Tag: music

Sounds of India

See this man playing the kaimacha, a bowed string instrument used in folk music from the region of Rajasthan.

See this man playing the kaimacha, a bowed string instrument used in folk music from the region of Rajasthan.

The unique and rich music of India spans many genres from fusion to classical with a varied range of instruments. The striking sounds of the sitar have influenced many musicians – even all the way into popular Western music rock & roll music. Check out our playlist to see why the Beatles and The Rolling Stones were so drawn to the mystical sounds of the sitar. Don’t forget to listen to “The Sun Won’t Set” by Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar – sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar’s daughters.

Music From Around The World

Laura Phelan, lifelong writer and travel junkie, reports directly each morning to her daughters, Annie (5) and Maggie (3). She purposely lives in Atlanta, Georgia so she can hop a non-stop flight to anywhere from the world’s busiest airport. Today Laura is with us on Studio T to remind us that not all summer camps are just about canoeing and campfires!

Summer time in my household means many things. Bare feet, long days at the pool, a trip to the beach, and camps. My two young girls, ages five and three, helped pick the camps they would attend this year. The unanimous vote was princess camp, something they did together. One chose tennis camp, the other school camp with her best friend.

I myself am a self-proclaimed travel junkie. I’d go virtually anywhere at any moment given the opportunity. For the second year in a row, I spent part of my summer helping lead a group of teenagers on a trip to a developing country. My girls are now well aware of how Mommy leaves to go somewhere far away, helps people, and then comes home with exciting stories and exotic gifts. The girls know they are too young to go, but I look for every opportunity to share with them my love of travel. So before we jump back into a new school year, we all signed up to attend an ”Around the World” music camp.

My daughters may not have proper travel docs or the required immunizations for a global adventure, but don’t tell them that. They now have their own passports from the week. Each day, the campers “toured” a different place in the world, by way of music and art. The children learned what instruments are common in each country or region, and sang songs originating there. Then they created homemade instruments and other art projects. I was happy to serve as a volunteer and was able to travel right along with them. Like any good mom, I also snapped some pictures along the way.

From the African savannah to Japan, down to Latin America and back home again, we all learned some things. Mostly, the children learned that music is a central part of every culture. After each session in the music or art room, they received a stamp in their passport. This gave me the opportunity to share with them my own passport, and talk about where the stamps are from.

A poignant moment of camp came when my oldest turned to me nervously and said  “Mommy, are we really going to Africa?”

I laughed. “Not today, baby.” I replied. “We’re just pretending.”

But one day, my girl, we’ll go.

 

 

Laura recently starting blogging about her parenting adventures at littlepilgrimsblog.com. Say hello!


Mirror, Mirror- on the wall

Back by popular demand is guest blogger Naomi who has a United States passport, but considers herself a global citizen and currently lives in New Delhi, India.  Along for the great adventure is her husband, one teenage traveler, two little citizens and an Indian street dog.  She blogs about their life (including an upcoming relocation to Singapore) at Delhi Bound [http://delhibound.com].

My kids are participating in a bit of an informal summer reading program and one of the books we recently read was Mirror by Jeannie Baker.  The book discusses the similarities between two families on opposite ends of the earth.  Our family often gravitates towards books with global themes, but this was one of the first to make me question just how much cultural diversity my children are collecting from their experiences.

With our recent zip code history, you might think that we have ‘cultural diversity training’ checked off of the list, but I think we still have a ways to go.  Raising global citizens – inside of the four walls of our home – means that we strive to accomplish these six things :

First to train our children to accept diversity.  In their small world, this may mean being understanding of the child who stutters when they speak or the grocery store clerk that has a different skin color.

Not that it takes second priority, but a spirit of service is also crucial, whether that means following a spend/save/share motto with allowance money, or helping to ladle out broth at the local soup kitchen.

I also feel that a strong voice is so important.  Children often have some pretty great ideas about the world that they live in. Ideas of how to make things better and how to make people feel welcomed.  Developing a powerful (albeit respectful at the same time) sense of self and comfort level in speaking their mind and sharing their ideas, is an important piece of this puzzle.

General understanding of the geography of our world is simple if you use the resources at your fingertips (internet searches) and your library to open up the globe to your children.  The first step – if you don’t already own one – is to purchase a tabletop globe or a wall world atlas.  Another way to expand knowledge is to attend functions that celebrate geography, like a recent “All About Me” where children (and parents) dressed in their ‘national dress.’  Fun stuff.

statue of liberty costume

American national dress

Appreciation of the music and food that makes the world go ‘round.  We have had a couple of theme dinners in our dining room (complete with fitting food and music) and we are excited to do some more. Make the menu planning a family affair and break away from the expected Mexican, Chinese and Italian.

Caprese Salad

Making our own caprese salad

Bring it home by taking the next step. Invite someone from a different culture, nationality or country to your house for a play date, or out for a ice cream cone.  Explore your differences and marvel at your similarities.

The old adage says to give your children roots and wings, but equally as important is to give them the ability to accept and understand those who come from a different nest.

Activity: Make Brazilian Music

 

Make Brazilian Music Activity!

Tea staff member Cindy has her two children jam out to their own Brazilian-inspired music!

Have your child play the tambourine, guitar, drums, flute, or any other instrument they want to make their own Brazilian music! As they’re rocking out, snap a few pics and enter them in our “Around the World Activity Contest” for your chance to win one of our 10 weekly prizes and be entered into a sweepstakes to win a $500 Tea gift certificate. Contest starts 7/1/2012. Visit www.facebook.com/teacollection to enter.

Brazilian Music Children's Activity

Leigh Rawdon's (Tea Co-Founder) son has fun making Brazilian music!

This activity was inspired by our Boy’s Lapa Polo Shirt. The Lapa Polo first debuted in Destination: Brazil in Spring 2009.

Boys Lapa Polo Shirt

It was named for a neighborhood in Rio with a lively nightlife and has a lively multi-colored dot print. We’re betting it goes with your Little Citizen’s lively personality!

The History of Gamelan

Bali culture is deeply rooted in their love for arts and music.  It’s what makes this little island so unique (and fun!). One of the most well-known types of Balinese music is gamelan, a musical ensemble that includes muscians playing instruments such as xylophones, drums, gongs, bamboo flutes, plucked strings, and sometimes vocalists.  The word gamelan is taken from the Javanese word gamel  which translates to “to strike or hammer.”

Gamelan Music

This photo is of a gamelan circle and was taken by our designers on their inspiration trip to Bali. To view more of their photos visit our Flickr page.

Gamelan predates the Hindu-Buddhist culture.  According to Javanese mythology, it dates back to the Saka era 167 (230 AD).  Sang Hyang Gura was the Java god who ruled from a palace on the Maendra mountains in Medangkamulan (now Mount Lawu). He used a gong to summon the gods, however he needed a way to send them more complex messages. Therefore, he created two gongs forming the first gamelan set.

Our designers heard beautiful gamelan musicians during Balinese legong and monkey chant performances. They were even invited to view a gamelan practice circle.  Below is the video one of our designers captured of this intimate moment.

 

Have you heard of gamelan before? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.