Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Debbie Clement + Music

Welcome to our collective blog. Welcome to my world, too. I've told the authors that you're about to meet in the coming weeks, that I think an 'intro-post' of who we are as individuals, our background, our training, our passions, our mission, our interests -- will help set the stage for future conversations & posts.

So today is my "show-n-tell" day. Hi!!! I'm Debbie Clement. I wear a number of different hats. This is my fifteenth year of having my own enterprise as a 'music-lady'. There are times like the picture above where I am invited to give a concert for the public -- perhaps a family concert, perhaps a library event. Those are children following me in sign language singing my first picture book, "You're Wonderful." (That's the sign for 'dreams' captured above.)

This picture below is one from just recently where I invited all of the 'daddies' to join me on the stage. The daddies are helping me lead one of original songs for children, that has a fun recurring line in the lyrics where the daddies get to bellow, 'creepy monsters.' The big ending of "Monster Spray" concludes with enthusiasm when 'my mom bought me: Monster Spray.' And with a rousing flourish the monsters are all gone.Fun times!!
Right now my consulting-work has evolved to the chapter where I am often invited to speak to teachers and to librarians. I speak on the importance of the Arts to children. The importance of Arts to acquiring a LUV + longing for literacy. The importance of music for motivation and movement. The ease of songs bringing structure and patterns and sequencing and memory boosts and brain breaks and language acquisition and oxygen and group cohesiveness and following the teacher's directions and..... you get the idea. I speak on the importance of having a dream -- as a professional and making progress toward it on a regular basis.

Here's a post written earlier on my professional blog about the top 12 benefits of music -- from my perspective. Click here to read in full.

Prior to this 15 year chapter I worked for a period of ten years at a private center for young children with special needs. I started there as a 'Resource Teacher' in charge of all of the music + art and some other additions like swimming and horse back riding schedules. Over time I was promoted to being an administrator. At the end of that ten years I hired Jim Gill to deliver a day long seminar to our staff. I had never seen him prior to that day and was so inspired by his work, his story, his music -- that I resigned from my full-time administrative position to follow in his footsteps.

I had learned so much from our variety of children with their enormous spectrum of needs. I had spent 10 years observing speech & language giants, OT & PT brilliance and even a play therapist. The children and staff had taught me much!!!!! I learned about the pacing of songs for children with language delays to participate or for children on the autism spectrum/or non-verbal children to be able to insert a sign for their participation. I learned a gazillion different ways to adapt and think outside of the box. I learned how to make movement songs for children confined to wheel chairs.

I taught myself to play a couple of chords on the guitar and hit the road. Those first invitations were often to centers serving children with special needs.
One thing led to another and soon people were asking me to create recordings for them of my simple little ditties. That had NEVER been on my agenda -- as the music was something I LOVED, but had never trained for. My degree is in Art Education. Way back when I had another chapter where I did teach Art in an elementary school K-6th and one 8th grade class, but I digress.

So I learned that I could 'hire-out' the music arrangements and hire-in instrumentalists. VOILA. That was nine albums ago!!!! I haven't really officially counted but I think I have somewhere around 100 original songs. Some time I'll take the time to count!!

I still go where I get invited. Sometimes to individual classrooms.

Sometimes to Europe. This photo is from my recent USO-style tour to 4 Army bases to share my newest picture book with the children of our troops stationed abroad. Talk about living your dream!!!

Sometimes I'm with high school students, training in a Joint Vocational School to begin their professional careers.

No matter the age of the audience, from lap-sitting infants to wobblers, toddlers, Preschoolers or mature elementary students and beyond. I LOVE what I'm doing and able to share. Welcome to our collaboration. I'll be speaking from the Arts perspective and also from the concept of committing your ideas to paper and turning them into picture books. Creating books was a dream that began back in college during those classes on graphics and design.

It's safe to say, "Keep your dream alive. Keep working on it."

This summer my newest book, "Red, White and Blue" won a national Indie Award of Excellence!!!! I've been pinching myself ever since.
Posted by Picasa


  1. Hi Debbie! Just wanted to let you know that I just awarded you the Blog on Fire Award because, well, because this idea is hot and it's only going to get hotter!
    Come see!
    Mrs.Miner’s Monkey Business

  2. KRISSSSSY!!!!

    You're so on-to-of-things!!! This blog is hot already!!! Look we have a couple dozen followers in just the first two days!!!!

    Wait till the whole cast of characters gets on board!!!! Thanks for the shout out from your Monkey Business. This group is going to LUV you!!!

    -- Debbie

  3. Debbie, You. Are. Amazing!!! It's awesome to read about everything you've done! You bring such wonderful energy to anything you do - including PreK + K Sharing! This is going to be fun! :) Deb @

  4. Looking back thru some of these photos gives me a shiver of appreciation -- for the value that music brings to the day.

    Deb we are indeed going to have a lot of fun here!!!

    Welcome aboard everyone!!


We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment below....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...