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Kitchen Parade

Updated: Mar 10, 2020

In 2001, I wrote a collection of children's songs with lyricist, Gary Croxall. At that time, he lived in Utah and we met at an awards concert where we were both honored separately: Gary for his lyrics and I for my music. He asked if I would consider putting music to some of his lyrics and the rest is history!

Gary was a Major in the US Air Force Reserves and a true "veteran" lyricist. A linguist trained in four languges, Gary loves to explore words and since then has received numerous awards for his lyrics working with several composers and providing lyrics for performing choirs. The Croxalls lived in Cedar City, Utah, and his wife, Kathy, was a Home Economics Professor at Southern Utah University.

It didn't take long to realize that this soft-spoken, extremely intelligent man was a gifted lyricist. As a master of words, I've never had a lyricst who at the drop of a hat had the ability to write lyrics on a variety of topics such as: an original school musical, religious, a novelty song for a special birthday, a Christmas Cantata or even for an animated series! Writing lyrics has never been my forte, so when I found Gary, I knew I had a rare jewel. We hit it off immediately and I've never had so much fun in my life!

Writing music with Gary was like putting me in a candy shop I couldn't resist. Whenever he sent a new lyric, I would go to the piano and a tune would come immediately to mind. And . . . if I didn't get to work right that minute, it was like having a rock rolling around in my shoe. I would go to bed with tunes rolling around in my head so I learned very quickly that unless I had the time to devote immediately, I didn't dare read his lyrics. Working with Gary and writing songs for children was a total blast!

Our project quickly became a compilation of twelve songs which we turned into a children's album entitled KITCHEN PARADE.

Writing an album of music for children was inspired by my first grandchild, Savannah, and all the wonderful children I had taught through the years on many levels, including Jr. College. My goal was to enhance a student's curiousity of music in creative ways. Looking back, I am sure my teaching experience helped me to become a better composer.

First grandchild, Savannah

When young people participate creatively, minds are sparked. When instruments are created from ordinary kitchen utensils, (tuned water glasses, soup cans, pan lids, wire whisks, wooden spoons, etc.) imaginations soar! Through song and association, children learn simple music theory concepts and rhythms in an unforgettable way.

When I found the artwork by Greg Olsen, I was thrilled! It just so happened that at one time Greg and his family had lived down the street from our family so we knew each other. The painting of his own children marching in their kitchen with pots and pans was just what I needed and knew it would be perfect for the album cover. Therefore, I purchased the rights to use it in a one-time publication for a songbook and an album. Since that time, Greg has become a world-reknown artist!

The songs in this album speak to my heart and our objective was to help children and adults discover the magic of music through rhythm and song. Something wonderful happens as families join in to sing and play music.

The songs in KITCHEN PARADE are short, easy, and written in styes that appeal to a child. The melodies are catchy, lyrics are clever, and children beg to sing them again and again.

Gary Croxall's charming, whimsical lyrics became key words in helping students learn new language skills. By the way, all of the songs for KITCHEN PARADE were recorded with not only a piano or keyboard but many different kitchen utensils! I experimented at home until I found the right "sound effects" for each song and took photos of children playing kitchen utensils for the songbook I was also going to publish.

Experimenting with water glasses and pitches.
Diego with a wire whisk and pan lid.

In past years, I've given workshops on various levels in schools (including high school) and bookstores and it was so fun to see the excitement of students, teachers and adults when allowed to participate with a fun prop or a "kitchen instrument" I pulled out of my big bag.

Teachers participating in classroom during Kathleen's presentation of KITCHEN PARADE.
Kathleen Holyoak visiting a classroom and teaching a song from KITCHEN PARADE.

One of the first songs we wrote for KITCHEN PARADE was "Storybooks". (Click the photo below to view and listen.) Or . . . go to the listing of products under SHEET MUSIC, to view and listen.

In the next blog entry, I will be sharing some songs from KITCHEN PARADE. In the future, I will also include links to some HubPages I've written about teaching music and YouTube videos.

I am excited to finally be able to share my music online because I want people of all ages to get excited about music! And . . . never forget you are never too old or too young to share or enjoy music.

God gave us music to add joy and pleasure to our lives. Music has been my life and will continue to be my passion until I leave this earth.

Have fun as you browse around my website and please feel free to share or add a comment. Nearly every day I am adding something new!

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24 Şub 2020

Oh my goodness. How delightful! And I listened to the link of "Storybooks" and it took me back to playing this CD for my grandchildren and their loving it!

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