Saving paper and money (commonsense)

When I was doing a secretarial course which included learning to type on a typewriter, I did one of the specified exercises, which involved formatting a long business letter. The teacher said that I had done it well, but that it should not have been continued on the back of the paper, but on a second sheet of paper.  I have always thought that was idiotic. What a waste of trees.  Blessed Mary MacKillop of Australia had an interesting approach.  She wrote her letter down the page (in the portrait position) and then turned the paper to a landscape position and wrote the rest of the letter across it!  This would have been a bit of a problem for the reader, but she was a very neat writer and it could be read.  Later on she also learnt to type on a typewriter. No doubt she did her double writing technique on the back of the paper also.

She was a greenie before greenies existed!  Now I hear that the USA wants to save money in order to pay for their immoral health scheme, (which has everything tied to abortion)  so one of the government departments there is saving money by using both sides of the paper!  It is amazing that it took them so long to think of something so simple!

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A Simplified Method of Teaching to Play Music on a piano keyboard, (for the intellectually disabled and also for young children)

music keyboard

This book is under the patronage of  The Holy Infant Jesus of Prague, St. John Bosco a great teacher of youth and St. Cecilia the patron saint of music.  Holy Infant Jesus of Prague please grant blessings and success to this work.

infant-jesus-of-prague-for-blog

St. John Bosco and St Cecilia pray for us and for the success of this work.

An overview of the method

This music learning program is based on a method that was devised and taught by Richard Weber, an American music teacher in late 1950’s and in the 1960’s.  I found an outline of his method in an old magazine article and picked tunes that fitted in with the method. The only notes that are used in this method are the following consecutive notes:  C  D  E  F  G  A.

The C note involved is Middle C on the piano.  Middle C is the C note, which is nearest to the middle of the piano keyboard. (There is more than one C note on the piano).

Many tunes cannot be used, because they require additional musical notes to the six that are listed. There are no sharp or flat notes. (They are the black notes on the piano keyboard).  B notes are also not used in this method.

The method is a simplified method of teaching music because only six notes are used. This simplicity makes the method suitable for teaching mentally disabled children and adults and young children. It is therefore a method that can be used as a stepping stone for further musical development if that is appropriate. More notes and tunes can be introduced later on, if the student shows that he or she can progress to a higher level. It has been noticed that the application of this method helps mentally disabled children and adults to learn better by stimulating their interest.

Richard Weber had great success in teaching mentally disabled children and adults with this method.  Some of them went on to progress in learning other subjects which they previously could not do. It also helped to improve the behaviours and moods of the disabled children who were taught the method. Two music song books using Richard Weber’s method were published in 1968, unfortunately they are no longer available, that is why I made this book.  I have not been able to obtain the books that Richard Weber published, but I hope that somehow I will be able to track them down. If anyone can help me to find copies of these books, please contact me with the details.

Some of the songs included in this book are whole tunes and some are only sections of songs. In the partial songs, the students plays the notes that are supplied and then the teacher can play the rest of the tune or help the student to sing the rest of the song.

The first part of the method is to teach the student to sing the songs so that he or she knows how they sound. Make up two sets of cards that have the individual note letters on them, (One note to each card e.g. C). Show the letter (note) cards to the student and teach him or her what the notes on the card are and then get the student to match the cards with the other set of corresponding cards. Paste or stick the six notes on the piano or the keyboard, even a glockenspiel is suitable. It is an instrument that has metal bars which produce a chiming sound when it is played. These are available from stores which sell musical instruments. There are shops which sell sheets of stickers with letters on them, which are suitable for putting onto the keyboard.

When starting out to play a tune on the keyboard or piano, say to the student. “John we are going to play:  (name the tune here) e.g. Mary had a little lamb”. This is important because music is made up of notes of different lengths.  The song would not sound right even if the right notes were played if the notes were all the same length.  Of course we are dealing with intellectually disabled children and baby steps have to be taken.  Even a small child can sing a song with notes of the right lengths e.g. fast, long etc.  Announcing the name of song helps this concept in the child’s mind.

(When you read music from a music book the music is written in a way which indicates everything that the musician needs to know: which notes to play, how long to play the notes, pace, beat, etc).

When I finished the trial edition of this book, I brought it to my niece who is a normal five year old child attending kindergarten.  She has been taught the alphabet by her mother and she took to it like a duck to water, playing a tune by looking at the notes in the book and matching it to the keys on her electronic music keyboard, which had the six notes stuck onto it, using commercial letter stickers, that her mother had purchased from a bargain store.

To see this success was satisfying, because my niece had been asking if she could go to music lessons like her friends do.  Finances are a bit tight for her parents and the method is going to get her up and running in the music department.  She can take formal music lessons later on, or learn to play the school descant recorder. The instrument and the instruction book are inexpensive. My niece worked out the notes, for the parts of the songs, which I did not supply in full, because they fell outside the six note range which this method is based on. It is good that she can do this, and it points to the fact that this method helps the student to think things out for themselves, and to develop an ear for music.

The school recorder book is so good that students can teach themselves to play the recorder without a teacher. In fact when I was eight years of age, I was taking descant recorder lessons at school taught in a group instruction of about forty children.  I did not have a clue what the teacher was talking about, but one Saturday morning I sat down with the recorder and the book and in a short while I learnt how to play it.  The book was my teacher not the school music teacher!

The recorder is a real musical instrument not a toy. It was once played by the notorious King Henry VIII of England and also by the well known Von Trapp Family of Austria, who were the inspiration for the film The Sound of Music.

This method outlined in this book does not teach music in a formal way going through the usual steps like learning to read music etc.  because it was designed with special needs people in mind and many of them cannot learn music in the ordinary way.  If they do develop their capabilities in this area that can be addressed with more formal music lessons.  I should point out here that some people who have intellectual disabilities, especially people who have autism, actually have special musical abilities. Methods like the one outlined in this book can help to bring them out and develop them.

One of my daughter’s carers mentioned that she is working with a blind girl and lamented the fact that the method could not be used to teach her, the idea then came to me that this book might be able to be  translated into Braille and also that the notes names in Braille could be pasted onto the music keyboard. Learning music in this way might be a bit slower for the blind, than it is for a sighted person, but the student would still learn music, learn the sound of the notes, the position of the keys and could memorise the notes for the tunes.

Formal music lessons (that are specially designed for blind people) could be taken at a later stage. Later on the student could learn to play by ear. i.e. hear a tune and play it. Playing by ear is a natural talent that some people are born with, or this skill can be developed after the person has learnt to play music. The simplified method of teaching music which is presented in this book would be suitable for blind people who have an intellectual disability. It would probably be better for other blind people to learn music by more formal methods.

I do not have any experience working with blind people, so  I am just presenting these ideas as food for thought, for those who do have teaching experience with them, especially in the area of teaching music. The songs included in this book are familiar childrens’ songs, including several nursery rhymes. I mentioned my niece in this posting.  She asked for some Christmas carols written up for her in the format that is outlined here.  First of all;  the carols needed  more than the six notes that this method employs.  Since my niece is of normal intelligence and can read and spell, it was  time for her to learn to read music, but she had become used to the method outlined in this posting. In order to help her, there is a book of Christmas Carols in the EZ play today series. The series has special musical notation, which is very helpful for those who do not have a teacher to help them to learn to play an electronic music keyboard. If you would like to see how they write up this musical notation, have a look at this location on the internet for a sample picture.

http://www.halleonard.com/series/seriesnotation.do?series=EZPLY

and then return to this posting and read on.

I translated the notes into numbers and wrote them down on an old copy of the Christmas Carol music book.  The numbers were put onto stickers and pasted onto her electronic keyboard.  She took to this well.  Later on I will give her a new copy of the book and the numbers will be no longer needed.

music keyboard_with _layers

The piano music keyboard which is pictured above, shows the positions of  the notes which are used in this method.

Click here to see a larger picture of the piano music keyboard  (with the notes for the method).

Index of Songs

Michael Row the boat ashore
Kumbaya
Mary had a Little Lamb
Row Row Row your boat
Old MacDonald had a farm
It’s raining, It’s pouring.
Heidi Heidi Ho
Jingle Bells
Three Blind Mice
Oranges and Lemons
I wrote a letter to my mother
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
London Bridge
Lavender’s blue
Little Bo Peep
Ten Green Bottles
Silent Night
Mamma’s Little Baby
Looby Loo
O Sussana
Brother John (to the tune of Frère Jacques)

Michael Row the boat ashore
(The whole tune)

C    E    G    E   G

A    G   E

G    A    G

E     G    G   E

F    E   D

C   D   E   D   C

Michael Row the boat ashore alleluia,
Michael Row the boat ashore alleluia.

Kumbaya
(The whole tune)

C    E    G    G    G

A   A    G

C   E     G    G    G

F    E    D    C

E    G    G    G

A    A    G

F    E    D    D

C    F    E

D    D    C

Kumbaya my Lord, Kumbaya
Kumbaya my Lord, Kumbaya
Kumbaya my Lord, Kumbaya
O Lord Kumbaya,
O Lord Kumbaya.

Mary had a Little Lamb
(Whole tune)

E    D    C    D

E    E    E

D    D    D

E    G    G

E    D    C    D

E    E    E   E

D    D    E    D    C

Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb.
Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow.

Row Row Row your boat
(Part of the tune)

C    C    C    D    E

E    D    E    F    G

Row Row Row your boat gently down the stream
Merrily merrily merrily merrrily, Life is but a dream.

(Play the non-bold section, sing the bold section).

Old MacDonald had a farm
(part of the tune)

G    G    G    D

E    E    D

Old MacDonald had a farm,
E I E I O
and on that farm he had a duck
E I E I O

(Play the non-bold section, sing the bold section).

It’s raining, It’s pouring.
(Whole tune)

G    G    E    F

G    E    E    G

E    F    G    E

E    G    G    E

E    F    G    G   E

E    F    G    G    G   E

E    A    G    E

It’s raining, It’s pouring,
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and he
bumped his head and he
couldn’t get up in the morning.

Heidi Heidi Ho
(Full tune)

G    E    G    E

C    C    D    D    D

E    F    G    E

C    G    E    G    E

C    C    D    D    D

E    D    C

E    F    E    D    F

E    D    C    D    E    F

E    D    F    E    D    C

G    E    G    E

C    C    D    D    D

E    D   C

Heidi, Heidi Ho,
The great big elephant
Is so slow,
Heidi, Heidi Ho,
The elephant is so slow.

He swings his tail from side to side
As he takes the children for a ride.
Heidi, Heidi Ho,
The elephant is so slow.

Jingle Bells
(Part of the tune)

E    E    E

E    E    E

E    G    C    D    E

F    F    F    F    F

E    E    E    E    E

D    D    E    D    G

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
O what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
O what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh.

(Play the non-bold section, sing the bold section).

Three Blind Mice
(Part of the tune)

E    D    C  E

D   D    C

G    F    E   G

F    F   E

Three blind mice, see how they run, three blind mice see how they run. They all ran up to the farmer’s wife. She cut off their tails with a carving knife.  Did you ever see such a sight in your life as three blind mice.

(Play the non-bold section, sing the bold section).

Oranges and Lemons
(Modified version of the tune)

G    E    G    E    C

D    E    F    D    G    E    C

G    E    G    E   C

D    E    F    D

G    E    C

Oranges and lemons say the bells of St Clements,
When will I see you say the bells of Old Bailey.

I wrote a letter to my mother
(Part of the tune)

C    F    F    G    A

F    A   G    C

F    F    G    A

F    E

I wrote a letter to my mother on the way I dropped it.  Someone must have picked it up and put it in their pocket.

(Play the non-bold section, sing the bold section).

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
(full tune)

C    C    G    G

A    A    G

F    F    E    E

D    D    C

G    G    F    F

E    E   D

G    G    F    F    E

E    D

C    C    G    G

A    A    G

F    F    E    E

D    D   C

Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are,
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are.

London Bridge
(Full tune)

G    A    G    F

E    F    G

D    E    F    E

F    G    G    A

G    F    E    F    G

D    G    E    C

London bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down,
London bridge is falling down,
My fair lady.

Lavender’s blue
(full tune)

C   G    G   G

F    E    D    C    C

A    A    A    C

G    G   G   F   E   D

C    F    E    D    C

Lavender’s blue dilly dilly,
Lavender’s green,
When I am king dilly dilly
You shall be queen.

Little Bo Peep
(Part of the song)

C    C    C    C

D    D    D    D

E    F    G    G    F

E    E    D

Little Bo Peep,
Has lost her sheep
And doesn’t know
where to find them.

Leave them alone
and they will come Home,
with their tails
behind them.

(Play the non-bold section, sing the bold section).

Ten Green Bottles
(Part of the tune)

C    C    C    E

D    C    D    E   C

E    E    E    G

F    E    F    G   E

Ten green bottles hanging on the wall,
Ten green bottles hanging on the wall,
And if ten green bottles should accidently fall,
There’ll be nine green bottles hanging on the wall.

Silent Night
(Part of the tune)

G    A    G    E

G    A    G    E

Silent night,
Holy Night
All is calm
All is bright
Round yond Virgin
Mother and child,
Holy Infant so tender and mild.
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace.

(Play the non-bold section, sing the bold section).

Mamma’s Little Baby
(Whole tune)

C    C    A    A

G    A    C    A    G   A

C    C    A    A

G     G    A    E    D   C

Mamma’s little baby
Loves shortning, shortning
Mamma’s little baby
Loves shortning shortning bread.

Looby Loo
(Whole tune)

C    C    C    E

C    G    C    C    C

E    C    D    C    C    C

E    C   G

G    A    G    F

E    D   C

Here we go Looby Loo
Here we go Looby light,
Here we go Looby Loo
All on a Saturday night.

Part 2 of the song: I put my right foot in (hokey pokey)

D    C    C   C

C    C    D    E    E

E    E    E

F    G    G    G    G

G    G    F    E

E    D    D

I put my right foot in,
I put my right foot out,
I put my right foot in
And I shake it all about.
I do the hokey pokey and I
turn around and that
what’s it all about.

(Play the non-bold section, sing the bold section).

O Sussana
(Full tune)

C    D    E    G

G    A    G    E

C    D     E    E

D    C     D    C

D    E    G    G

A    G     E

C    D    E    E

D    D    C

F    F    A    A    A

G    G   E

C    D    C    D

E    G    G    A

G    E   C

D    E    E   D    D    C

O I come from Alabama
with a banjo on my knee,
O I come from Alabama
with a banjo on my knee

O Sussana O don’t you cry for me
cause I come from Alabama with a
banjo on my knee.

Brother John (to the tune of Frère Jacques )
(Almost the full tune except for Ding Ding Dong, Ding, Ding Dong).

C   D   E   C

C   D   E    C

E   F   G

E   F   G

G   A    G    F    E    C

G    A   G    F    E   C

Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
Brother John, Brother John,
Morning bells are ringing,
Morning bells are ringing.
Ding, Ding Dong,
Ding, Ding Dong.

Special note: If the notes names for the songs in this music book are made bigger than they are in this posting, they will be able to be seen and identified more easily by the student. The tunes can be copied into a word processor and the size of the text enlarged. Choose a large size text.

I would appreciate any feedback or ideas that you have on this book, to help me to develop it further. Thank you. I can be emailed at:

catacomb@bigpond.com

My name is Mary Ann.

I made up this book primarily for my autistic son, now it will also be used for my autistic daughter as well.  I am keen to share the book with anyone who can benefit from it, e.g. mothers with small children, pre-schools, centres and schools for the intellectually disabled etc. Please let others know where the link to the book is.  Thank you.

If you are not familiar with these songs, purchase a CD or two from the shops.  I purchased two, that were on special yesterday with nursery rhymes songs and other familiar children’s songs. Play the CD to the students. The ones which I purchased were pleasant to listen to even for an adult. I am playing them to my autistic daughter.

Some other matters of interest

The powerful intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory for their benefactors.

The Holy Souls in Purgatory can obtain many favours for their benefactors. The web page has accounts of the intercession of The Holy Souls in Purgatory, for their benefactors in cases of illness, addictions, cars that won’t start, infertility problems, serious weight loss problems, protection in accidents, noisy unruly neighbours, conversion, chronic insomnia, their help for people who are experiencing major trouble with city councils, success with projects, employment, real estate, television sets that don’t work properly, finding lost property and trouble with relations, etc. and prayers and ideas on how to help The Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Read my book: Help from Heaven (Answers to prayer),

free on-line at the link provided.

The Kindergarten Scripture Lesson on Easter

Some years ago when I was teaching a kindergarten scripture class at the local state school, my lesson focused on the true meaning of Easter. I asked the kindergarten class what was the most important thing about Easter.  Predictably their answers were about chocolate Easter eggs and rabbits. So I told them that the true meaning of Easter was about Jesus rising from the dead. As I stressed my message one of the male teachers came to the door and heard what I was saying.  He made no comment to me about my lesson.  He came to see me about another matter. 

When my daughter Julie came home from school, (The same school that I teaching scripture at), some embarrassing information came to light.  The school had run an Easter egg raffle competition which my daughter Julie had taken some tickets in.

To my great embarrassment I learnt that Julie had won both the first and the fourth prize in the raffle.  The prizes amounted to a considerable batch of chocolate Easter eggs.  I suspect that the male teacher knew about this and was probably secretly amused at the contradiction between that and my scripture lesson to the kindergarten class. 

Mary Ann Matulis

(Australia)

Learn about the powerful intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory for their benefactors

The story of a vocation to the priesthood

Here is the way that one man became a priest. He is an Australian who was teaching in Papua New Guinea at a Catholic school.  A native boy came to him and said: “Why you not  priest?  You talk with priests, you act like priest.”  That simple remark got him thinking and he later became a priest.

Today is Mother’s Day

Our parish priest is on holidays and we have a retired priest filling in for the month.  At the end of the Vigil Mass last night, Father gave each mother present at the Mass, a signed card (for mother’s day) with the following quote of St Therese on it:

The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother. 

The card was decorated with roses. I was especially pleased because I have been praying to St Therese for a very important intention and that has given me encouragement regarding that matter. 

I know that Mother’s Day is a secular celebration and is also commercialized at that, but Anna Jarvis (the American lady)* who started it to honour her own mother never intended it to be that way. 

In this age where abortion has become so widespread, it does not hurt to give a genuine approach to mother’s day, recognizing the importance of mothers and babies. No pope, priest, layperson, scientist, king, queen, president**, teacher, tradesman, etc., ever got here without a mother*** yet mothers are so despised. They are supposed to go to hospital, get the baby out and turn up at their ‘real job’ in the office, in the parliament, on the board of executives etc. next week. 

Today is not only mother’s day, but it is also my own mother’s birthday. She has always liked the film: The Song of Bernadette, since it was first released in 1943 when she was a child, so I am giving her a DVD of that film. 

*Anna Jarvis was never a mother herself. (She never married). 

**President Obama your own mother Anne made sure you were born and grew up.  Let other babies be born and grown up. I send the same message to Hillary and to many other politicians and others around the world. 

***There are two exceptions to this. Adam and Eve never had an earthly mother, because they started out as adults with a lot going for them.