINKING ABOUT SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/resources-for-inspiration-and-information/

Each day is a great day to celebrate a song.  For reasons known only to my whim, or randomly chose, the latest song of the day will appear at the top of this list, on my Facebook page, and on my Twitter account.

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8/3/2015
RUBBER DUCKIE
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/rubber-duckie-a-song-illustrated-in-a-singable-picture-book/

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8/2/2015
ALL GOD’S CRITTERS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/all-gods-critters-singable-book-and-all-the-fix-ins/

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8/1/2015
SMOKEY THE BEAR
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/smokey-the-bear-an-illustrated-song-sheet/

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7/31/2015
THE SWING
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/swinging-with-e-b-w-and-r-l-s/

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7/30/2015
SING, SING A SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/sing-in-singable-picture-books-original-song-by-joe-raposo/

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7/29/2015
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/12/23/take-me-out-to-the-ballgame-a-singable-picture-book-with-a-sing-along-by-mo-playing-fife/

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7/27/2015
BACKWARDS BIRTHDAY PARTY
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/backwards-birthday-party-an-illustrated-song/

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7/26/2015
TOMORROW
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/tomorrow-the-sunll-come-out-well-sing-it-in-class/

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7/25/2015
YANKEE DOODLE FOR SBWE
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/yankee-doodle-for-sbwe/

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Related Posts

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SINGABLE PICTURE BOOK LISTS FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS AND INTERESTS
Lists of Illustrated Songs for singing and exploring specific subjects

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/song-book-lists-for-all-occasions/

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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/

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SINGABLE BOOKSHELF A-E
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/bookshelf-2-a-m/

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SINGABLE BOOKSHELF F-J
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/bookshelf-2-f-j/

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SINGABLE BOOKSHELF K-O
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/bookshelf-2-k-o/

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SINGABLE BOOKSHELF P-S
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/bookshelf-2-n-z/

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SINGABLE BOOKSHELF T-Z
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/bookshelf-2-u-z/

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SONGS OF THE DAY
Sing Books with Emily (SBWE), Songs of the Day:
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/sbwe-songs-of-the-day/

Prince William County Facebook Timeline Post, July 27, 2015

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2014 Summer PW Public Libraries

Prince William Public Libraries
Miss Emily wowed the crowds again at Independent Hill and Gainesville libraries last week. To see the songs and books Miss Emily shared, check out her blog posts! #PWPLSsummer

Independent Hill: http://bit.ly/MissEmilyIH
Gainesville: http://bit.ly/MissEmilyGA
July 27, 2015

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THE SONGS WE SANG AT INDEPENDENT HILL NEIGHBORHOOD LIBRARY, JULY 2015
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/07/24/the-songs-we-sang-at-independent-hill-neighborhood-library-in-manassas-va-on-7222015/

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THE SONGS WE SANG AT GAINESVILLE NEIGHBORHOOD LIBRARY, JULY 2015
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/07/24/the-songs-we-sang-at-gainsville-neighborhood-library-on-7232015/

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THE SONGS WE SANG AT NOKESVILLE NEIGHBORHOOD LIBRARY, JULY 2015
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/the-songs-we-sang-at-nokesville-neighborhood-library-in-nokesville-va-on-712015/

Patti Lupone’s wonderful Top Five Rules of Theater Etiquette. I think Etiquette should be part of every person’s education. Where did it go? I need some, too. Let’s self educate, start a movement, and begin with these:

1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T- Be aware of your theater going neighbor. In front of you, behind you, to your right, and left. Treat them with respect, unless you’re sitting next to a loudmouthed idiot.

2. Power Down – Turn off all electronic devices, and watch the play instead.

3. Have Dinner Beforehand- Refrain from eating and drinking in your seat. The majestic old ladies that are Broadway’s great theaters deserve your respect. The theater isn’t your kitchen. There is always intermission to imbibe.

4. Use Judgment – Don’t feel obligated to give everything you see a standing ovation.

5. Prepare For Bliss – Come to the theater with the expectation of being transported. Isn’t that why you bought the ticket?

Let’s start a REVOLUTION of GOOD BEHAVIOR!

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About these rules on BROADWAY WORLD.COM
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/R-E-S-P-E-C-T-Patti-LuPone-Shares-Her-Top-Five-Rules-of-Theater-Etiquette-20150727

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About these rules on WSJ.com
http://blogs.wsj.com/briefly/2015/07/24/5-rules-of-theater-etiquette-from-patti-lupone/

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Related Posts

This post is an addendum to the post:
YANKEE DOODLE, AN ILLUSTRATED SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/little-house-songs-yankee-doodle/

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yankee doodle 1776 verse text sbwe eleg w chords
Yankee Doodle for SBWE Sing Along Sheet with Guitar Chords
Traditional Words and Tune Slightly Adapted by ELEG for SBWE
Guitar Chords by ELEG for SBWE
To view or print this page, click here:
yankee doodle 1776 verse text sbwe eleg w chords

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Related Posts

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Yankee Doodle for SBWE Sing Along Page
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/yankee-doodle-for-sbwe-sing-along-page/

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YANKEE DOODLE FOR SBWE
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/yankee-doodle-for-sbwe/

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YANKEE DOODLE IN SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/little-house-songs-yankee-doodle/

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“Read, Sing, Play ABC Sing-Along,” A Singable Book, Letter E (tune of Yankee Doodle)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/%E2%80%9Cread-sing-play-abc-sing-along%E2%80%9D-a-singable-book-letter-e/
This post features a version of “Yankee Doodle” that appears in “Little House in the Big Woods”

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LITTLE HOUSE SONGS: LAURA INGALLS WILDER – SONGS OF THE LITTLE HOUSE BOOKS
Songs of the “Little House” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/songs-of-the-little-house-books-by-laura-ingalls-wilder/

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EDUCATIONAL CONTENT

A list of SPBs with fun and sneakily educational content.  The kids won’t even know they’re learning!
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/singable-picture-books-with-sneaky-educational-content/

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FOURTH OF JULY AND OTHER HOLIDAYS CELEBRATING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND HER CITIZENS AND HISTORY
A list of Patriotic Singable Picture Books
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/a-patriotic-list-of-singable-books-for-july-4th/

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USEFUL TUNES IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/useful-tunes-in-the-public-domain/

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SING-ALONG RESOURCES AND PRINTABLE MATERIALS
This is the place to find Print Materials Created by Emily, Service Providers, Vendors, Audio and Video to help you SING-ALONG!
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/sing-along-resources-2/

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Happy Independence Day from Sing Books with Emily, and an addition to the Yankee Doodle Repertoire
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/happy-independence-day-from-sing-books-with-emily-and-an-addition-to-the-yankee-doodle-repertoire/

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Text Poster for Yankee Doodle 1776 Verse
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/text-poster-for-yankee-doodle-1776-verse/


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