Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Summer's Here! Twitter Anniversary! EOY Song! Frog Street Splash!

We are headed north to our summer hiatus spot, 
perched on the bay. 
I took that photo exactly one year ago.

I found the quotation yesterday. 
Education carries us triumphant to the sunset. 
One step at a time. 

With the arrival of summer, 
some of our readers have more 'time' to explore. 

Maybe this is the summer that you learn the ropes at Twitter. 
The weekly chat that I host on Tuesday nights 
is nearing our second anniversary. 
There are some BIG plans in the making to celebrate. 

Save June 28th for your chance to win big! 

You have a couple of weeks before then,
where you can learn the ropes. 

This coming Tuesday, June 7th,
my dear friend Kim Vij will be taking our spotlight. 
Her brand new book is just a few days old and some lucky participant
will be winning a copy!!! 

This is a brilliant book for teachers and parents alike. 

If you are a visual learner yourself, 
this book is for you! 
The photographs capture the fun and learning, 
offering inspiration and delight just in turning the pages! 

I realize the vast majority of teachers are finished or down to the last moments in the classroom. 
Just when I think that way, 
I get a message from a teacher in CA and one in NY and
both are still teaching for another three weeks. 

So I include this news for you! 
Everyone else will just have to plan ahead about 300 days! 
I know how you like to plan ahead! 

Kindergarten Graduation End-of-Year Slide Show Sound Track from Debbie Clement.

PINCH ME!!! Look what happened! 
I made it back into the recording studio!!!
Believe in unicorns and pixie dust and happily ever after too! 

I am so very excited. I have BIG news!
My dear sweet husband said, "Yes."
He gave me the most incredible gift. 
The rest is history. 

A couple of years ago I wrote a little poem -- 
as a tribute to teachers.
  • I wanted to say thank you in a tangible way.
  • I wanted to express my appreciation. 
  • I wanted to acknowledge your hard work.
  • I wanted to affirm your many feelings. 
  • I wanted to offer support.
  • I wanted to recognize the milestone.
  • I wanted to attempt to capture the emotions in saying good-bye. 
  • I wanted to give you a new tool for your toolbox.
  • I wanted to contribute to your closure.
So much happens in a school year.

Starting with early fall's delight over new supplies and potential, 
{twinged with just the slightest apprehension of the unknown....} 
There's an onslaught of pumpkins and reindeer,
candy hearts, leprechauns and bumblebees


and it is all over!  

Kindergarten Graduation End-of-Year Slide Show Sound Track from Debbie Clement.

The ending of a school year is so very poignant.
When the finish line is tangible, 
every moment goes into hyper-drive captured in 'forever' mode.


People downloaded my poem. 
They thanked me for articulating their experience. 
They told me they cried when they read it.
They tagged their friends.
They were grateful.
They printed it. 
They sent it home. 
They shared it.
They used it. 
Then someone said, 
"I wish it had a melody so that I could sing it." 

That one line of feedback started the ache. 
She planted the seed. 
It could be MORE!
It could be a song. 
Songs have legs.
Songs get play-time.
Songs stick with you.
I write songs. 

And a year went by. 
And then another. 

The feedback and gratitude accumulated. 
Like a gnawing water drip.....
so did that one request
ring over and over and over in my head. 
"I wish it had a melody so that I could sing it." 

Going into a recording studio with a poem on a piece of paper is expensive. This last couple years of my personal and professional life, we haven't had the 'extra' to even contemplate considering what it would take to go back into the studio. That's a long complicated story that is mostly sad, where we are still awaiting the triumphant conclusion. BUT......... stay the course long enough and the tide begins to turn. Have faith. Trust. Believe. Pray. Give thanks. HALLELUJAH.

So I squinted and in my best smiling wifey voice, I asked my dear sweet husband if this spring we were in a position to take on a new project. Hubby Allen said, 'yes.' 

Turns out that our efforts over at could provide the financial resources necessary to answer her request to turn my little poem into a song. 

And with that go-ahead I got the nerve to talk to my UBBER talented producer-friend Ronn. His talent is legendary and his heart is even bigger. Ronn would have to agree to work for peanuts, or more accurately for peanut dust.... not even a minuscule fraction of his worth and value in the real world. The man has created brilliance in Nashville and Detroit. I thought he might be willing. I hoped. Just because he's the best. Just because he knows that for me to ask a favor -- it must be worthwhile. And Ronn said yes! 

And with that go-ahead we had to rope in Dan, the owner of the studio. It would take all three of us to bring this little idea to fruition. He too would have to be willing to make me the 'deal' of the century. Just because. As a friend. As an acknowledgement of our nearly two decades of projects together. Dan-the-man has a heart of gold. It would be fun to have the three of us under the same roof at Amerisound.  And Dan said yes! 

TRIFECTA. All three. Everyone on board. Tic-Tac-Toe!

So began the real work by Ronn to create the arrangement out of thin air. That is his specialty. We talked over the role of the song and how I envisioned it being used. We talked over the tone. We talked over poignancy. And then I gave him permission. Create. Use your gifts. Stay out of his way. 

I just had to get myself back to Columbus, Ohio. That's all. We left Vero Beach, FL just over three weeks ago.... driving to Green Bay, WI where I had the keynote. First must make stops in Augusta, Columbus, Cleveland, Green Springs, Ft. Wayne, South Bend and then actually arrive straight on to the Tundra Lodge in Green Bay. After that immediately down to Chicago for two days of work in Schaumberg at their library. Return to Columbus directly, to take the first flight out BACK TO FLORIDA! 

Return a couple days later to Columbus. Final annual school visit of the year in Westerville. Hugs. Hugs. Hugs. Hugs all around. Some of my VERY favorite people in that big road trip loop-di-loo. Some of my oldest and dearest friends.

Then time to drive to Amerisound Studios. TA DA. I could get there blindfolded.

While I was busy traipsing back and forth across the the country, Ronn was in a VERY serious car accident. Just mere days before our scheduled recording session. He testifies that it was his seat belt that saved his life. Angels watching over my dear, talented friend. How close do we come to our mortality on a daily basis? Sobering. 

What a back-drop to creative studio work. To say that we were all just a bit frazzled would be a slight under-statement. So when Ronn started playing his arrangement, it was no surprise that I was an immediate blubbering mortal. I just sat there and cried and cried as he added each track from his keyboard to the studio console. They weren't even the least bit surprised at my response. 

Time to blow your nose and sing, Debbie. It is at that point that I wish I am Celine. Alas. 

Preschool Graduation Printable Keepsake by Debbie Clement

The song version required some slight reordering of my poem's origianal stanzas. This is now the completed song lyric sheet. It is in Pdf format in the zipped file that is now available over at TeachersPayTeachers. 

I have decided to make the digital file available for free for right now. HURRY over to get it for FREE!!! 

Pay it Forward. Gratitude. Appreciation. Random Act of Kindness. Anyone that still has school after Memorial Day deserves an extra serving of support. I can't wait to hear your feedback. It would be very kind if you would leave your supportive thoughts at TpT after you download it. 

From the very beginning, I thought that the song version could be used in your slide show overview, as part of the sound track to photographically reviewing your year. Then my friend Maggie, suggested that it could be used as a "Kindergarten Graduation March." I'm excited to hear how you might put it to use! 

End of Year Performance Songs for Kindergarten Graduation

I have several exciting invitations on the horizon this summer to contribute to professional development. Each is unique it its own way. My participating at Frog Street is ALWAYS a highlight of the year. I am so grateful to return yet again. Will I get a chance to meet you this year? 

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