Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Beth & Scott Join Barefoot Books Team!

Click PLAY for a special message!

Beth and I are proud to announce that we've joined the team of Barefoot Books. As big supporters of reading, we are very pleased with the quality of books and other gift items available through this wonderful publisher. Summer is a great time to check-out Barefoot because their once-a-year big sale is taking place through August 15th. To start shopping, click the picture or simply head on over to See you there!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Scott Bierko's Hi-Protein Breakfast Smoothie

My favorite way to start a musical day is with a nutritious, brain-boosting smoothie. This recipe makes a blender full of smoothie – enough for 1-4 servings (I have the whole thing unless family members are hungry).

I hope you like it - and please feel free to share your creative discoveries to make it even better!

3 tbls. Whey Protein
1 tbls.  Honey (to taste)
2 bananas
1 ½ cups of Cantaloupe, melon or pineapple
2 cups of frozen mixed fruit
1 carrot
2 cups of water
1 cup of yogurt (plain or vanilla)
1 tbls. Flax Seed (optional for fiber)

Chop all fruits and veggies in 1-inch pieces. Place all ingredients in a blender with the softer ingredients (banana, cantaloupe) on the bottom. Blend thoroughly until desired consistency.

Note: Any fruits can be substituted in this recipe. Any overripe fruits that you would normally throw away are perfect in Scott’s smoothie!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Play it Again, Sam

When we perform at schools and summer camps, our fans like to hear their favorite songs repeatedly. Instead of our latest and greatest compositions, they ask for the ones they know, like Hello, My Name is Joe or Be Banana. Consequently, we sing those two songs every day and have done so for the last twenty years. This is neither a bore nor a chore for us. We understand the audience’s desire to hear their favorites because we enjoy repetition, too. No matter the age, the refrain is the same – please play it again!

Over the the last year, we have been playing at two preschools regularly. During that time, Beth and I experimented with variety and repetition. At the end of the school year, we met with the owners of the schools and one hundred teachers to assess what was most beneficial for the children in terms of learning and enjoyment. With few exceptions, we received the same advice, “Please play what the kids like over and over again. We’d rather hear the same songs six weeks in a row than hear a variety of songs every session.” 

This desire for “sameness” is true outside of music. If you’re a fisherman, you have your lucky spot on the lake and you probably like to use the same lures you’ve always used. If you like Chinese food, I’ll wager that you order the same dishes each time you call for takeout. And don’t you sleep on the same side of the bed every night with your favorite pillow tucked under your head just so? The conclusion is simple: humans are creatures of habit. No wonder kids like to hear their favorite songs again and again.(Notice my use of the words “their favorite songs” instead of “our favorite songs” in the last sentence.)

I am a passionate fan of Donald Fagan’s album, “The Nightfly”. I’ve listened to it thousands of times and it never ceases to please me. This album is one of MY favorites. Do you have a song or CD that pleases you like that? How wonderful that we all have our own favorites, songs that are like best friends. Truly, it’s one of life’s greatest pleasures.

So, when you're tired of singing “Wheels on the Bus” to your preschoolers or acting out “Baby Shark” with your summer campers, know that their experience might be the highlight of their day. We all know those feelings, but do you remember how special and intense they were when you were a child? Then why not repeat it!

“If music be the food of love, play on.”  (W. Shakespeare, Twelfth Night)