Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Hap Palmer-Getting To Know Myself (1972)


After a night of ghostly chills and tasty treats, I thought the kids would enjoy an additional treat for their overstuffed goodie bags. This one, of course, comes in the musical variety, a "Getting To Know Yourself" album released in 1972 by Hap Palmer. This one had been requested long ago by my Mom, who is always looking for fun, interactive music to play for the kids in her preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Twenty-nine minutes of short-and-sweet sing-alongs that make for easy instructional lessons, beginning with the upbeat, foot-pattin' opener called "Feelings", which teaches that our emotions are always changing. I can picture a whole group of preschoolers getting together on the floor and trying to demonstrate each of the different faces that Hap describes often accompany each emotion. I myself got a bit of a 'do the hokey-pokey' vibe while tuning in; yes, some of us grown-ups are still a kid a heart. "Shake Something" is another fun one—the groovy beat makes you want to dance and the catchy chorus where the lively background ladies chime in with the 'can you shake something all about?' gets to you before long. "Circle Game" is sure to get the kiddies involved (all the teachers need here is a giant ring placed on the floor—or perhaps a bunch of hula hoops—and have them jump inside and out) as should "The Opposite", where the mini-game would be to perform a simple action and have the students do the exact reversal of it. The always-instrumental-music-loving listener in me found warm delight in the bossa nova offering, "Left And Right", plus the lovely non-vocal woodwind-led piece called "Change". Though the nicest tune here has to be "What Do People Do?", which is, in essence, a slower and more mellow reprisal of the opener in terms of the theme of feelings and emotions. "Getting To Know Myself" is definitely something that will enable kids to do exactly as the title suggests&mdas;get to know themselves—while for me, it was like a nostalgic "Sesame Street" adventure on the PBS television station:

1. Feelings
2. Sammy
3. Touch
4. Shake Something
5. The Circle
6. Turn-Around
7. Circle Game
8. Left And Right
9. Be My Friend
10. Change
11. What Do People Do?
12. The Opposite

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