Author Archive | Esther

Brooklyn or Southville?

There’s a well-off bohemian neighbourhood of Brooklyn called Park Slope, which fizzles with child-friendly cafes, children’s cultural activities and musicians. I imagine it’s not so different to Southville. The album I am recommending this month is Park Slope Parents. The Album. Vol 1. It was a 2007 fundraiser for parkslopeparents.com and if I hadn’t been sent this by a friend […]

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Nostalgia, Canadian style

For January’s music recommendation I bring you: Sharon, Lois and Bram, Great Big Hits This Canadian trio were popular on children’s TV over in Canada in the 80s. Listen to this if you like campfire songs, silly actions and the odd French Canadian ditty. They won’t be to everyone’s taste but I think there’s a retro pleasure in […]

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Christmas tunes

Carols, carols, carols! That’s what we should be singing right now. A couple of years ago I recorded a Christmas CD with Audrey Johnson, Bristol chanteuse and ex-Rhymetimer who hails from the South of France. She runs Les Petits Zouzous which I would describe as a French Rhymetime, and my music recommendation this month Audrey’s first CD Chansons pour s’amuser. […]

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Getting it wrong

Sometimes I notice that we are not singing the same words, such as in Wind the Bobbin up. There are even certain songs where we sing slightly different tunes. If Rhymetime were a performance, this would be a disaster. But it’s not. I love the way we all have learnt our own versions, from our […]

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Back in my happy place.

I woke up in a foul mood this morning. I’d been worrying in the night about the future of everything, and was not ready when the alarm went. I spilt coffee on the stairs. We didn’t have enough milk. An important piece of homework had been torn and crumpled and school jumpers were still damp […]

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Is beautiful folk your cup of tea?

Next in my series of recommendations, it’s …… drumroll…… Elizabeth Mitchell, You are my little bird. When it comes to children’s folk, this woman is the real deal and her music is a huge influence on me. With a soft, gentle voice she sings traditional US folk songs, interspersed with song from Japan, Indonesia and other cultures. […]

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What’s your name?

‘When you first sang Ben’s name in the hello song,’ Joanna confided,  ‘I thought I was going to cry!’ Whenever the group is small enough, we sing hello around the circle, greeting each child and baby by name. We’re noticing them, accepting them, and by naming them we are making them part of the group. I […]

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What do you teach in Rhymetime?

Nothing. I hope that doesn’t disappoint you but I teach absolutely nothing. I sing, jump about, and wriggle my bottom. I don’t teach. Your amazing child won’t be stopped by that! Despite the lack of a teacher they will learn a huge amount, as if by magic. First there’s language. They’ll be absorbing speech patterns […]

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Donkey voices welcome

Rhymetime is an activity you do together. Each week your voice and your child’s voice join the greater sound that we make as a group, whether you are singing, laughing, blowing your nose or yawning. But some people feel very self-conscious about their singing and they tell me that they really do have a ‘bad […]

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