The Music Mom: Eileen Carey

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Ludwig’s Lesson (Part 2)

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven: “Listen and learn!”

Earlier this week I claimed that instead of insisting on complete silence in certain learning environments, we should follow Beethoven’s belief that “music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks, and invents” by actively promoting music as a useful tool of education. This post (and my next one, since I LOVE this topic!) will detail some very specific ways in which music benefits us and those around us as we try to learn, discover, create, and grow.

Music allows us to arrange a learning environment that is rich and resonant. If you are at all familiar with working with children, you know that a varied approach to learning is most effective. Music opens doors to new and exciting opportunities and offers an unexpected setting that transcends the usual, shall we say, stale, learning environment.

Based on what I have experienced in my personal and professional life, I can attest to the fact that music can, if used correctly, establish a positive learning setting. It does this in a number of ways, some of which include the following:

Music creates a desired atmosphere: This point is obvious. For example, the belief that “music soothes the savage beast” is based on the reality that slower-paced music really does have a calming effect on those who are, um, a bit too wound up. Next time you are trying to teach your kids an important lesson or have a serious discussion, try playing some soft, relaxing music in the background. You will be pleased with the result.

Music energizes learning and creative activities: In contrast to the previous point, music can be a wonderful facilitator of much needed energy and anticipation. For example, if you are trying to get your kids amped up to create the perfect birthday card for your spouse, try blasting “Birthday” by The Beatles. There is pretty much no way they will not immediately get pumped for the sometimes tedious card-writing process.

Stay tuned for my next post when I discuss more benefits to using music as a springboard for learning.

Ludwig’s Lesson (Part 1)

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven: “Listen and learn!”

“Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks, and invents.”

Beethoven pretty much summed up the educational value of music in this quote. It amazes me that people love listening to music when they are relaxing or enjoying free time, but often turn the music off when it is time to work or go to school. By doing this, we enforce the notion that music is merely a form of entertainment, something that can be enjoyed, but not included in some of the most important moments of life.

I have witnessed the intentional use of music in the classroom and other learning settings, and I can confirm Beethoven’s belief that music ignites a spark, a flare of discovery and thought that often does not exist within the grey nothingness of complete silence. Music tends to enhance learning activities, often making the entire educational process more fun, interesting, and effective.

My next few posts will be an attempt to persuade you that you should actively pursue making music a part of whatever learning experience you are facilitating, be it for you, your little ones, or the adult learners among you. I will detail very specific ways in which music can make learning a more enjoyable experience. Music is all around us. Join me this week as I describe the benefits of letting it occupy our learning spaces.

Day-tripping (Part 2)

roadmusic

Travel time without tunes would not be the same.

In my last post, I raved about the joys of family road trips. In contrast to most parents, this music mom loves nothing more than packing up my car with my kids and hitting the open road. Of course, as a mother who is constantly creating and listening to music, the songs we play during our voyages are very important to me. A good soundtrack is the lifeblood of an exciting trip; boring or mistimed tunes, meanwhile, can very easily put a damper on a family expedition.

So what makes for a good collection of road trip songs? I have found that the best soundtracks for our exciting excursions are dynamic roller-coasters that feature ebbs and flows to match the many different moods of me and my fellow travelers. Most often, it’s the upbeat, energetic songs that make for the best travelling tunes. These lively numbers include pretty much everything from the early Beatles, Motown, Johnny Cash, Reba McIntyre, and a whole lot of synthy songs from the early to mid 1980’s.

Of course, a lengthy road trip will (and should) include quiet and more reflective moments. We all know the power of music, so it should come as no surprise that the perfect tonic for kids who are a bit too wound up is to turn down the tempo and the volume of whatever is pouring out of your car’s CD player or radio. Yes, bring down the music, and watch your kids come down off of whatever sugar high or nervous energy buzz they’ve been on. To soften the mood, my favorites include Judy Collins, James Taylor, Mazzy Star, and the occasional hair band ballad from the ’80s.

If you’re at all like me, you probably can’t imagine a lengthy road trip without your favorite tunes. Music has been a constant companion during my life. It only makes sense that I bring it with me as I embark on my most memorable trips along life’s long and winding road.

What are some of your favorite tunes to listen to while hitting the road? Share in the comments section, and thanks for reading!

Day-tripping (Part 1)

Yes, this is still how I picture road trips with the kids.

Yes, this is still how I picture road trips with the kids.

I am unique among my friends for many reasons, but the most obvious is this: I simply adore hitting the open road with my kids. For most adults, a car jam-packed with a handful of energetic kids is the stuff of nightmares. The mere thought of squeezing into an SUV with highly charged kids as your companions for half the day or more has at times, I’m sure, been a most successful form of birth control.

I am, however, the exception to this rule of parental paranoia. Part of it is likely due to the fact that my kids are no longer toddlers. They are able to sit still for extended periods of time without whooping and/or hollering, which makes things a whole lot more bearable. I do not long for the days of hysterical babies and whiny toddlers causing unplanned – and unwanted – detours on already lengthy trips.

No, those days are over. Nowadays, road trips with my family are not just something to endure; they have become a source of utter joy and excitement. While I am keen on the sedative wonders of modern technology (three cheers for iPods, Kindles, and, of course, headphones!), I most enjoy the time we spend talking to each other. Whether it is a detailed discussion on something that is going on in the world today, a simple check-in to see how my kids are doing, or a passionate debate on the merits of Taylor Swift, I genuinely like hearing the sound of my kids’ voices.

The non-stop madness of daily life in our house often makes it difficult to engage with my children in this manner, so I am grateful for opportunities such as road trips. Avoiding each other is not an option, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am well aware that there will be a time when making long voyages to see family and friends will be a solo activity. Contrary to the opinion of some adults, that will certainly be a much less enjoyable experience.   

Stay tuned for my next post, in which I’ll discuss some of my (and my kids’) favorite music for day-tripping.

We Can Work It Out

Sometimes it takes a little creativity, but it is possible to get our kids to put down the gloves.

Sometimes it takes a little creativity, but it is possible to get our kids to put down the gloves.

Bickering between siblings. It is something that we parents know all too well. It can happen anywhere, and, unfortunately, at any time. It can involve something major, but it usually involves something minor. Let’s face it: This here parenting thing is probably most difficult when our kids are arguing, fussing, and fighting. If you’re like me, nothing tests your patience like two (or more!) siblings who absolutely refuse to get along.

Due to the aforementioned frustration, I often find myself seeking new and creative methods for combatting the combat. My most recent technique for facilitating family friendliness worked so well that I thought I should share it with you.

While my kids were recently on the verge of yet another World War 3, I found myself growing increasingly helpless. Completely desperate and in need of some positive vibes, I suddenly found the lyrics to The Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out” running through my head:

Life is very short, and there’s no time

For fussing and fighting, my friend

I have always thought that it’s a crime

So I will ask you once again

Try to see it my way

Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong

While you see it your way

There’s a chance that we may fall apart before too long

We can work it out

We can work it out

The random mental British invasion of togetherness and reconciliation inspired me to yell the following: “You guys are not only going to listen to this song a dozen times, you are also going to write the lyrics until you memorize them!”

My kids stopped yelling at each other and looked at me with looks of uncertainty as to whether or not I was serious. I was. And I did make them listen several times to the Lennon/McCartney classic. Best of all was their surprising willingness to write, by hand, the lyrics ten times. They pouted about it, but I think they secretly enjoyed my innovative way of handling the situation. Plus, they really did memorize the song, and I have since heard them sing it when they think I am not paying attention.

I have no illusions that methods like these will forever prevent future armageddons. But they do lighten the mood and redirect children’s energy towards something positive. Best of all, my kids learned yet another life lesson from the Fab Four. The writing of the lyrics was meant to penalize them for fighting, but the exposure to such wisdom was impactful. The Beatles were right: Regardless of how big or small our family squabble, we can, with a little creativity and effort, work it out.

Don’t Wait to Create!

That's the smile of a man who knows he doesn't have to wait to be creative. Neither do you.

That’s the smile of a man who knows he doesn’t have to wait to be creative. Neither do you.

As parents, a good chunk of our lives is spent waiting. Perhaps it’s watching with bewilderment (and a touch of angst) as your teen unsuccessfully tries to peel herself away from the bathroom mirror. Maybe it’s sitting outside in a parked car as your kids hunt down that ever elusive coat. Or maybe it’s watching with ever growing frustration as the hot meal you just cooked turns cold due to your little ones’ inability to make it to the table on time. That is, without doubt, my favorite. I am well aware that Tom Petty had other things on his mind when he claimed that “the waiting is the hardest part,” but I don’t care. That tune rings loud and clear each and every time I find myself waiting for someone to do something or be somewhere.

The best part about being a music mom is that my creativity does not have to wait for other people. My urge to write a lyric or a melody is not dependent on other people’s schedules. When the inspiration comes, I sing. When the mood hits, I jot down lyrics. My creativity is entirely mine. This complete ownership of my creativity is a godsend, as it often provides a much needed sense of control in a world that has, quite often, gone mad.

I strongly suggest that you give in to your natural urge to create. For me, it is songwriting. I make sure to always have a guitar, keyboard, or iPhone voice recorder nearby. Perhaps for you it is painting, or poetry, or digital design. Whatever it is you do to unleash your creative beast, allow yourself the opportunity to do it. When the inspiration comes, embrace it. Know that even with all the many things on your plate, you still have time to express yourself. The best part is realizing that you don’t have to wait for anyone else to do it.

In Dreams You’re Mine, All the Time

Roy Orbison, as I picture him in dreams.

Roy Orbison, as I picture him in dreams.

“In dreams I walk with you, in dreams I talk to you.”

These lyrics from Roy Orbison’s 1963 hit single “In Dreams” occasionally hit me like a ton of bricks. They remind me of the cold, hard reality that certain loved ones are gone, only to be seen and heard within the soft glow of our dreams.

I have grown increasingly appreciative of these dreams, to the point where I now cherish their random visits. I am well aware that we now have seemingly endless methods of documenting each other’s existence, but nothing moves me like the appearance of a long lost friend or family member in an unexpected dream.

Perhaps it is the way that these dreams affect me that makes me most appreciative of their occurrence. These unexpected (but very welcome) nighttime visits have the ability to shake me to my core, to leave me breathless at the sight of someone who I mistakenly thought I had completely forgotten.

Of course, these evening escapades have a bittersweet side to them. The friends, lovers, and family members we see in our dreams are not there when we awake. Orbison addresses this unpleasant reality near the end of his classic:

“But just before the dawn, I awake and find you gone.”

Despite this truth, I still cherish each and every one of these magical moments of unconscious nostalgia.

Nevermind Our Age Difference

Luckily for parent/child relationships, The Beatles did stay 4-ever.

Luckily for parent/child relationships, The Beatles did stay 4-ever.

I never thought I’d see this happen, but yesterday I found myself splitting the cost of Nirvana’s Nevermind with my 13 year-old son (thanks to iTunes, of course). I was somewhat pleasantly surprised to learn that he had, in his own way, connected to the band’s music.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had done the same thing with my mother when I was a teen. The Beatles had come and gone more than a decade before (not that The Beatles could ever truly be gone, but you know what I mean). Yet I was as intrigued by those charming mop-tops as my mother was in 1964.

There was something both awkward and beautiful about the two of us enthusiastically cheering the merits of “Love Me Do” and the entire Abbey Road album. At a time when society tells us that I should have been in constant open rebellion against everything my parents stood for, I was listening to the Fab Four with my mother, meticulously making a case to her that John Lennon was the most talented Beatle.

It was a bit surreal to openly discuss the merits of Kurt Cobain’s songwriting – and the causes of his untimely death – with my son, someone who was born seven years after the troubled front-man’s demise. I once again realized that certain songs and a handful of songwriters are timeless. They not only lead to an appreciation of really good music, they also have the ability to foster an appreciation of those we genuinely care for, but might otherwise ignore.

Another Brick in the Wall

Building memories - one brick at a time.

Building memories – one brick at a time.

We took our youngest child to the zoo yesterday. It was her first time. As we walked up and down the seemingly endless winding path, the unseasonably chilly wind forced us to huddle. I was in heaven.  

It was at exactly that point that I realized something, something that threatened to dampen the joy of my grey, damp, and perfect day: My little one will never remember any of it. None of it. Not the zebra, the lion, or the monkey. She will be shown pictures when she is older, but none of it will ring a bell. She will pretend to remember, but she won’t.

The more I thought about it, the more it bothered me. As parents, we want to believe that everything we do will have a lasting impact on those around us – especially our kids. We put all this time and energy into making memories, but we have no control over what will be remembered and what will not. This thought stayed with me all night last night as I tried to sleep.

Then, out of nowhere, Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” came crashing into my head and everything started to make a bit more sense. What we are doing as parents is similar to using bricks to build a wall. Modern education is filled with hit-and-miss (mainly miss) theories on human development. My very amateurish theory is that people are like brick walls.

Every day, and even every hour, is a brick in the development of you and me. Every event can be a positive or a negative brick in this wall. The truth is that only a few bricks tend to stand out in a wall made entirely of bricks. Not to dive too deep into it, but it would make sense to call these outstanding bricks memories.

My daughter won’t remember yesterday. She won’t remember today, either. But strong and well-placed bricks were laid, without a doubt.

How “Dancing Queen” Can Help You Clean

It is late afternoon. You are exhausted. The house is a complete mess. And then, out of nowhere, you remember that you have company coming to your personal den of dirt mere minutes before their estimated time of arrival.

ABBA

ABBA (from before your house was a mess)

This happened to me once a few months ago, and it was then that I realized the importance of using my resources in such dire circumstances. And yes, by “resources” I am referring to my kids. In the aforementioned situation, there is no way that you are going to get that palace of yours clean in time without the help of your offspring.

Sometimes, however, it is not as easy as simply summoning the troops and doling out duties. Sometimes kids are not quite ready and willing to assist you in your frenzied mission. They are tired. They are grumpy. Sometimes they are both very tired and very grumpy.

Aside from Red Bulls on the rocks and a fair amount of bribery (both of which I generally shun), you have to find a way to get your minions motivated when their help is absolutely necessary. My tried and true means of overcoming lethargy is, and always has been, music.

Nothing gets me and my little soldiers swiffing and sweeping like upbeat, energetic music. Blasting some of my favorite tunes from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s always puts a pep in my step. Thankfully, it does the same for my kids. Whether it is “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles, “Dancing Queen” by ABBA, or “Take on Me” by A-ha, the energy of songs like these is infectious and a huge help in spurring us on to a cleaner casa.

Music has the power to do many things. Thankfully, I’ve discovered its ability to fight inertia and produce movement at the moment when movement seems impossible. Oh, and you may already know this, but music also works as an excellent encourager of early morning zest. There’s nothing like a bit of “Good Day Sunshine” or “Walking on Sunshine” to propel you and your loved ones on to a positive and productive day.

What songs do you listen to when you need that extra jolt? Share with us in the comments your favorite tunes or types of music for stirring the spirit when it is needed most.

BOTTLE YOUR CRAZY UP THE MUSIC VIDEO/Eileen Carey “The Music Mom” Update.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ejUG9kEGvs

“California country pop singer-songwriter Eileen Carey (The Music Mom), who due to her national # 1 country single Bottle Your Crazy Up this past December, was nominated by New Music Weekly for Female Country Artist of the Year (2015) along with the a-list women of country music.  The music video BYCU currently has had 47,000 views.

This two-time Los Angeles Music Awards winner and South Bay (L.A.) Music Award recipient was tagged as one of Los Angeles’s Top 10 Female Musicians by CBS LA; second on the list itself, in 2013. Since then Carey has not disappointed. She was the featured artist of the two day Annual SummerFest on Venice Beach for the Homeless, this past summer; was featured Country Artist on a Nick Jr. reality show called Take Me to Your Mother with Andrea Rosen last year; and has proved her commercial viability as a Supercuts “Rock the Cut” Artist Ambassador. Eileen also has a very active social media presence, with legitimate numbers on all our sites (See Fact Sheet).

Other venues Eileen Carey has played include three years at the OC Fair, Del Mar, Sawdust Arts Fair, The Doll House (L.A. Derby Dolls), BB Kings Universal Walk, House of Blues Sunset, The Echo, The Fonda Theater, Muse on 8th St., Firefly Bistro in S. Pasadena in Southern California. In Nashville she has performed at the Country Radio Seminar both last year and this year, and will again at the perform at this year’s CMA Festival in June. Over the past 15 months she played Rippy’s twice, Honky Tonk Central, and Tootsies. She has played the Bluebird a number of times in her four CD history. Eileen is also known for her live radio performance tours all over the Southland and across the belly of America.

She will be showcasing at this year’s CMA festival in June, and play Tootsies and Honky Tonk Central while in Nashville. She is playing the San Diego County Fair on July 1st and the Orange County Fair on August 9. She is also co-headlining a benefit event for the L.A. non-profit FixNation with Carl Verheyen of Supertramp, and the Podunk Poets, at the Autry on Saturday night July 25th.

joey alkes 4 Eileen Carey

www.EileenCarey.com

626 296 0342

Mobile 626 372 9599

joeyalkes@yahoo.com

Supercuts Names Country-Pop Singer Eileen Carey “Rock The Cut” Artist Ambassador

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 10, 2012

Image

Country-Pop Recording Artist

Selected To Supercuts Rock The Cut Artist Ambassador Program

Supercuts, one of the nation’s largest hair salon chains, has selected award-winning Country-Pop recording artist Eileen Carey as one of their newly-named “Rock The Cut” Artist Ambassadors.

   As a “Rock The Cut” Artist Ambassador, Carey gets to share up-to-the-minute news, tour dates, and music with both her current fans and new ones via Supercut’s vast worldwide Social Media Network.

     Log onto Eileen Carey’s Supercuts Rock The Cut page here and download her song “Faith” for free.
    Carey will make a special appearance at the 4th Annual Summer Fest concert in Venice Beach this July and the Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach in August, as well as releasing the follow-up album to her critically-acclaimed “Movin’ On.”
What The Press Is Saying About Eileen Carey And Her CD “Movin’ On:

Eileen Carey’s voice is a droplet of honey dangling from a hive: glistening, all natural, and inviting…but don’t be fooled by the coating because the woman beneath is strong, confident, and just a little bit sassy! Lyrically Carey is smart, to the point, and colorful. Potent lines such as ‘Your lips have lost their poetry’ from the title track deliver her message with absolute focused precision and flair. Eileen has something to say and she says it dynamically. An upbeat, empowering twirling dance that relishes life in the moment and celebrates the wonder, joy and excitement of what comes next.

                                                  SONGWRITERS MONTHLY

“Upbeat, easy on the ears, blue skies and country sunshine – that’s the sounds of Eileen Carey!! I must admit – although I’m from Texas – I somewhat tend to favor rock and pop music over country music. But I also must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed listening to several of Eileen Carey’s songs when I received them. They got my attention and kept my attention throughout each of the songs. The bright acoustics, clever lyrics and crystal clear sounds of Eileen Carey may just be the type of country music I could really become a BIG fan of. Send me more Eileen!!”   

SONGWRITERS WEBCAST

     The bi-coastal Carey blends a winning combination of smart, from-the-heart lyrics with a radio-friendly blend of Pop and Country. One of those songs, the playful, upbeat “Out With the Girls,”   won “Dance Single of the Year” at the 2010 Los Angeles Music Awards and was successfully remade into a country/dance song to accompany a nationwide dance club promotion.

Eileen Carey- Upcoming Live Shows & Special Events Itinerary  

July 29 (Sun.)         4TH ANNUAL SUMMERFEST                    Venice Beach, CA

August 4 (Fri.)       SAWDUST ART FESTIVAL                          Laguna Beach, CA

       EILEEN CAREY INTERVIEWS AND PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS AVAILABLE.

    

www.eileencarey.com    www.myspace.com/eileencarey       www.themusicmom.com