Holland Tulip Time is About Music, Dance, Not Just Flowers

What's Holland Tulip Time, you ask? Only one of the loveliest events in Michigan! It's what we locals used to call the Tulip Festival. It's about flowers, imported from the Netherlands, to be sure. But my favorite part is the historical-cultural arts element.

There are three parades, including Volksparade (Folks Parade), Kinderparade (children's parade) and Muziekparade (a music and dance parade). There you experience traditional Dutch "Klompendans." Klompen dancing, called Holzschuhtanz (clog shoe dance) in Germany, is a group Dutch festival dance, It's like square dance. It features hand-offs and partnering, like the Virginia Reel (or the Sir Roger de Coverly as it's called in England). Klompen resembles the Circle Polka, Mazurka and Schottisch, too.

Klompen dancing uses high kicking, almost like Irish dance. Local high school students dress in native regional costume and, of course, their "klompen" (clogs or wooden shoes). The musical trills from the various calliope street organs like the "Gulden Engel," (Golden Angel). Can't get to Holland? Read this article for links to see video presentations. Holland Tulip Time Kicks Off, Just in Time for Mother's Day

Jesus of Nazareth Soundtrack is Reverent, Liturgical and Beautiful

There are some movie soundtracks that just stick with me. The score from Jesus of Nazareth (1977) is one. It's haunting, bold and profoundly moving. My husband and I watch it with the kids every year and we cry at the crucifixion scene every time. Viewing and listening is a spiritual experience almost as intense as mass. The London Philharmonic Orchestra does stellar job performing Maurice Jarre's transcendent score. Jesus of Nazareth (Franco Zeffirelli) is a must watch for the Lenten and Easter season. Watch it with your family, classroom, Sunday School, youth group, religious ed class or Bible Study group.  Best Movie for Lent and Easter: Jesus of Nazareth

Poetry Writing Prompts, NaPoWriMo Games, Music Lyric Composition Activities

April is National Poetry Month. For online writers, it's NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writer Month). What are music lyrics but poems set to song? So I say let's celebrate with a poetry and music writer workshop. Write about Earth Day, spring, Easter, awakening. Want to join NaPoWriMo fun but don't know where to begin? Here are poem and music writing prompts, story starters and word games to call forth your inner bard! Perfect for homeschooler parents, English and creative writing teachers. Free Poetry and Music Writing Prompts, NaPoWriMo Games, Activities