The Children’s Music Network is honored and grateful for the support of our wonderful Business Sponsors and Non-Profit Partners. This series is meant to shed a little more light on what they do. Today’s sponsor is Liz Buchanan of Antelope Dance Music & Literacy.
1. What is your mission?
My mission is to bring musical happiness into the lives of children around the city of Boston and beyond. In many of the places I work, I also integrate music into early literacy learning.
2. How do you apply it practically?
Every day of the week, I’m at different preschools, elementary schools and libraries making music with kids. I partner with organizations such as Young Audiences of Massachusetts and VSA-Mass for residencies and concerts that tie music to learning early literacy skills. We have lots of fun singing and playing instruments while focusing on rhyming, letter sounds, books and the elements of stories. To me, music is one of the best ways to learn early literacy skills. I also blog regularly about music and literacy, offer workshops for teachers and librarians, and sell my literacy-related songs through my fellow CMN business sponsor, Songs for Teaching.
3. Why did you choose to partner with CMN?
I just finished serving on the Board of CMN and served for two years as CMN’s president. Anybody who makes music with kids should be part of CMN: it’s a no-brainer. The network has been around for more than 25 years, so we’re tied into the history of children’s music as well as today’s world of kindie and all the new ways music is being used for learning. CMN should be everyone’s go-to resource for songs, ideas, and advice. Plus you get lifelong music-making friends from around the country!
4. What song from your own childhood do you still sing regularly?
One of my favorites is Senor Don Gato. I first heard this song when my mother purchased a collection called Around the World in Song. This folksong, according to that collection, is from Mexico, and tells the tale of the love besotted kitty, Don Gato, who falls off a roof and perishes, only to return to life when his funeral march passes the fish market. I mainly sing this song with children aged 5 and up, after some unfortunate moments with younger kids. One little girl burst into tears because her cat had recently died and didn’t come back to life. Now this song is one of my favorites for teaching about ballads during my first-grade songwriting residencies at the Condon School in South Boston.
5. What is your official dance move?
The Antelope Dance, of course. Just put your hands up by your head and shake your hips, as I’ve often seen antelopes doing out in the plains. Second move: The Elephant Bump. You can find this song on my first CD, Make It a Song, Song, Song, and you can hear it on Soundcloud. It’s also my web page: www.antelopedance.com.