Sunday, August 29, 2010

In review---Wake up sleepy heads!

Oran Etkin
Wake up Clarinet!
Motema Music

Clarinetist Oran Etkin has taken his music to kids. Music not only helps children develop mentally, physically and emotionally, music education teaches children how to appreciate different types of music while preserving various music traditions for future generations. Not to mention that musicians reap rewards from teaching children music appreciation and musical language because they are in essence fostering their future concert goers and record buyers.  His children's album Wake up Clarinet! isn't a run-of-the-mill feel good children's CD, but has some educational components, such as learning about the timbre and range of a clarinet.

“You know, everyone talks about music as a language-universal language,“ says Ektin (liner notes), “About five years ago, I started wondering what we are doing to make sure that children grow up to be fully fluent and comfortable inside this powerful language that can enable them to express their innermost feelings, emphasize with the experiences of another, and explore distant cultures and ancient eras.”

So Ektin brought out the child size xylophones, recorders and percussion instruments and started teaching children how to explore, listen to and play music. According to the liner notes, these children went home excited and told their parents about Dizzy Gillespie and classical music. And anything that keeps children enthusiastic about learning is a good thing.

Wake up Clarinet features a short array of songs that have been jazzed up. Etkin and vocalist Charenee Wade chat in between songs to the child audience. They explore scales on High Low as they pretend to walk through the snow. Etkin demonstrates his clarinets range on several songs and we even learn about the connection between King Louis XIV and Louisiana on the song Eh La Bas. The swinging "Mary Had a Little Lamb" will even get adults dancing.

This recording is perfect for young children (they might get bored over 7 years of age) and for preschool and kindergarten teachers. The CD also provides video footage of a TImbalooloo (Etkin’s music education program), concert.,,

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