Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Steiner mama is a singing mama

Singing can change the world; for when we sing, we change ourselves. We, the citizens of the world, are in great need of joy and peace, calmness and exuberance. When we sing we can create all of these moods and thereby shift and balance our breathing and blood circulation. Through singing we can create a sense of health and well being, which leads to a calming of the brain waves, a vitalizing of our organs, and the enlivining of our endocrine system. In addition to these health giving benefits for oneself and the whole community, it is just plain fun! Mary Thienes-Schunemann, Lavender's Blue Dilly Dilly


Singing is a really important part of the Steiner/Waldorf approach to little ones. In a Steiner environment, rather than 'directing' children, they are led by the rhythm of the day. Just was one doesn't resist that summer follows spring, children who are strongly imbedded in a rhythm won't resist that handwashing follows coming home, or that bed comes after teeth-cleaning . So often songs indicate what is happening, which is much softer and less 'directive' than a spoken instruction. Carrie explains this really well here.

So tell me, what songs do you sing during the day as part of your rhythm? We seem to have quite a collection here. I have to confess that I am a LOUSY singer ... I was actually asked to leave a school choir - so poor is my singing voice. For me, practice might not make perfect but I hope for passable. Munchkin and Gidget both love me singing however out of tune I might be.

I have to say that I think I'm very lucky to have attended a wonderful Steiner playgroup for the last eighteen months, which is where most of our home rhythm comes from. By the time she was two, Munchkin was asking for these songs. I'm not sure I would have convinced Hubby or my in laws to sing a blessing ... but Munchkin holds out her hands and says 'blessings!' with such conviction and concern that no-one would dare say no. I really admire Waldorf home-schoolers who have to work this stuff out on their own ... it must take a huge strength to do that!

Our morning song is a bit of a well known Waldorf classic

Morning has come Night is away
Rise with the sun … and welcome the day.
Good morning dear earth, Good morning dear sun
Good morning dear stones, and flowers everyone
Good morning dear bees, and the birds in the trees

Good morning to you, and good morning to me.


Story time we begin by singing

Mother of the fairy tale
Take me to your shining vale
To mountains high, and valleys deep
Where fairies fly and goblins creep
Now let us hear your fairy tale

At meal times we have

Blessings on the blossoms,
Blessings on the fruit,
Blessings on the leaves and stems andblessings on the ro--oo--ot.
Spoken: Blessings on this meal, Manaki Ene Kai and Peace on Earth”

At dinner time we up the ante with a candle before blessings, our candle lighting song is

Fire fairy come to us, fire fairy come to us, and the fire fairy comes, bringing golden light from the sun.

And I know we are not the only ones to make liberal use of the tune to 'Here we go round the Mulberry Bush' - this is the way we wash our hands/clean our teeth/put on our clothes ... etc etc.

Maybe I should look up that old choir teacher!!!

7 comments:

Mama Bear@An Experiment for Love said...

So glad to have you back! I've always loved your blog posts, and kept your blog in my RSS Feed in my blog list, "just in case." : )

Yes, "This is the way" we make the bed, brush our teeth, etc. We also use a song learned in our Waldorf Parent/Tot class- "Tidy Up Our Room." My daughter really responds well to singing and I think I'll have to come up with some new songs to peek her interest!

Mama Bear@An Experiment for Love said...

So glad to have you back! I've always loved your blog posts, and kept your blog in my RSS Feed in my blog list, "just in case." : )

Yes, "This is the way" we make the bed, brush our teeth, etc. We also use a song learned in our Waldorf Parent/Tot class- "Tidy Up Our Room." My daughter really responds well to singing and I think I'll have to come up with some new songs to peek her interest!

nova_j said...

yay good to see you back! ;) (sorry we didn't meet up with you guys, we we're all full of vomit bugs, so not very nice playmates!)

lol there was a bit of a debate at playgroup recently about whether it is "bees" or "beasts" (with two fingers of each hand together as claws) and if you google "good morning dear earth" you get a variety of results! but c'mon, beasts does not rhyme with trees!!

(lexi might be starting nursery this term! eek!)

sarah haliwell said...

When my dd was little we had a morning song, an evening song, star song, moon song, school song ... we sang all our earliest lessons ... I wish we could still do this, but she has her dignity now ;-)

Like you, I discovered the gentle power of singing. If I needed her to do something but it was a moment fraught with tension, eg a transition time or we were in a hurry, I always sang it, and that always helped.

GrowingBump said...

I have a wee song I sing to my girls - its to the tune of twinkle twinkle little star (well actually its completely out of tune, but if I could sing it would be). It goes: "Mummy mummy loves you so, mummy loves you lots you know, Daddy Daddy loves you so, daddy loves you lots you know, Grandma.... " you get the idea. We do all their family and all their friends and each other and finish back with Mummy and Daddy.

We have phases where we sing a lot and phases where we don't. I feel a singing phase coming on again - thanks for the inspiration :)

Alissa said...

Hello there!
I was just wondering if you know where I could get the tune for "good morning dear earth"?
Thanks!
Alissa

Alissa said...

Hello there!
I was just wondering if you would know where I might find the tune for "good morning dear earth"?
Thanks!
Alissa