KB’s Theme – song for my art teacher

I take visual art classes with the most amazing person; Kaye Buchman. Her art classes have moved online and it has been a highlight of the week to meet with her and the other students. I’ve been saying that the pandemic has taught me that, “A good teacher in person is going to be a good teacher online,” and Kye certainly proves that to be true.

Kaye and I always talk music almost as much as we do art, so I wanted to write a theme song for her art studio; KB Studio. Building community is the name of the game at Kaye’s studio, so I was thrilled when one of the other students, Mary Ridley, agreed to sing the song I wrote. Enjoy the music and take a look at kbstudio.us if you want to build your visual art practice. She is fantastic.

You can listen to the song right here. And, you can download the notation of the song, here.

Let’s Have a Pizza Party! – Songwriting with 2nd Grade

It’s Saturday and for many people that means pizza!

Here’s a fun song to go along with your pizza party.

Some second graders from Hibbard Elementary and I wrote this song in 2018.

“Cheese and pepperoni! We’ll drink some juice!”

Here is a lyric and chord sheet that you can download to learn to play the song yourself!

Stuff I Keep Track Of – Totals for 2019

I keep track of several things during the year.  Here are the final numbers.  A brief description of what these numbers mean and their relationship to last year follows.

The Chalkboards

I keep track of this stuff on a chalkboard.  In the past, I’ve used a HUGE chalkboard which took up most of one of the walls in my apartment.  Now, I’m couch surfing for the foreseeable future, so I’m using a much, much smaller chalkboard.

About 50% of what is on the board is inspired by Being Boss and they’re Chalk Board Method and podcast.  Check it out.

The Numbers

Drawing Days* = 303 days = 83% of possible days (a 32% increase from last year)

Workouts** = 170 days = 47% of possible days (4% decrease from last year)

Skateboarding Days*** = 56 = 15% of possible days (First year of data collection)

Some Background

Drawing Days – This was a HUGE increase over last year.  The feels great.  In particular, I was pushed forward in the last quarter of the month by a former student who had a concert when he reached 1,000 straight days of practicing his violin.  I’m currently on 74 straight days of drawing.

Workouts – This is the first thing I ever kept track of my workouts since November of 2014.  This year was really tough for two reasons; 1) I quit my job and moved out of state and 2) I broke my elbow in a skateboard accident.

The job quitting and moving things threw me off my gameplan in a major way that I was not expecting.  I just didn’t have the mental energy to get myself to the gym.  There was one month were I didn’t go to the gym almost at all.  But, I needed to find a way to steady my mind.  So, I started counting meditation sessions as “workouts.”  This is not a solution that I want to maintain for the long-term, but in the short term, I’m satisfied with this solution.

Another thing that made the workouts category interesting is that I broke my elbow on July 31.  My workouts, which we already in trouble, took a big hit with that.  I did go to physical therapy three times a week and I had about 12 exercises that I needed to do six times a day, so I did count each physical therapy day as a workout and each day I did my elbow exercises as a workout.  That really saved my totals in the fall.

Skateboarding Days – I was already well behind in my skateboarding goals for the year, but the broken elbow REALLY destroyed my yearly total.  I’m only been back on the board 3 times since it happened.

Now that I’ve moved to a part of the country with so much snow (Marquette, MI) I wonder how I can get those numbers back up.  There is a skate park here, but it’s covered by a 1 1/2 feet of snow at the moment and my understanding is that it will stay that way for the next three to four months.  I had an advantage in Chicago in that, while it may have been cold, in February I could usually find a tennis court or stretch of blacktop in Winnemac Park that didn’t have snow or ice on it.  In that way I could skate most of the winter.

Goals for 2020

Drawing Days – I will be very disappointed if I don’t make it 365 days this year.  I have expanded the range of “drawing” a little bit.  I’ve decided to include painting and what I’m going to call “intentional photography”.  That is photos that I take during an intentional trip to make art.  Not photography that I happen to take while I am doing something else.  Those can be art, too, but I want to make a discussion between the two so I don’t get lazy.

Goal – 365 days

Worksout Days – I’m not sure what to do about this yet.  I no longer belong to a gym, which is disappointing, but I’m still too unsettled by this move.  Hoping to get back to a gym, soon.  I don’t NEED a gym, but I find it very helpful to stay motivated.

Goal – 365 workouts with 100 of them needing me to go to a gym or some similar place

Stakeboarding Days – this is trashed right now.  My board is in storage and there is no indoor skateboard less that an 6-hour drive away.  I’m not sure what to do about that.

Goal – 24 days?  That’s one day a week, every week during the warm months.  I think that’s a good goal.  

 

* Drawing day = any day that I draw.  It can be for as little as 30 seconds.

** Workout day = any day that I workout.  It can include meditation, physical therapy or yoga.  As little as 30 counts

***Skateboarding = any day that I get on the board.  Time at the gym working specifically on balance, on a balance board or the flat part of a half-Bosu Ball counts as a skateboarding day.  In that way, a workout day and a skateboarding day can be the result of the same activity.