Friday, July 06, 2012

An Admission

I love children's music. It is true. This fact is appalling to some who cannot fathom enjoying such a genre of music. I love it. I croon along with it all. Now, before you write me off as someone a bit soft in the head, perhaps I should explain what I consider children's music. I don't enjoy squeaky chipmunks or oversized purple dinosaurs. I do love genuine inspired musicians who play hip music for small people, which can be silly, quirky, gentle and just plain fun. Enter They Might Be Giants, Dan Zanes, Ralph's World, Trout Fishing in America and Elizabeth Mitchell. There are others, but these come to mind first as my children first loved them. I am sure new artists should be on this list, but these are what my kiddos have grown up with and love.
Having lived for a few years in Chicago, I am a fan of outdoor concerts. I happily recall sharing a picnic with dear friends while listening to Yo-Yo Ma at Ravinia. When we first came to this area for our brief stay, I knew I wanted to check out Wolftrap, which is an outdoor musical venue surrounded by national park. I remembered visiting my sister when she lived in Virginia and hearing her rave about the musical experience. Imagine my delight when I checked their performances and found that one of my favorite children's musicians was performing during our stay. Without hesitation, I snatched up tickets for us, and we waited.
After a long wait, we finally set off for the concert in the woods yesterday. In truth I may have been more excited than the kiddos. I packed snacks and plenty of water for the trip. Temperatures were predicted to be high with a heat advisory in affect. We arrived at the venue early and found great seats near the front. The children's theater in the woods is nestled between tall trees which provide plenty of shade. The kiddos watched spiders and ants while we waited for the show to begin.
Once it started I was enthralled. I was actually at a concert for Elizabeth Mitchell. Swoon! The kiddos and I sang along with her music and delighted at seeing her daughter and husband perform alongside her. We learned hand motions to songs and laughed at Storey's appalele (apple ukelele). For over an hour we grooved, clapped hands, sang call and response and made a dancing train. The heat didn't matter. All that mattered was being together with the music.
At the end of the concert, I bought a coloring book for Aine and a new CD full of more magical music. Aine asked Elizabeth to autograph her items, which Elizabeth did with a quiet gentleness. As soon as we returned to the car, we popped the new songs into the CD player and began singing all over again with Aine and me the loudest. I believe I may have a fellow aficionado of children's music on my hands.


14 comments:

  1. How fun! I wish I could have been sitting right there too as I love good children's music myself.
    Have a great weekend!

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  2. Oh how fun! I would love to have seen her (even though my kids are older)!

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  3. Elizabeth Mitchell is my absolute favorite!! I actually bought one of her CD's for Derek (youngest) last Christmas and I listen to it more than he does. I could listen to "You are My Sunshine" on repeat all day. LOVE! Wish we could have been there to enjoy this little adventure with you all. So glad you had the opportunity to listen and meet her!!

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  4. How cool...I've just been entertained...especially like Dan Zanes. I can't say that we have anything similar over here. What a great idea. The only thing I remember when Hannah was tiny were sing along tapes that we played in the car all the time when travelling if the radio wasn't on...they were sent by her aunty in Oregon. I don't think we have anything specifically child orientated but they can come along to lots of festivals like this one http://www.wildernessfestival.com/live/index.php#

    It sounds like you had an awesome weekend.

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    1. Dan Zanes is just pure fun. We like his song, "Thrift Shop."

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  5. What a fun summer concert! Love it! Have a great week.

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  6. Raffi and Jack Johnson are two of mine---I (and my children) are old!!!!.....thanks for introducing me to some newer names!!! Nothing (NOTHING!!!) better than the upbeat kid's tunes!!! Wish I was with you at that concert!

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    1. Oh we like those too. Not as much Raffi now that they are getting bigger.

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  7. Looks like you and the kids had a great time!!!! Now that Caitlin's older I'm making her listen to the original They Might Be Giants tunes!!

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  8. !!!!!! WOWOWOWOW! This looks like my favorite kind of day!

    She has never played near us (that I know of). We have seen TMBG which was fun. But the best was TFIA at a funky, dumpy outside bluesy, fish shack in Tampa. The atmosphere adds so much. This looks like a great place! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. That is why I was so excited. She has never played ever close to Arizona. We have also seen TFIA live. It was a great show. The county library system at home brought them in for a performance. Everyone was up dancing and having a great time. I think TMBG would also be a lot of fun.

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  9. love the name aine :-)

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