Thursday, April 15, 2010

WIP: Two Goats on a Bridge

I started out simply telling stories as I learned them. When I took up guitar, I began to look for ways to incorporate music into the stories. These days, I rarely tell stories without music intertwined somehow. It's a matter of adapting to attention spans. Some people are master storytellers and can keep a toddler's attention for 30 minutes without the use of melody. However, those tellers still use rhythm and rhyme, so I would argue that they are employing the use of percussion.

Right now, I'm working on an all-musical version of "Two Goats on a Bridge," a Russian folktale you can find in Margaret Read MacDonald's Peace Tales: World Folktales to Talk About and Three Minute Tales. It's got a jaunty tune that has one minor chord for spice. Once I'm reasonably satisfied with it enough to use it in performance, I'll test it out on my Third Place Books Friday morning crowd. There's a preschool that often comes when I perform, and they help keep me from getting mired in a performance rut.

It would be great to be able to do a felt-board play along with the song, but I would need a third hand to make it work. There are times when I wish I had a storytelling partner like Adrienne has with Jason. I also wish I had a writing partner, but that's a discussion for another time.

(Regarding the title of this post: WIP stands for Work in Progress.)


Jules at 7-Imp said...

I'd be your feltboard partner, if we were neighbors. Also your coffee friend.

Lone Star Ma said...

I'd be your felt board partner just to spend time with you. Or writing partner.

adrienne said...

Having the two of us really helps, especially with large groups. I wouldn't willingly tell stories to a crowd of, say, more than 80 by myself, and we often work together even with smaller audiences just because it increases our possibilities and is just so much easier to keep the kids interested and engaged. It's also really nice to be able to use the breaks while the other person's doing something to get ready for our next piece.

This information is not helpful, is it? No, it is not. We are very spoiled. I have to remember that the next time Jason does something I find irritating.

The Library Lady said...

Grabbed my Margaret MacDonald book read this, and imagined doing this story as a skit w/my former co-worker. She is a gifted storyteller and guitarist, and I learned tons from her.But she was also a pain in the tuches to work with at the library because she alienated the rest of the staff.

She's now a freelancer and each summer we hire her to join me in the park for story hours and this year for a puppet show. I love the give and take of working with a partner, but it can have its down side as well :D

Hannah said...

Your performances sound so delightful. I wish we lived closer so I could bring my kiddos. My 4 y.o. in particular would love such a thing!