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One of the many hats I wear is “preschool music teacher.” In my music classes there are those kids that simply have to be heard. I see that star fire in their eyes and on their faces. They simply need to stand out, shine and share it with everyone!

I understand this. When I was 5, my dad took my brothers and I to a big theater in Cleveland, Ohio to see Captain Kangaroo live and on stage, along with his side kicks, Mr. Green Jeans and the Dancing Bear. It was all very exciting and it was the first time I had ever seen a big stage like that. The show began and all I could think about was how I could get on that stage! I was compelled! There was no way I was going to be happy unless I somehow, someway, got on that stage! I sat there vibrating in my seat and I kept bugging my older brother, who was about 10 at the time, to ask them if I could go on stage. I was relentless and he probably realized he needed to do something just to shut me up. So he went over to the stage manager and became my very first booking agent. He did a good job ‘cause the manager said yes. So I ran over and was on my way to stardom!

There I was on stage with Captain Kangaroo! I felt good, I made it, I was where I belonged, I was a star! Everyone was looking at me, waiting to see what I was going to do, man it felt great. I had everyone’s attention, woo-hoo! The Captain asked me some questions and there it was, THE MICROPHONE, I was talking through the MICROPHONE! He asked me if I wanted to sing a song, well of course I wanted to sing a song but I had absolutely NO IDEA what song! It was almost kind of annoying, all his questions. I just wanted to BE there, it’s not like I had PLAN. My mission as far as I was concerned was accomplished. The Captain patiently went through a list of songs and when he landed on “Mary Had A Little Lamb” I said, “Sure!” Well “sure” I had heard the song before but I didn’t know the words. So luckily I did know the title line and then after that I relied completely upon my brother who was in the audience looked kind of freaked out, mouthing the words to me. No problem, I muddled through and thankfully, I had the cute thing going for me. I was a HIT, I knew it because they CLAPPED when I finished.

So when a child in my music class simply has to stand up and be noticed I like to try and honor that. If they don’t know the words, we just improvise like my brother and I did with Captain Kangaroo so long ago!

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