Where would we be without friends?
Friends, true friends, stand by us, no matter what - through thick and thin / good times and bad times / highs and lows / births and deaths / major house renovation-related nervous breakdowns - well, you get my drift!
Friends are such an integral part of our lives, socially and emotionally.
They come in many guises - parents, siblings, our spouses and children, people we meet along the way… Whether they’re there for a reason, a season or a whole lifetime, they all have one thing in common – they leave footprints on our hearts.
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As a mother and a teacher, I believe it’s important for children to learn the true meaning of friendship – to learn that it’s not just about HAVING friends, it’s also about BEING a friend.
Song is a highly-effective medium for helping children to understand important concepts, so I wrote the lyrics for what would later become a song, ‘All Weather Friends’, highlighting some of the qualities of friendship - but more about that later…
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You may have noticed that this post is entitled ‘’ALL WEATHER FRIENDS’ ~ Partners in Rhyme’.
To explain the origin of the second part of this heading, I continue on from my last post …
… Following the success of the Yr 5/6’s assembly performance of my environmental rap song, ‘KEEP IT CLEAN!’ I decided to act on an idea, which had been germinating for some time.
I phoned a very talented acquaintance (now friend and colleague), Kathryn Radloff, known for her musicianship and beautiful singing voice.
I shared my belief in song-based learning, and expressed my hope that she would consider writing the music (and possibly lending her voice) to a growing collection of curriculum-based song lyrics I had been writing.
Kathryn, who was on maternity leave from her university job at the time, sounded interested, and, a few days later, turned up on my doorstep, guitar and toddler, Hayden, (now in Grade 3), in hand.
After a few minutes of playing around with some of the lyrics, she exclaimed, ‘Count me in!’
To cut a long story short, we went on to form our company, KEYSTONE CREATIONS ~ Educational Songs, where we write and publish song-based teaching resources, targeting curriculum & values (pre-K-6).
IMAGE: KEYSTONE CREATIONS ~ Educational Songs (Nuala & Kathryn)
Once the partnership was formed, there followed very busy days and nights spent writing, editing, recording, and, finally, publishing our work.
There were times when we laughed, and there were times when it was really no laughing matter at all!
Looming deadlines would see us agonizing over the smallest things - full stops, semi-colons and commas – often shrieking hysterically, as paralysis of the sentence structure set in, and we lost all sense of syntax!
Throughout this process, we became friends - how could we not, given the fact that we were sharing the same educational vision, and working together, long and hard, to see it come to fruition.
Meanwhile, life goes on, so we were both also busy with family and other commitments, and experiencing the inevitable highs and lows of everyday life.
It was during this time, that my beautiful mum became very sick, and, after a very long, horrible illness, passed away.
Kathryn (because of the large amounts of time we spent working together at such close quarters – my being so computer illiterate at the time) was privy to this whole journey.
I’m forever grateful for her compassion, support, and friendship during one of the saddest and most stressful times of my life.
The paradox of life is, that when we’re experiencing the darkest times, the truly huge losses, they put in perspective what really matters – family and friends, and doing what we can to help and be there for others.
We ALL need friends, no matter what our stage is in life. ‘ALL WEATHER FRIENDS’ (Video link below) is now, thanks to Kathryn’s very catchy melody, a song about friendship - for children.
It is a child-friendly resource for opening up discussion about the true meaning, value, and importance of friendship:
Sample Lyrics, ‘All Weather Friends’:
‘Together, friends weather the storms of life,
And whether clouds gather, or the sun shines bright,
It’s great to have true friends, to call your own.
It’s good to know, that we’re not alone, no, we’re not alone…’
© 2007, Lyrics, Nuala O'Hanlon / Music, Kathryn Radloff
Published by KEYSTONE CREATIONS ~ Educational Songs
HERE’S TO ‘ALL WEATHER’ FRIENDSHIP!
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Your friend, in Singing to Learn,
♫ ☀ ♫ ☂♫ ☀ ♫ ☂♫ ☀ ♫ ☂♫ ☀ ♫ ☂♫ ☀ ♫ ☂♫ ☀ ♫ ☂♫
A) ‘ALL WEATHER FRIENDS’
FYI: The ‘All Weather Friends’ song track is available:
* on a CD, accompanying teachers' resource books
* on children’s CD, ‘SING TO LEARN!’ Vol.1 (ages 4-9)
* As a digital mp3 single or album download: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/NualaOHanlonKathrynRadloff
B) HOW TO BE A GOOD FRIEND:
♫ ☀ ♫ ☂♫ ☀ ♫ ☂♫ ☀ ♫ ☂♫ ☀ ♫ ☂♫ ☀ ♫ ☂♫ ☀ ♫ ☂♫