Book Review: At Home in Harmony: Bringing Families and Communities Together in Song ~ New Release June 29 2017
By Meg Chittenden
Review by Patrice Maynard
Meg Chittenden’s new book, At Home in Harmony, Bringing Families and Communities Together in Song is both artistic and magical. The volume is beautiful, from the clean, bright cover to the charmingly illustrated pages of sheet music, to the quick anecdotes about every song. Her goal is to make it easy to learn songs and to add harmonies that can also be absorbed and then sung again and again as accompaniment to life. Singing is so much more beautiful when it harmonizes in a round or when a simple harmony can make a song that is fresh and simple, blossom like a rose in marvelous harmony. If ordered from Waldorf Publications, the book also includes a CD of all the songs, both sung and then with added harmony. Meg’s clear sweet voice makes the CD worth listening to without learning the songs, but the author’s hope is that the CD makes us all want to rise and sing!
Meg has chosen songs from all over the world and from all over the United States with dialects that resound the roots from where they were invented. So not only can we learn new songs, we can also travel around the world imaginatively while we sing them. What could be better than that?
Make the world more beautiful — sing! The songbirds in your area will enjoy the sound of human voices. The birds are listening, waiting to hear if we might speak their language of tone. (Once a team in which I participated won a race in which the relay team could only advance when a bird of each team’s choosing sang its call. Our team chose a chickadee call as there was one calling with a potential mate echoing back in that melodious minor third that is their mating call. We were about half-way through when the chickadees stopped chirping altogether. There we were, unable to move forward. So, I whistled the minor third of the chickadee call and one of the birds called back. I whistled us to the finish line successfully and first. There was a debate about whether this was cheating. This ended in deciding that if one could get birds to answer one’s bird call, it couldn’t really be considered cheating.)
However, birds do offer a good model for us mortal humans as they sing to woo their loved ones; they sing to find each other throughout the day; they sing to start and to end the day; they sing. They sing. We might be light enough to fly like birds if we could sing more as they do! It’s worth a try! Click here to order At Home in Harmony, Bringing Families and Communities Together in Song. Happy singing!