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!!!