Saturday, January 10, 2009

WHEW! Back! And some music notes (get it? Music notes? hee hee!)

My beautiful sisters in the Lord!

I have been gone for so long and I apologise (and I also apologise for the dreadful pun in the title of this blog entry)! Lots of things going on folks came to visit for a few weeks (WAY too short!), The Wonder Sweetie left for a trip and came back, and of course there was Thanksgiving, Christmas, Etc!!!

But things are settling back down now and I am eager to get blogging in earnest!

So how was your CHRISTmas? Mine was wonderful! My parents were here, as I mentioned. We got slammed with temperatures in the minus 40's and 50's (yes, that is 40 BELOW zero) for almost two weeks. It was nice though because, as my mom put it, we all just did little projects and it was like living on the prairie. Dad was watching the game or reading, the kids built legos, mom embossed cards, TWS was making lingerie chests in the garage for me, I was .....hmmm...what WAS I doing? lolol--I can't remember! Probably cooking or doing handwork or playing on the dulcimer.

OH! That reminds me! We got a wonderful thing at our house! A Music Maker harp! It is a very small child's harp, but it does not sound AT ALL like a kids toy. I had gotten one for one of my ADORABLE nephews for Christmas (as well as an accordion for another nephew....not sure that SIL is going to forgive me for that one hee hee!). Anyway, a couple of days after Christmas my brother called and held the phone for Jeninlaw to play such a sweet, wonderful tune for me!

First of all, I was SO touched that they thought to call me up and play for me! Secondly, I thought it sounded wonderful! So I ordered one for myself. It has cards that slide under the strings so that you do not have to read music, you just pick the string that is directly over the note. IMMEDIATELY you can play songs like "Jesu, Joy of men's desiring" and the like. Talk about instant gratification! I just ordered a ton more music packets (hymns, patriotic, russian folk, etc). I cannot wait for them to get here!

I would recommend this highly and without reservations. Be prepared to possibly tune it when you get it, but that is not difficult, especially if you have a chromatic tuner or know someone with a good ear.

I also got a glockenspiel (something I got for my third adorable nephew!). I have not bought myself the accordion yet though hee hee.

I mentioned my dulcimer....if you have not tried one, please look into one. If you can pick out a tune with one finger, you can play the dulcimer well enough to play for people. My dulcimer is a 4 string, but two strings are REALLY close together and you play them like 1 string. These are the melody strings (where you pick out your tune). The other two strings are "drone" strings, and you do not have to do anything but pluck them or strum them (until you get really good, then you can do chords, etc, but you do not need to be able to do that to play wonderful songs).

I am better at picking the dulcimer instead of strumming (I have more fine motor skills than ANY sense of rhythm). So with one finger of your left hand, you hold down the string at different places on the neck of the dulcimer, and with your right hand you pluck strings "1-2" then string"4" then string "3". The 3rd and 4th string never change pitch (unless you get more advanced), so you really only have to worry about one string. How easy is that!

Now, if you get REALLY good you can do some amazing things with the dulcimer--things that boggle my mind, frankly. Youtube has several really amazing videos of people playing the dulcimer and making it positively dance. BUT I am not there yet :).

Anyway, those are two instruments that I can say that I would recommend, especially if you are looking to round out a homeschool music program or are looking to amuse yourself with being able to play something.

(this is getting long, so I will stop for now....)

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