Super-rare 70s private press jazz? A Herbie Hancock or Lonnie Liston Smith you just haven’t heard? No, “Funky Penguin” is the first track of Movin’, a 1973 album produced by Educational Activities, Inc. of Freeport, NY.
Gus and Nova’s awesome pre-school teacher was just telling Laura this week that recent studies have reinforced the claim that students who listen to instrumental music perform better at all levels. It doesn’t have to be Mozart (or Baby Mozart, whoever the fuck that was) or Bach, it doesn’t have to be the Modern Jazz Quartet. Students could listen to Wizards Are Real while studying and it would enhance their ability to focus on the task at hand!
The introduction to Movin’ by Hap Palmer explains that “this is a collection of original music written especially for movement exploration and creative movement activities.” Inside the gatefold there are activities that fit the music. For instance:
Point your toes out and bounce (4-bar intro)
Flap your wings (arms) and move like a penguin (8 bars)
Swim like a penguin (8 bars)
Repeat flapping and swimming
Dance like a penguin (flap wings, jump, swing wings side to side, etc) (8 bars)
Flap your wings and walk (until music fades)
I remember similar musical activities, and maybe even danced like a penguin to this same record. There are more than twenty other titles from Educational Activities, Inc listed on the back of this album that look pretty sweet. These guys made the Learning Basic Skills Through Music albums that we often have in the ‘Educational’ section in our kids’ records browser, but also some pretty interesting titles I’d like to hear like The Feel of Music and Creative Movement and Rhythmic Exploration. That second one has a song called “Grandpa Builds a Table” that I imagine would be a lot of fun.
Our kids, three and four, enjoy all kinds of music, including live music here in the shop and around town when it’s possible. That’s something special about the Cedar Cultural Center‘s summer patio series, one of the awesome-est of the awesome things they do. I am always surprised you don’t see more kids at those relatively early, always family-friendly shows. That’s also the reason we got involved with presenting music at the Midtown Farmer’s Market. The last Hymie’s-sponsored day of music there for 2012 will be Saturday the 27th and we’re very excited that the band playing is the Cactus Blossoms! There’s some information about that here (lotta links today, we really want you to take your kids to see some live music).
Getting back to Movin’ and its activities, my favorite track is “Far East Blues” because it’s highlighted by an electric sitar, an instrument I enjoy pretty much every time I hear one (and which has already appeared in this blog here and here).
(“Far East Blues”)
There’s only a few activities for “Far East Blues”, but it might be a good thing for us all to get up and out of our chairs midweek. Exercise and movement are as good for your well-being and concentration as instrumental music, I think. Here you go:
We can do many different axial and locomoter (sic) movements with the rhythm of music. Here are some examples:
Twist your whole body slowly to the right and hold
Twist your whole body slowly to the left and hold
Can you twist your arm one way (2 beats) and then the other way (two beats)?
Twist your other arm
Twist both arms
Twist one leg (the other leg, both legs)
Twist one arm and one leg
Twist the other arm and the other leg
Twist any part you want
Twist 3 parts
Push with your arms (2 beats) and then pull with your arms
Pretend you are pushing and pulling something very heavy
Push and pull with your food (head, elbows, shoulders, etc)
And now back to work!