Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Couple of Cautions about Water Bottles

Water bottles are all the craze nowadays.

"Back in the day" when I was a student in band the only way to get a drink during rehearsal was to take a swig from the spray water bottle I used with my trombone. 

In choir getting a drink when parched a wishful thinking until rehearsal ended.

As a choir director I do not recall allowing my students to have water bottles in class.  (Some of my former students who might read this may chime in about this.)

Now, as a director of a band, I have "water bottle" listed on the suggestions/necessities for rehearsal.

Times certainly have changed.

I do want to put a couple of cautions out there.

First, know where your water bottle is!

I recall a time during choral society where I had a water bottle carefully tucked under my seat so that I could reach it easily during rehearsal.

I reached for my water bottle, but, alas, it wasn't where it should be.

As I looked under and around my seat for it I noticed my neighbor.

Sipping delicately...ON MY WATER BOTTLE!!

Yes, I knew it was mine because HERS was still under her seat.

I did not say anything and spent the remainder of the rehearsal wishing for a drink of water but there was none to be had.

Second, know which water bottle is yours!

Now this is not prompted by the previous story, but by something that happened at tonight's rehearsal.

I had a water bottle and was working on my laptop so I set it to the side.

Rehearsal started and all was going well.

I picked up my water bottle, talked some, drank some, and just continued rehearsal.

Rehearsal ended and I carried my bottle of water back to where my laptop was.

And yep - you guessed it!

THERE was MY bottle of water next to my laptop.

I looked at the bottle in my hand and felt like I was going to get sick.

I took the offending water bottle and my water bottle and threw both of them away.

I just felt like I needed to wash my mouth out to get the cooties, not to mention germs off my lips and out of my mouth.

I wanted to spit. 

But I did not.

But I wanted to.

*deep breath*

So far I am still alive.

I am sharing these experiences with you so that you may hopefully avoid what happened to me.

My sister suggested I needed to get a coozie (or however in the world that word is spelled) for my water bottles so I would always know which one was mine.

Sounds like a splendid idea!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Banana Boat Song

This is a song from my childhood.

I recall singing it in music class...or camp...or somewhere.

Interestingly I have used it in some of my music classes.  I use it when teaching about calypso music.  I use it when teaching about work songs.

Some renditions of it are more appropriate for the classroom than others.

Some I just find quite funny.

I've included a couple of examples here.


The one most often attributed with having sung this song is Harry Belafonte. 

I so love this version with the Muppets. 

I would show this video to my college students as an example of calypso music.  They would just laugh because many of them had not watched the Muppets before. 

I must admit that it still makes me laugh a bit even after having seen it many times.  Gotta love Fozzy Bear!


This past weekend was Halloween and several friends mentioned watching this movie at a party.  I was reminded of hearing this song in the movie.

This version from the movie Beetlejuice is what prompted this post.

A lot of this movie is forgettable, but this scene often comes to my mind when I hear this song.  It made me laugh the first time I saw it and continues to do so.

I hope you enjoyed these two videos.

Do you have any memories of this song?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

And the Audience Sings

Community singing is not a thing of the past.

Despite worries and concerns that it is becoming an obsolete activity.

Contemporary instances of it occurring just seem different because, well, it's not a group of people gathered around the campfire, piano, whatever lifting their voices in song.

Community singing today is usually spontaneous.

It just happens.

Every time I hear the audience singing along with a performer it gives me chills and just makes me stop what I doing to enjoy the moment.

I think of those audience members.

Some love to sing and sing all the time.
Some shouldn't be singing (if you know what I mean) and yet they sing anyway.
Some profess to HATE singing yet they occasionally (often) are caught up in the singing.


Because singing together with a group of friends and/or strangers gives such a sense of peace and connection.

Singing does that.

This post was prompted by a video I ran across today of Taylor Swift and Idina Menzel singing the song that everyone loves to hate.  It really needs no introduction.

Yet, this is not the only example.

What about this:

And apparently I am not the only one to be moved by community singing.  Here Beyonce seems thrilled as the audience takes over the song and she can catch her breath.

And then there's this.  Who hasn't stood united in victory at some sporting event and sung along to this song?

These are just a few examples.

Think about it.

When was the last time that you lifted up your voice to sing along with a group of people who were mostly strangers?

And next time, when you have the opportunity, just go ahead and


And enjoy it!