My husband likes Heavy Metal, and periodically feels cursed to know more lyrics than he should to the songs from “South Pacific.” Luckily, he understands the importance of diversity in our musical education of the boys, and was mostly on board with listening to Dave Brubeck piano jazz during dinner prep. He would have preferred Reggae or Classic Rock, but jazz was the deal this evening.

Today, we lost Dave Brubeck at the age of 92. He was a beautiful artist. My parents heard him perform live on a couple of occasions  and his music filled my childhood home. I learned about syncopation and an off-beat from his music, and practiced Blue Rondo a la Turk until I could pound out those rhythms on my steering wheel without missing one pause, one drumbeat, one held onto longer than you thought possible hanging chord, one single note. I went through a Dave Brubeck phase in my early adulthood, and never really got over it.

Ben’s Jalopy, replete with odd shaped wheels, and a surfboard on the roof.

I did a little dance in the entrance to the kitchen while Scott was cooking, and the boys were making Jalopies out of Lego’s in the living room. My little Bean said, “I like your dance, Mom. That looks funny.” Exactly what I was going for, so I’m totally good.

Then, after dinner, we talked about Walt Disney. Today is his birthday, so we pulled up YouTube (one of my favorite impromptu teaching tools for the kids), and looked at a 2 minute video that gave all the Movie Posters from all the Disney Animated Films of all time. The boys were shouting out the ones they knew, as if learning who was behind their making, suddenly made these movies even more special.

Because Wednesdays are our Art & Music nights, we watched Part 1 of 4 of the History of Animation, in black and white, as presented by Walt Disney. It is slow moving, and yet my five-year old and eight-year old both were mesmerized. We didn’t want to run out of time to try our hands at our own versions of cartoon Mickey Mouse drawings, so we will have to get back to the other 3 parts later.

Learning together about the earliest inventions to make pictures move was riveting. It was the intersection of science, mathematics, mechanics, imagination, engineering, nuts and bolts and hard work to create art. This was nothing short of genius.

I could totally geek out on the science behind art. It is what helps me stay motivated to keep my boys sticking with their homework. Because, they are such budding artists and engineers with so much to offer the world. They create every chance they get. If they want to carry a bucket into the back field, first they are rigging something up to hold the bucket between two bikes (that they’d welded together in the first place to build their first car).

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