Ever wondered how HeidiSongs “makes the magic?” Here are some typical questions from kids, and the answers from me, Heidi, with some pictures, too! In this post, I am going to share with you a recent letter I received from a first grade class in Canada! They asked some questions that children nearly always ask me when they meet me, so if your children or students are curious about our DVD’s, you may want to share this post with them. Thank you so much, and have a wonderful new year!
We are in Mrs. Krahn’s Grade One Class in Calgary, Canada. We go to St. Bede School.
Thank you for your songs. We like them because we learn how to spell our sight words. Our favourites are Who, Yellow, Black, and White. How do you pick the colour of your shirt? How many shirts do you have?
We love the 1-100 song because it teaches us our numbers. We also like counting by 5s. How do you make up the actions and words for your songs? How do you make the cool backgrounds in the videos?
Love, Mrs. Krahn’s Grade One Class
I wanted to write back to your class and thank them SO MUCH for the lovely cards and notes they sent me! Please tell them that I really enjoyed reading them, and that they did a super job! I’m glad to hear what their favorite songs are, too!
They sure asked me some great questions! Here are my answers:
How do we pick the colors of the shirts that I wear? My husband, “Mr. Greg” really decides that because he is in charge of designing the DVDs. So I wear whatever colors he thinks will look best for each DVD. At first, I chose the colors, but now there are so many DVDs that he keeps track of all of the colors and makes sure that we don’t use the same colors over and over now. He has a list! (Did you know you can get your own HeidiSongs t-shirt on Cafe Press?) LOL!
How many shirts do I have? We have an entire RACK of them, in every size! That’s so that all of our dancers that come in to record the movements for us will always find the color and size that we need. But in my own closet, I think I probably have five or six HeidiSongs shirts, at LEAST! LOL!
How do I make up the words for the songs? When I make up the words, sometimes it takes me a very long time, and I have to use a Rhyming Dictionary! That is a dictionary with lists of rhyming words! I can also look up rhymes on the internet. I often write notes for a song on a sticky note and leave it on my countertop or bathroom and look at it often, adding notes now and then as I think of them. And then one day, something pops into my head and boom! There I have the words to a song!
After that, I start thinking of how the music might go. If I can think of it, then I sing it into my phone and make a recording of it- a voice memo. I then send that voice memo to my co-writer, Mike Cravens that will finish the song for me. He often makes suggestions for additional words that we often use, too. Sometimes, when I have four or five voice memos to work on, we get together and brainstorm the ideas for a couple of hours, because that helps him get started. Then he will email me his songs that he has started and I tell him whether I like them or not. If I like them, he finishes them. If not, he starts over! (How cooperative is THAT?)
How do I make up the actions for the songs? As far as the actions are concerned, I think about the words and what actions would be easy to remember. But sometimes I just let the music move me and just dance around the room. Other times, I ask my little students what they suggest! They really like that! Often they have wonderful suggestions! I ask them to think of something that would make it FUN- and they do!
Recently, I have had some help from my daughter Kimmie Giron and also her friend Annie, who is a dancer and a choreographer! You have probably seen both of them in my more recent DVDs! Annie is in the Letters and Sounds Animated DVD in the Letter A Song, and Kimmie is in the Letter L song. Both of them have helped me come up with ideas for movements and actions for the DVDs.
How do I make the cool backgrounds for the DVDs? Well, my husband, Mr. Greg does that! He also hires artists to help out with that! And one of the artists that helps with it is my daughter, Katie! We have even had some kids come out to our office and do some finger painting to help make some backgrounds. Isn’t that fun?
We are always happy to have some wonderful artwork to put into our DVDs, so if anyone wants to send us some pretty painted backgrounds, some drawings, or some artwork, please do! We would love that! Please enclose a note giving us permission to use them in our products, though! Who knows- maybe some of your artwork will appear in a HeidiSongs DVD???