Thursday, September 5, 2013



Hello and welcome back!  For those who are new to this collaborative blog, I'm Enrique and I direct the national non profit educational F.A.M.E. Foundation.   I'm also a film composer and author.  My organization collaborates with lots of very talented folks and organizations like Arts Integration Solutions and MyTown Music to help teachers and parents of children improve how they can elevate the learning experience.

Today's blog is about how to "Surf the Words", a technique that my foundation created in 2001.  It involves reading with music and keeping in mind three things:

  • Changing the volume of your voice to match the music.
  • Changing the pace of your voice to match the pace and rhythm of the music.
  • Changing the inflection of your voice to match the music.
Using Film Music to Read to Children (PreK+K Sharing)

As you can see in the image above, the response is a level of engagement from the learners!  However, I am quite often asked by the many who cannot make it to my workshops and/or conferences, "Enrique.... what kind of music should I use and can you suggest a specific book with specific music?" How do you surf the words?

Much like someone who surfs waves, you need to be willing to improvise.  Hold on though.... I have great news!  I've begun to release original film music I've composed and I've begun the process of matching it to books I love.  You can now actually buy these music/tips on how to use the music (surfing the words, breath breaks and more) at prekandksharing, the brain child of none other than Debbie Clement, my long time friend and colleague.

So, how did this come to be?  I looked at music I've either recently composed, am composing currently or composed some time ago.  Below is an image from the short film "Last Night at Angelo's."  The main theme is called "Amore."

I started reading different books with the song "Amore" in the background.  There are plenty that work beautifully, but there was one where the energy of the music matched the beauty of the story.

The book I'm referring to is "Tarra and Bella: The Elephant and Dog who became Best Friends."  In case you don't know the story, it's the real deal.  It REALLY happened!  Long story short, it's about compassion, love and friendship and how two unlikely animals became life long friends.  The story is poignant and so is the the music "Amore" for piano and cello.

Even if you decide not to pick up the music, pick up the book.  It's truly something to behold.  Children love the story and it brings up all sort of great conversation related to the social-emotional development of young children and ourselves as adults.


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