Top Tips for a Top Notch Performance
February 27, 2016

Can’t beat a bit of constructive feedback! The adjudicator at this year’s Milton Keynes Music Festival was very good – through her group evaluation, ideas and tips for a top performance, all the young musicians learnt that: a ‘phrase’ is a musical sentence; ‘articulation’ is the pronunciation of the notes – clearly defined or slurred through use of the tongue; ‘dynamics’ determine how quick or slow, loud or soft; try and rid yourself of the music stand if you can; and to bow and appreciate an audience’s applause.

Also that musical language like ‘tempo’ is Italian. Dylan would like to know why Italian – any offers on an answer? 

A symbolic message
June 26, 2013


Hieroglyphics – hand, reed flowers, lion, vulture and water.
Age 5.

Deleting phonics
April 16, 2013

deletingphonicsSon: I wish it was a school day.

Mum: Are you looking forward to seeing all your friends again?

Son: Yes… Except for phonics. I hate phonics. I wish they could just DELETE phonics.

Mum: Why don’t you like phonics? Ah that’s where you make lots of different sounds isn’t it? Where you go “ai”, “ee”, “oo”, “th”, “ng”?

Son: Yeah – it’s boring. We just do the SAME thing over and over and over again.

Mum: Do you find it easy or hard?

Son: It’s easy. And boring.

Forbidden words
December 17, 2012

forbiddenwordsD: Eth-word. Eth-word. Eth-word.

Me: What did you just say?

D: Nothing. I said it to myself.

Me: What did you say though?

D: Nothing!…
Mum, what’s a swear word?

Me: They’re naughty words. Who’s been talking about swear words?

D: My teacher at school said we shouldn’t use swear words, but I don’t know what they are.

Me: Good – then you won’t be using them.

D: But how will I know if I’m using them if I don’t know what they are?

Me: Hmmm…

[To be continued]

Crossing language barriers
November 12, 2012

D: I wish I was in the sky – in space.

Me: Why?

D: I would LOVE to see the spacemans. How do you get back into Earth when you’re in space?
Do you have to stay there if you go into space?

Me: No because you’d go in a rocket – you’d just turn the rocket around and go back to Earth.

D: How can the rocket get back down if the world is just like a big ball and REALLY, REALLY hard and it can’t get through?

Me: What do you mean – it doesn’t need to go through the Earth – just land on it.

D: No, I MEAN… You know how the Earth is hard?

Me: Yes.

D: Well how can the rocket go back into a country if the Earth is a big ball and SO hard?

Me: Do you mean if the rocket is one side of the Earth in space and the country it’s going back to is on the other side? It would just go AROUND – like a bird. It doesn’t need to go through.

D: Really, really close mum, good try. That’s not what I mean!

Me: How about you show me what you mean on your planets poster when we go upstairs?

D: No, I’ll draw you a picture to show you what I mean…

Explanation of meaning – Nov 2012

D: That’s the Earth and they’re all stars around it. That’s the rocket [bottom], and it’s going back down to Earth. How can it go through when the Earth is really hard?

Me: Ahh! Yes, sorry – the rocket must turn around again just before it reaches the Earth and go in backwards, so it lands on its flat bit! Is that what you mean, because there’s a pointy bit on the top of the rocket?

D: Yes!

Bossy verbs
October 21, 2012

D: Do you know what a bossy verb is?

Me: Is it a doing word?

D: Yes – it tells you what to do.

Me: Tell me a bossy verb, then.

D: No.

Me: Was that a bossy verb – when I said ‘tell’ me?

D: Yes.

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