My daughter loves the song, Itsy Bitsy Spider. She knows this song well. We all do, yes? My daughter was first exposed to Itsy Bitsy when she was 2 months old. It was a song the swimming instructor, Liz, sang when we went swimming at the YMCA. The parents sang the song while they held their child and walked around the edges of the pool, in the water, to help learn the beginnings of water safety. When Mishy and I took a break from the lessons and then returned with us alone in the pool, Mishy instantly smiled when I sang to her, Itsy Bitsy Spider, as she now held onto the edges of the pool.

Itsy Bitsy Sipder was one of the first songs Mishy sang by herself and she sings it proudly. She sings a few songs proudly, including- Allouette – a French Canadian folk song about a bird getting it’s feathers plucked. (I didn’t really listen to the words of the song until after we sang it together and by then, it became embedded in her head.) I do prefer the relatively positive message of Itsy Bitsy Spider – determination, skill, and necessity of time sometimes, and the power of practice. While she doesn’t likes to me sing now – “Momma, don’t sing!” she loves to sit in my lap and have me wrap my arms around her. That is how we sat while watching the newly launched video of “Itsy.”

This video is produced by Groove Kid Nation – the brainchild of Santa Monica resident and father, Rodney Lee. He will be having a CD launch party and benefit this Sunday, March 13th at 4PM in Santa Monica at Capoeira Basoura. The CD sales benefit CARE and the concert benefits the soon to be YWCA Preschool. The video features simple graphics of a female spider walking up a water pipe and then falling out of the pipe, the sun comes out, dries the rain, and Itsy goes up the spout again. What was fun for Mishy was the spider’s solo on the piano. It opened up the conversation to how many legs does Itsy have – eight and the difference between arachnids and insect. Most insects have 6 legs. Also, how come in this video she plays “bad piano” and that’s a “good” thing? We talked about the use of colloquial terms. A cute detail in this video if you’re not a fly? The fly band caught in the spider’s web.


“Itsy” video by Groove Kid Nation posted on YouTube:

Groove Kid Nation:

Groove Kid Nation
CD Release Party

rocco the raccoon

The Groovy Way to Learn About Musical Instruments

Sunday, March 13 at 4 pm
(Doors open at 3:30pm)

Capoeira Besouro Studio
2901 Ocean Park Ave. #103
Santa Monica, CA 90405

1 FREE CD with minimum suggested donation of $25/family
$15/single person including CD
Additional CDs available for $15 each.

100% of proceeds benefit
The YWCA Family Cooperative Preschool
at the YWCA Santa Monica/Westside

Featuring: Rodney Lee on keyboards, Fred Clark on guitar, Katisse Buckingham on sax and flute, Andre Berry on Bass, Satnam Ramgotra on percussion, and Jeff Robinson on vocals.


If you want to take your children to a concert which is entertaining, spirited and educational, please bring your children to see the world-famous Los Angeles Philharmonic perform as part of the Toyota Symphony of Youth Series at the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles. Mishy and I had the pleasure of being part of the audience this Saturday where we witnessed Joshua Weilerstein conduct the L.A. Philharmonic, joined by legendary jazz pianist John Beasley and his band. They were talking about jaaaazzzzz. That’s how John Beasley told the audience to pronounce it – “With a little bit of funk. Jaaaazzzz.”

This concert series is geared for children aged 5-11 years old. Mishy is 3 years old and she was enthralled as were older members of the audience who attended with no children at all. They simply came for the desire of hearing great music and great music we heard! The performance was seamless. The musicians tuned their instruments, then there was a pause as the first violinest walked on stage. I love this procession. The audience members clapped and then Joshua or Josh, as he was referred to during the concert, walked on stage to more claps and immediately the philharmonic played Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, Finale. My soul was in bliss. As Josh Weilerstein introduced himself, the audience member heard some scatting growing increasingly louder as John Beasley walked on stage and was happily introduced.

John Beasley entertainingly talked about jazz – and then his band members came on stage to play. Different sections of music was played in jazz style and then in classical style and vice versa. It was fascinating to hear the same piece of music played in different styles. Mishy asked if it was the same piece or different, if it was being played by the same instruments or different, and what instrument was being played. This was music to my ears because I thought – yes, she gets it!  She’s interested and intrigued.

The concert ended with two versions of Itsy Bitsy Spider – and this included audience participation. We were to sing the lyrics as John Beasley’s band played. Mishy sang with gusto and clapped with the same excitement once the concert was sadly over.

Every parent deserves to take their children to see the Toyota Symphony of Youth concerts – so they can hear world class music in a beautiful space while their children are wonderfully exposed to the power of music. Next year, as soon as tickets are available, we are subscribing to all of the concerts in this series.


The last concert for this season is on April 23rd and 30th, 2011 at 11AM. It is: The Hero Composer, conducted by David Afkham, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. One hour prior to each concert, there are various art, music, and dance activities in the lobby of the Music Center.

(We were given press tickets to attend the concert.)