Posted by: amamasblog | September 24, 2007

The Music “Man”

I was raised watching musicals.  My mother loved them and was very particular about what we got to watch on TV.  At the risk of sounding old, in those days it was pretty much you either rented a video or taped it off TV, trying to pause out the commercials.  I don’t even think a lot of the musicals were available in the ONE family owned video rental business in the town I grew up in- there was no NetFlicks, or Blockbuster. 

So, my mom would check out the TV guide every week, and if she saw a musical was coming on, she would tape it off TV.  Even though my brother and sisters, and I pretended we did not like them, the truth was we did- we watched, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, The King and I, Oklahoma, The Music Man, Gigi, Fiddler on the Roof, and Camelot, to name a few, over and over again. 

Needless to say, a lot of the songs and tunes I still remember today.  As a side note, all my brother’s girlfriends, and now his wife LOVE the fact, that he not only will go to a musical, but he knows most the dialog, songs, and he LIKES it.  I guess that is a benefit when you have three sisters!

If I had to say I had a favorite musical, it would probably be My Fair Lady.  I just love the story, the music, and the fact that the movie had Audrey Hepburn in it.  But, every time I see or hear music from another musical, I like them all over again.

A few weeks ago, as I was dishing out some ice cream for Ryan, a song popped into my head from Music Man– where Harold Hill teaches the school board members to sing, by just saying, “ice cream.”  If you have seen this show, you will know what I am talking about- if not, just bear with me, and see this show!  I started to sing “ice cream,” like they did in the movie, getting really loud, like the last little short guy did.  Ryan laughed and sang it right back to me.  Then he asked me why I was singing that. 

So I explained to him it was from a show, where a man teaches some people to sing.  He seemed really interested, so I told him I would try to find the movie for him so we could watch it.  I couldn’t find the movie in any of the video stores (just like old times,) so I ordered it off Amazon.  In the mean time, I had the soundtrack on CD.  Don’t know when I got that, but it was in my collection.  So I started playing the CD when we were in the car.

Ryan absolutely loves, “76 Trombones.”  He could sing the entire song after hearing the song for a few days.  When the DVD arrived and we watched a little of it, including that scene in the gym, where the song gets sung, and he was hooked. Cole even started dancing around, when members of the town started dancing in the movie.  He starts shaking his little bum, and bopping up and down.  In the car, when the music comes on, he starts patting his hands on his legs, and wiggling his toes- it is the cutest thing ever. 

Now Ryan goes in the back yard, and stands on our single step from the door to the patio, and acts out the scene from the gym.  He raises his hands and sings, “Please observe me if you will, I’m Professor Harold Hill, and I’m here to organize a River City boy’s band,” and then does the drum roll. After that, he jumps of the step, grabs his “baton,” and launches into the full three-year-old version of “76 Trombones,” as loud as he can, singing and dancing.  I am sure our neighbors think they are stuck in some awful time warp, but it is the most adorable thing for Joe and I to watch.  I tried to catch him on video, and I got a little, but as soon as he sees me he stops. 

The last few days, he got Cole involved, and now Cole is his “band.”  He’ll say to him, “Come on Coley, let’s go play Music Man,” and lead him outside, and then have Cole follow him around while he is singing- just like a real band conductor!   Cole thinks this is just wonderful. 

If nothing else, we have seen how much Ryan really loves music, and we think he has a pretty good ear for it.  He can really belt out the song, and surprisingly it is in tune for most of the song.  We are seriously thinking about having him take voice lessons at some point, since he likes to sing so much.  My next step is to find some theater in our area that will be playing the show.  There is a great kid theatre right in our town, and they switch shows quite often, so hopefully they will be showing it soon.  In the meantime, we get to hear our little Music Man’s sweet little voice, and get to see his sidekick brother dance, and play in the “band.”   

It is funny how what you do as a mother, can get extended beyond you.  If my mother never exposed us to musicals to the extent that she did, who knows if I would be able to share them with my children?   I doubt she ever imagined that one day her grandson would be belting out these songs, and acting out the musical.  It is so simple, and yet they are getting such joy out of it- yet another thing that I had no idea I would care about, while I was living it, or before I had kids.

In other news, if you are still reading- Joe had a milestone birthday today- the big 4-0! He didn’t want any fanfare, (which means a party), so we had a low-key day.  Ryan’s preschool had a band playing today, so we went there and listened to them play for a while, and then the boys played around.  We went and got dinner at a BBQ place, and then went and got Joe’s present- an iPod.  Yes, you read that right- an iPod. 

I know I have almost prided ourselves on not having an iPod, but Joe runs 5 days out of the week, and has been wanting one for a while.  This seemed like the perfect “excuse” to get one.  Now that I see it though, I want one, but I don’t run 5 days a week, and I am not likely to start anytime soon- even for an iPod.



  1. Too cute about Ryan!! Go musicals 🙂

    Happy Birthday to Joe!! I’m turning 30 in October and I’m thinking of asking for an iPod too. I need new cookie sheets and a front entry rug….but these big milestone b-days seem too important for practical gifts like that! So good for you for getting Joe one!

  2. Happy 40th to Joe. As my best friend told me, once you get over the icky feeling, it’s really freeing. I haven’t gotten to that part yet but am looking forward to it.

    Very cute about Ryan and his band of Cole. I hope you can catch it on video for him for when he’s older. Leif acts out scenes and sings/acts all the parts usually of his favorite show, Little Einsteins bec. there is so much song and dance involved. He uses a pocket flashlight as his “baton” (one of the characters has one) and thinks that it’s the greatest thing ever. I haven’t been able to catch it on video yet but still want to for him cause it’s so cute to watch. This is such a cute age they are in.

  3. We ordered the Music Man a few years ago because I figured I’d want it for my kids someday. I was thinking they’d NEVER want to watch it so I’m so excited that Ryan loves it so much! I seem to think that the Dinner Theatre in the town next to you plays it semi-regularly. I know it was playing last fall at the Dinner Theatre down here but it closed a month ago. We’ll have to keep an eye out for it.

    I can’t wait to see him singing songs from it. BTW: if you want to load up some songs for Joe, we have about every song ever recorded on mp3s…next time you’re down, we could convert them for your new Ipod. (I wouldn’t start running for that either…soooooo not worth it!)

  4. Hi Heather;
    I wanted you to know that when you first sent your email about your new blog, I thought “cool.”
    I have to tell you how much I truly enjoy it now. I try and go in at least once or twice a week, (if not I get really behind and I have to read each and every one!!) Even though we have a hard time getting together, I feel so much closer to you, Joe and the boys. I feel like I’m watching them grow up right in front of my eyes! I miss you Heather and all the good times we used to have together. Take care. Hopefully we can find time to get together soon. But until then I enjoy reading your Blog and feeling like I’m right there living your lives with you! Happy belated b-day to Joe. Love, Mary

  5. that is so cute and so much fun!! glad that ryan has such a love of music and cole will undoubtedly as well. 🙂
    we’re pretty big fans of musicals in this house too. jody maybe even moreso than me! 😉

    happy belated b’day to joe!

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