Sunday, 28 January 2018

Songs, charities and learning what do they have in common?

Gloucester concert
Headway charity
As every year from November to January, since arriving in Swindon in 1993, I am exposed (even when I don't want to be) to Christmas carols and songs.

I do however, enjoy the Boxing day concert in Gloucester cathedral in aid of charity.

After singing some carols, I recalled some of the French Christmas songs I had learned as a child, such as 'Au grand St Nicolas' and 'Mon Beau Sapin.' I then I ended up pondering on how long it is taking me to learn the words of English carols. As children we absorb these songs effortlessly and remember them forever it seems. This is probably due to the fact they connect to the language as well as the music parts of the brain, rather than just one area.

Songs help us learn more than language.

You may realise the language used in the songs reflects culture, in this case the Christian faith. But children learn more than that. They pick up on the more subtle messages that come along with them. Their brain is not yet able to rationalise the message to decide if it is true or not.  Hence they believe in Farther Christmas.

In this one (Petit Papa Noel) the child feels he is to blame for making father Christmas go out in the cold.  In 'Au grand St Nicolas' mentioned earlier, you need to always be good to get presents. 

Like all children I wasn't always good.  I would worry that because, I had argued with my sister, I was not good enough to get treats. This was my overriding feeling and  though I was relieved to get a present, that was not enough to change the feeling of not being good enough.

This feeling is one that still hold me back, now and again, even though I realise it is only so, if I believed it is. So when I had my son, I was very conscious about the songs and language I used with him, hence the selection of songs that I then translated and which became my bilingual Nursery Rhyme book and CD.

More charity concerts

The charities I support are also chosen very carefully. They have to fit with my values of health, education, protect the environment and preferably help women.  Last year, I met Rosa Matherson, when she talked about her efforts to provide women, in Nepal, with reusable sanitary ware.

Julie Nicholls selling books at the Highworth concert 
This felt close to my heart and in November,  I decided to donate £3.50 from every book I sell to freedom Kit bags.  I sold enough before Christmas to be able to send one £25 bag.  One women in Nepal got a 'Christmas' present.

Rosa also organises regular concerts, in Highworth, to help an orphanage in Nepal. 
I will be at those to sell  book and raise more funds.  

If you enjoy music and would like to come along here are the details.

Whilst you wait for the concert, you might like this French rendition of jingle bells which I came across recently.

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