Being Creative during Covid Pandemic

Its important for teachers to be creative for their students during the Corona-virus pandemic. Wearing a mask all day has been a challenge. My thoughts about wearing them are that doctors and nurses wear them because it keeps them and their patients safe. If they can do this, so can I as a teacher. Do I like wearing a mask? No, not at all. But in fact because I am a music teacher I not only wear a cloth mask, but also a face shield. It makes me feel trapped. It’s hard to breath and talk and sing. I do so hoping that this has helped me stay healthy and safe so I can continue doing what I love, which is teaching children. I think its working.

I am among the more fortunate ones during this Covid crisis, in that the school where I work has been completely operational since September with only a few interruptions. I think we are having success because we can keep our classes small, to about ten students per classroom. We keep our classes separated for the most part all day. We play outside whenever possible. Our students do not wear masks, however our all teachers do. We also have spray sanitizers we use every day.

In my music room I have a box of instruments for each class so no one touches another classes items. Then they are sprayed at the end of each day so another class can use. I prepare music that some can use tambourines and drums or ukuleles, maracas and bells.

When it comes to teaching music to children you have to be highly creative to hold their interest. I utilize puppets that tell stories to introduce new songs. I think the children enjoy looking at colorful paintings while they are learning the words and meanings to other music. Of course they always like marching with flags while singing our patriotic numbers or wearing butterfly wings while dancing.

Me wearing a mask and a face shield at my school. My sister, who is a military nurse made a dozen different masks for me. This one is because I wrote a children’s storybook called “Butterfly Dreams, a Friendship Takes Flight” it is published by Et Alia Press if you want to take a look at my children’s story and art. https://www.etaliapress.com/authors#/carol-dabney/

When the pandemic first happened, all school shut down. March 12 is a day I will always remember. I was at the Children’s library in Little Rock and my publisher Erin Wood and I were there going over what was going to be a big author and book release party to happen in April. I was so excited. I had written several books before, but this one was special because I now had a publisher and this book showed off my art and the editing was wonderful. But as you know the world shut down. The big readings at libraries and bookstores would have to be put all hold.

We had to once again be creative. So we turned to multimedia. I starting reading my story to libraries online through Zoom, Facetime and Youtube. I created my own Youtube channel and started singing and reading lots of my stories. You can find me at Dabohana on Youtube. All summer long along with my music partner Rod Ragsdale we stay home in our little apt and made lots of videos for children on Youtube. We used themed shower curtains as backdrops and made out own little video production studio. Check out the fun. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDluLLAyEJVzyrsCelEjvDw

I had tea parties zoomed to my grandchildren and small children’s groups.

Rod and I had a blast. We hope you will go to our Dabohana Youtube and subscribe. Share and little little ones watch our fun music videos.

Story time with bible values
puppets and songs and imaginary trips to Hawaii
Farm animal songs and real trips out in the country
Sharing my art from my balcony in the summer.
In the winter I even started teaching beginner piano from my room. Virtual Piano lessons are not easy, but we found a way.
Rod and I Serenading on the balcony
Having fun during a time of isolation and sharing music, art and stories helped keep us sane during the Coriv-19 pandemic. We also hoped that we entertained a few families along the way.

Stay safe. Be creative. Love from our little place to yours. -Rod and Carol

Music Video by Carol Dabney

My Heart is Your Home is a musical CD album set to wedding pictures on YouTube (a portion of the song is here)
composed and recorded by Carol Dabney with duet singer Ku’ulei Ahuna in the Hawaiian Islands
arranger Alwyn Erub with Tom Moffatt Productions, Honolulu Hawaii.

This love song was in the making for a decade. I started writing some of the chorus in Arkansas in the 80’s and would pull it out from time to time to add more words and music. Even changing a few words and the male vocalist after we stepped into the recording studio. Ku’uleu did a wonderful job with his powerful male vocals and I am glad we did this project together. What a dear sweet Hawaiian man. The guys in the studio were so fun: Randy Sugata (Engineer), Clayton Mau (lead guitarist), Alwyn Erub (arranger) Then this song became the title and lead song for the album, which musical reviewers found confusing, since it was an album of all originals introducing two new female singer-song writers: myself and alto Margie Perez. We had one other male/female duet on the album “Secret Place” with noted male singer Kaulana Pekele of Ehukai, and that is the song that took off on the album. It was also a love song which some say sounded like it should have been a Disney movie soundtrack. Well even though it didn’t get to Hollywood, it did do quite well locally, playing on radio rotation about every 3 hours. A & R agent George Chun gets all the credit for making that happen. 1997 was a fun year for hearing my songs play on the radio. And who knows maybe “My Heart is Your Home” is being used as that special wedding song for other couples in love, I sure hope so. I have been asked to sing it many times but was very very honored when my own son John asked me to sing it at his wedding in 2008. If you like the song and want to use it at your wedding, I have it at my online shop at ETSY.com and https://www.amazon.com/author/dabneycdbooks

“I prayed God would lead me to the one he made for me is you. Feel the beating of my heart, never again to be apart, my heart is your home” -Carol Dabney