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Do Re Mi Fa Sol

May 25, 2011

I have started to tell my kids a story.

Once upon a time there were two buildings. They were right next to one another. There was only one apartment on each floor, and both had eight floors. One of the buildings was Israeli were everyone speaks Hebrew. The other was Swedish were everyone speak Swedish. Each had its own flag on the roof. This is the story about the people who lived in it.

At the bottom floor lived the landlord who had a lot of keys and fixed things all the time. The Israeli one was named Dominique, and it was written “Do” on his door. The Swedish one was named Cesar, and he just had a big “C” on his door. On the second floor in the Israeli building was Reu’el. On his door he had written “Re”. On the Swedish side lived a guy named Dennis with a big “D” on his door. They used to run around and make up mischief, and would sing morning songs every morning (using well known morning songs the kids know in Hebrew vrs Swedish).

I’ve continued to improvise as I go along. I’ve told them also about the third floor where we find Miss “Mi” on the Israeli side, and Miss Elsa (with “E” on the door) on the Swedish. The fourth floor where both ladies actually have the same name – Fanny. But the one on the Israeli side writes “Fa” on her door, and the one on the Swedish side only writes “F”. And then we have the fifth floor with Soledad (“Sol”) on the Israeli side and Gudrun (“G”) on the Swedish side.

I started with only the first 3 floors yesterday. Today I told them about 2 additional floors and made up some stories around them (Fanny and Fanny are both elderly ladies with ten cats each, that were disturbed when Dennis and Reu’el started playing the drums when they tried to listen to classical music).

Eventually I will also tell them of floor 6, 7 and 8 where we will find on the Israeli side Laurentius (La), Sissi (Si) and Doris (Do), and on the Swedish side Adam (“A”), Beata (“B”) and Cecilia (“C”). And eventually also the two songs that the both buildings use to remember who lives where: Do, Re Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si, Do, and C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C.

I remember from the third grade how our music teacher used this story to teach us notes for the first time. I’ve never forgotten it since. Of course, that was only one building. I need to teach my kids both.

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