music teacher

13 03, 2020

The Many Faces of Eeyore

By |2020-03-11T09:09:30-05:00March 13th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I believe I have two of the best jobs in the world.

First, I get paid to stand in front of groups of children and lead them in silly songs. At least that is part of my job.  As a music teacher I have the privilege of introducing them to all my favorite games and action songs.  Of course the older kids are not quite so enthralled but all in all it is a great job.

Then I come home and have piano students file into my home all afternoon each with their own special talents and their parents.  They come in as many shapes and sizes as the students. Parents usually ask at the first lesson if it is necessary for them to sit in on the lesson.  It honestly does not matter to me as long as they are not a distraction.

I did have one mom that took to thumping her son on the head when he made mistakes. I politely asked her to wait in the car.  Others have come in and read or worked quietly on their laptops.  A father who was a school bus driver would regularly fall asleep during his daughter’s lesson.  I was quite impressed.

One of the most creative uses of this time is by a mom who entertains herself with Eeyore – the donkey from Winnie the Pooh. My mom found a stuffed Eeyore at a garage sale years ago and it has made its way to Miller Farm via the “obligatory bag.”  It talks if you push its nose, squeeze its belly or pull its tail.

This, however, would be quite distracting so this mom makes sure to keep Eeyore very quiet. Instead she arranges his hair.  She then takes pictures and labels them.  I was so amused that I asked her to send them to me.

Now that my secret is out, everyone is going to want to be a music teacher/piano teacher!  Oh, well, I’m sure there are enough students and parents to go around.

14 02, 2020

Away from Miller Farm

By |2020-02-13T10:10:32-06:00February 14th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Chicken Wrangler Sara is in San Antonio at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention where she will be reminded why she teaches and inspired to continue.

Please tune in next Friday for your regularly scheduled installment of Miller Farm Friday.

31 10, 2014

A Music Teacher’s Brain

By |2014-10-31T06:00:26-05:00October 31st, 2014|Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

When I first started teaching almost 30 years ago, there was “new” research said that music playing in classrooms helped students retain information. It had something to do with the tempo (speed) of the piece and the affect on brain waves.

As a beginning music teacher, I was very excited that my chosen subject was so useful. I soon realized, however, that music teachers do not adhere to this research.

A musician’s brain is not “normal” a fact my musically talented children can confirm and have done so for years.

When music is playing anywhere, a music teacher’s brain, or at least my music teacher brain, does not relax and retain information. It goes into overdrive trying to figure out what the music is, who wrote it and in what time period it was composed.

This “music teacher brain” phenomenon has manifested itself in many ways throughout the years. For example, when swimming laps, most people count 1 2 3 4 5 6 etc. I count 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 2 and 2 and 3 and 4 and as if I am counting measures of music.

In any given day, there are multiple times when I find myself saying, “I know a song about that.” This includes songs about scalloped potatoes and coffee.

Last Wednesday I decided to mop the kitchen floor. I put soap in the mop bucket and put it in the sink to fill while I put away the vacuum cleaner. The closet where the vacuum cleaner lives is very disorganized so it took longer than anticipated to complete that task.

I pictured the mop bucket overflowing with water all over the floor. Then my mind went to the Walt Disney version of “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by Paul Dukas from Fantasia.

For the rest of the day I had the music playing in my head. I couldn’t help wondering how many people associate mopping the floor with classical music.

I imagine only other music teachers.

12 10, 2012

Miller Farm Friday – I love my chickens

By |2012-10-12T07:56:09-05:00October 12th, 2012|Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

This week’s email from the farm…

I love my chickens and my chickens love me – especially when I feed them.

I was checking for eggs in the nest boxes this morning when one of the black hens started moving hay from one next box to the other. I guess she is the designated interior decorator.

Meanwhile, Essie (short for Survivor Girl from the Christmas Eve massacre at Barneyville) follows me around the whole time I am in the chicken yard.

In fact, I have accidentally stepped on her before. That hasn’t stopped her. Anyway, she hopped up on the door to the nest boxes and watched the redecorating process.

She is the only chicken we have who will let you pet her. I guess I now understand how people can have pet chickens. But, she’s not coming inside. Already tried that with Einstein and look where it got him.

I know that is shocking to you, but this made me think of a song.

I have a chicken my chicken loves me
I feed my chicken on tender leaf tea
My little chicken goes bak bak bak
My little rooster goes cockle doodle doodle
doodle doodle doodle do.

Anyone else remember that one?

I did remember the song, but had no idea who wrote it or when. After a quick Google search, I discover Arkansas folk singer named Almeda Riddle (1898-1986) was the first to publicly sing “My Little Rooster.”

Also known as Granny Riddle, her acapella recording of the song appears on the 1997 cult film “Gummo.” If you’d like a listen click below:

If you’ve got a preschooler or kindergartener, gather them up to the computer screen and have a watch of this more pleasant sounding variation. They’ll love it.

Chicken Wrangler Sara isn’t singing, though it could be her. She is a professional musician and music teacher. It’s exactly the sort of thing she’d do.

Well, on second thought, maybe not. She’d probably bring Essie so the kiddos could pet a real chicken and sing!

YOUR TURN: I’m sure we have you humming the “I love My Rooster” tune by now. If you don’t have a rooster or a chicken or a pig or a cow or a …, what would you substitute for rooster in the song?

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