This is the first in a series of posts on the nature of relationships. My interest in adult/child relationships is inspired by the parent/child toddler classes I teach when I visit libraries, community centers and the YMCA, and when I perform.
In my role sharing music and movement play with families, I am privileged to observe many touching moments that reflect the quality of caring and commitment parents share with their children – and in particular, between father and son. This unique relationship offers a touching glimpse into the nature of bonding, learning, and trust.
There is a father who attends one of my classes with his baby boy every week and who is totally devoted to providing stimulating and meaningful experiences for his son. The interaction between them shines with a quality of enthusiasm, caring, and inexhaustible attentiveness that’s clearly required in the first few years of life. In this relationship, the father seems deeply inspired to offer his full attention to his son, creating a relationship for a lifetime. The unspoken communication between them through gesture, facial expression, affection, acknowledgement and affirmation brings a quality of encouragement, guidance, and support that opens the heart.
Not every father has the opportunity to be a ‘stay at home’ dad, but for each father and son relationship, there can be many, many moments created specifically throughout each day and week to help nourish this very special bond. There’s nothing more rewarding than watching a father and son build their present/future together.
My family just returned from a trip to Japan and I wanted to share some images from our time there. We had many incredible impressions, and in particular were touched by the special affection that is given to children, and also the care that is shown toward animals, plant life, art and architecture.
We stayed in Kyoto during the Daimon-ji Gozan Okuribi celebration when families come together to honor those who have gone before, and to spend holiday time together. The mood was festive and gave us many opportunities to experience this modern/ancient culture.
We visited the Arashiyama Monkey Park and fed the monkeys.
Monkey on Telescope
Sukey Feeding Monkey
And then we visited a temple in Nara where hundreds of deer
live out in the open among the visitors.
This is my son taking a selfie.
Taking a Selfie with Deer
Another Favorite Deer
And throughout our trip we saw many ancient Jizu shrines to honor children past and present.
Jizu Shrine with Boy and Girl
We visited the aquarium (in Osaka).
Seal at the Aquarium
And an ancient temple with a gigantaic pillar that children love to crawl through.
Boy Peeking Out of Pillar
Our family had a very special trip and will long remember the generosity and spirit of the Japanese people.
It’s been so much fun this summer with classes and shows at libraries and camps, and I’ve been making lots of new friends! With PlayMove&Sing Classes, and my Sukey Molloy & Friends shows, we’ve all had fun playing and singing with pails, shovels, felt boards, scarves, bells, balls, stix, spoons, coloring pages, gym equipment and more. It’s been a blast! Here are some pictures of what we’ve been up to. Have a great rest of summer. See you in the fall!
Tick Tock & Friends ‘in Felt’ (Orange County, NY)
Sunny & Friends ‘in Felt & Crayon’ (Orange County, NY)
Three Little Ducks ‘in Felt’ (Rockland and Orange Counties, NY)
Entertaining Campers (Bergen County, NJ)
Mini-Gym Series (Rockland County, NY)
When writing Sunny’s Song (on my I Am Happy album) I especially wanted Sunny to have a song all her own, just like Tick Tock. Animating Sunny’s Song on the upcoming Sukey’s Circle! Vol. 4 DVD, for me, will be a very special treat.
In the song, Sunny puts on her hat and boots, plays with a ball, and then plays with a pail and shovel. And of course, everything she wears is yellow.
Making Sunny in felt is great fun for young children. They can assemble the face, add the limbs, attach the rays, and add the ball and pail and shovel. For children who have seen Sunny on stage, on TV (on BabyFirst in the US and Latin America), or in the classroom will find this is especially fun.
Look for Sunny’s Song on my Kickstarter Campaign!
Click here to listen…Sunny’s Song (I Am Happy with Sukey Molloy, 2011)
This third post is about one of my favorite children’s songs, Five Little Ducks. The song lends itself well to felt art/play, and you can include as many ducks as you can make! It’s a great activity for counting, adding, and subtracting, and can be sung all together while using individual storyboards. Hiding individual ducks under ‘hills’ when they disappear during the song works well. The children love hiding the ducks, and bringing them back.
Five Little Ducks is about a mother and her ducks who, one day, go over the hill and far away, and one by one, the young ducks do not return. In my CD (listen below), the ducks return one by one at the end of the song, and happiness is restored. This is the perfect song to accompany felt art creations.
Five Little Ducks is one of the songs that will be included on my new Sukey’s Circle! Vol. 4 Mini Animations DVD scheduled for production in 2014. You’ll be hearing soon about my upcoming Kickstarter Campaign!
Stay tuned for my fourth post on Sunny’s Song.
Click here to listen…Five Little Ducks (I Like to Sing with Sukey Molloy, 2007)
Here’s my second post on Creating Felt Art & Song!
Colors of the Rainbow (from my I Like to Sing album), features lyrics about the many different colors we see in the rainbow, the many shapes all around us, and the many numbers in the universe beginning with one through ten.
I like to use several large felt boards on the floor, (I make them myself), with lots of rainbow shapes, colors, and numbers for all to share. The children can move around freely, sharing the space with friends and family, and explore the many different possibilities as they maneuver the pieces. There is no right or wrong way to play with felt. It’s simply a wonderful invitation to touch and discover.
When we’re ready to sing, I invite the children to bring their felt pieces to the standing board and easel. As we sing the different verses of the song, the children place their felt on the board, and in the end, we stand back and look at all we’ve created.
Colors of the Rainbow is to be included on my new Sukey’s Circle! Vol. 4 Mini Animation DVD, scheduled for production in 2014. Watch for more info.
And stay tuned for upcoming posts on Five Little Ducks and Sunny’s Song!
Click here to listen…Colors of the Rainbow (I Like to Sing with Sukey Molloy, 2007)
I’d like to share a series of blog posts with you about creating felt art with young children! I love creating children’s music, and the accompanying felt art images, characters, and storyboards I use in making animations for my Sukey’s Circle! DVDs. I thought you’d like to join in.
In the music and movement classes I teach, I include felt art for all to share. I begin by creating my own storyboards for stage and picture books, and then modify them for children’s play in my PlayMove&sing classes. I cut lots of felt shapes and colors so the children can create their own storyboards while we play, sing and move together.
Up in the Tree is about a bird, a monkey, and an owl who sing, laugh and hoot while looking down from up high in the tree. When we sing the song, we use lots of sound effects and body movements and imitate the animals we are playing with in felt.
Up in the Tree is one of the songs that will be included on my new Sukey’s Circle! Vol. 4 Mini Animation DVD, scheduled for production in 2014.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts on Colors of the Rainbow, Five Little Ducks, and Sunny’s Song!
Click here to listen…Up In The Tree (I Like to Sing with Sukey Molloy, 2007)
Hi Everyone! I’m excited about my new single, The Sun Shines. I released it just last month, and am offering it as a free download. Just click on the link below, and have the song forever! I wrote The Sun Shines while walking along the Hudson River. It’s a cheery song about the special warmth and joy we feel when the sun shines on our bodies. Just click to download the song, and please spread the word. Share it with a friend!
Upon remembering Nona, I felt it would make her very happy for me to introduce you to her son, Errol Robinson. Errol is like an older brother to me, and among other talents, he has made a career as a performing vocal artist. Like Nona, Errol is Panamanian born, and in his career, he has toured Europe, and Central and South America, and has performed before TV audiences as well as on radio and commercial spots. Errol showcases his talent with classic cover songs, reminiscent of an era gone by. Errol lives in Washington D.C. with his wife Christine. I thought Nona would love to have us hear Errol sing, as she loved to do. Errol sang for Nona and other residents at the Carroll Manor Nursing Home in DC shortly before she passed away at the age of 105. Here’s Errol Robinson singing Have Yourself a Merry Christmas, and, Wish You the Merriest. Thank you Errol.
Have Yourself a Merry Christmas, sung by Errol Robinson
Wish You the Merriest, sung by Errol Robinson
I’d like to share a very special person with you who has been a profound part of my life – Claricia Iona Cummings. Miss Cummings, endearingly referred to as Nona, joined my family from Panama when I was just five days old. At the time, we lived in Springfield, Massachusetts. Nona has been like a mother to me throughout childhood and adulthood, and incredibly, lived to be 105 years old, just 4 months shy of 106! Nona, with presence and awareness, passed away this October in Washington DC. Her life shines as an extraordinary example of humility, joyfulness, dignity, careful craft, and hard work, and those who knew her remain in awe of her graciousness and love.
In remembrance of Nona, I wanted to share a Russian lullaby I recorded in 2012. I think Nona would like it, and would feel comforted by its gentle melody. I invite you to listen, and to join me in honoring this very special person. For you Nona…I love you.
Russian Lullaby (from I Am Sleepy! with Sukey Molloy) ©2012