Music

NOW that’s what I call music! 3 1/2 years old

Posted on Apr 12, 2013 | 1 comment

NOW that’s what I call music! 3 1/2 years old

May – the anti-establishment, punk, performance artist that she is – has broadened her taste in music since last year’s introductory NOW that’s what I call music! 2 1/2. A bit of gangsta rap? Yes, please! says May. And, okay – it may be true that she has better taste in music than her mama. But, I’m 40 years old now. It is completely against my decade to try new things. May enjoys a good tune (see I can’t even sound cool when I write about it. You should see me dance – it’s like a crocodile being wrestled to the ground.). Yesterday, as we drove home from visiting friends, my husband delighted May by playing her all kinds of music she knew, but I had never heard of. (Click to enlarge photos of May yesterday!) Here is a selection of her favorites with links so you can listen along: Shakleton, Music for Quiet Hour (album and title song) Avante Garde Dub Step with spoken word science fiction poetry. Again, her father’s influence in case you had your doubts. May particularly enjoys the strange bass sounds like a plastic bucket filling up with water. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Murder Ballads (album) Murder ballads. Even May needs something light for the weekend. Bob Dylan, Highway 61 – May’s favorite singer. Dylan’s out of tune, nasal whine appeals to her dissonant sensibility. Oh, and she loves a harmonica. Brian Eno, Discrete Music – May appreciates this deconstruction of Canon in D major by Johan Pachelbel. Eno is a master experimenter of ambient sounds. May hopes, but fears this is too challenging for the London Symphony Orchestra Family Concerts she enjoys. David Bowie – deserves his own post (SIDE NOTE: My husband and I went to the exhibit at the V&A about Bowie in London. In a word: dull. In several words: really, really dull. We didn’t take May. She would have been very disappointed. It wasn’t art.) Got a favorite tune you think May would like? Leave a link to it in the comments section and we will let you know what she thinks! *          *           * Like what you read here? Nominate my post of May’s first time in a walking frame for the BritMums keynote address. If I’m shortlisted, I would have the opportunity to share May’s inspirational first steps with a wider audience. No registration required and it only will take 30 seconds. Here’s where you do the nominating: NOMINATION FORM And, here is the web address of the post to nominate: http://www.mamalewis.com/2013/02/28/02282013-by-popular-request-mays-first-steps-again/...

Read More

Six months ago May started music therapy. Has it worked?

Posted on Mar 12, 2012 | 12 comments

Six months ago May started music therapy. Has it worked?

When May began music therapy sessions run by Nordoff-Robbins, six months ago, my plans were ambitious. I am one driven mama and May is my toddler in a tiara (minus the tiara). My goal? May would have fun, or we would stop. (Don’t you wish all corporate meetings opened with that as Item 1 on the agenda?) May loves music. If all she did was enjoy herself, it would have been a success to me. However, it doesn’t take a genius to know that things that bring us pleasure are great motivators. Back then, I made a wish list of outcomes I hoped music therapy would result in, that included: reaching moving towards an object repeating sounds making new sounds participating in call and response (basic communication) looking towards objects Here is a video of May, today, at her session. You be the judge. Has she improved in any of the above areas? (Watch this video from a session in November 2011 as a...

Read More

5 very simple ways you can help the disabled

Posted on Mar 8, 2012 | 7 comments

5 very simple ways you can help the disabled

While literally hundreds of thousands of people are signing the r-word: spread the word to end the word pledge, I thought readers of Mama Lewis might be interested in a few things they could do that would really help disabled people. Despite the campaign’s good intentions, I found it objectionable. But then, I find anything objectionable that is purported to help disabled people and doesn’t. By all means, readers, don’t use the word “retard” – but then, I’m betting you don’t use derogatory terms about disabled people anyway simply because you read this blog. Likewise, I doubt any of the thousands who signed the petition do. In the meantime, while we all wait for the removal of the word “retard” to improve the lives of disabled people everywhere, here are a few real things you can do to help them now: 1. Want to sign a petition? It’s just as easy as signing a pledge except it may actually make a difference to the lives of disabled people. Sign this one to stop the British government removing legal aid funding from the needy. 2. Want to donate to a good cause? May’s old school Small Steps is a very small charity that relies entirely on donations. They provide guidance families like ours, along with physio, sensory activities, songs and fun. Even a small donation would go a long way to help them, help more cuties like May. 3. Want to change people’s perceptions? Why not start with your own children? Take them to activities, nursery or schools that include disabled children in their normal sessions. The children in May’s nursery love her and don’t think she is strange in the least because she does every activity right alongside them. 4. Want to be attend an event? Nordoff-Robbins has music therapy centers all over the country. May’s once a week sessions have been key to her communication and reaching – not to mention she LOVES it. Attend one of their glamorous fundraising events or concerts where you can meet sporting and music legends. 5. Want to hire someone? Consider a disabled person for the role. I don’t know how you could help a person more than giving them employment, purpose and pride in a job well done. Finally, it’s a long shot – but today the British government announced closures of many of the Remploy factories around Britain that specifically employ disabled people. Almost 2,000 people will lose their livelihoods. If you are filthy rich – now is the time to snatch one of those factories up and make a difference to an entire community of people who will be left most certainly without work. That would prove that the Torie’s Big Society exists and I’m willing to eat my words gratefully if it...

Read More

This week I’m… singing scales.

Posted on Feb 18, 2012 | 2 comments

This week I’m… singing scales.

My biggest fans. And yes, my voice merits this level of adoration. Just call me Julie Andrews. I’m no one trick pony. I’m a triple threat; I can sing, dance AND act. Okay. I can hum a tune, drunk dance AND act nasty – but only if you park in a disabled spot and you aren’t disabled. grrrrrr. Thank goodness for children. They think you are God’s gift to entertainment. My baby, Ieuan, adores me in much the same way as the Beatles experienced on their first tour of America. And, May can spend hours, literally, singing with me. See! She thinks I can sing! Our concerts consist of “ahhhhh” hitting the same note over and over again. Sometimes, our collaborations vary with me patting her mouth or flicking her lips with my finger making “ahhhhh” into a pseudo Indian war-cry. She loves it! Plus, we are almost always cuddling while we do this. We both love that! Tonight, I thought I’d go for some extreme singing and pull out that old Julie Andrew’s classic Do-Re-Mi. When that got no response, I cut out the middle man and just did scales. In one of those miraculous moments that mothers like me wait months for, music therapy paid off tonight. I set to moving up the scales. May remained on the lower end of the octave. When I reached the top, she stopped. She listened as I screeched through the higher notes. Then, she laughed herself silly. Now, you might say that she had a revelation about her tone-deaf mama. However, as I sang my way up and down the scales once more, she started singing with me, still on her lower note. As I peaked shakily at the top, she changed her note and squeaked along with me. I stopped. She laughed herself silly again. I did it again. She did it again. May is listening and trying to match my sounds. She is a gorgeous little diva in the tradition of Mariah Carey. Better than Mariah, because May is testing out a new form of communication – call and response – and Mariah just likes the classic combo of squeaking out high notes while wearing a boob tube. Sometimes May just astounds...

Read More