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First You Take a Seed: From Poem to Lesson to Bulletin Board Project

How to Grow a Garden by Brigid Finucane, Music Specialist (June 2013)

This Spring, children in Reina Bago’s morning and afternoon Pre-K classes were very busy
planting seeds.  Susan Salidor’s poem, “First You Take a Seed,” helped the children remember the most important things the seed need to grow:  soil, water, rain and time to let the magic happen! After the children planted the seeds, during music class, they planted each other while chanting the poem. One child was the “planter,” the other was the “flower.”  At the end of the poem, the planter asked the their flower, “What color are you?”  and “May I smell you?” – then changed places and got planted themselves!!


Ms. Bago and her assistant teacher, Ms. Monsanto, were so delighted with the poem, that they created a charming bulletin board featuring the poem, and documenting the process of the children as they planted the seeds. Flowers dance across the diorama on either side of the poem, and each flower’s center holds the face of one of the children. Whimsical ladybugs and butterflies join the celebration announcing that Spring has finally come to Chicago!  Thank you, Susan, for such a wonderful poem, and thanks to the creative teachers  at Tarkington School, for bringing it to life!

News and New Head Shots! (6/11/13)

DBR_8720 copySo grateful to Dan Rest for my new head shots.  This is one of my favorites.  I’m playing a paper ukelele made by some of my students from First Academy in Chicago.  The ukelele unfolds to reveal the colorful handprints and names of all the children.  Way, way cool.  Thought I’d bring it along with my other instruments to the photo shoot and VOILA!

Looking forward to my concerts in Washington, DC at the end of the month for LPA.  In the meantime, I’m finishing up at my schools and saying goodbye to my friends who are moving on to Kindergarten next year.  Good luck to you all — you’ll love it!  I did.  Back in the day, I attended Plaza School in Baldwin, Long Island and Mrs. McKasty was my beloved Kindergarten teacher.  She was a master teacher, and as I got older I would assist her in class when all of the other kids left school for catechism on Wednesday afternoons.  She was kind, firm and creative.  Those were the days when every Kindergarten class had a piano and every teacher played it.  Ours was a blonde wood upright, and we would sit on the blue circle and sing with Mrs. McKasty.  I guess things haven’t changed that much, but it’s been a long time since I’ve visited a Kindergarten classroom with a piano in it!

Introducing: MY NEW WEBSITE!

May 31, 2013

Hi Friends,

Hope you find this newly designed website as pretty as I do — thanks to Carl Foote for making it happen.  This is my first update, but you can expect updates to every section of this site over the next few weeks, including NEW HEADSHOTS.

I’ve got lots of news to share!  My first animated video is now available for viewing on YouTube.  Artist Rayah Long has lovingly animated my song “Wiggle ‘Til the Cows Come Home” from my new CD Come and Make a Circle 3, and you can find it by following this link:  I am hoping your children (and you) will be entertained by Rayah’s engaging interpretation of the song.

Last month I received a call from Recess Music, the same producer who used my song “I’m Sorry” on the compilation Big Bully a few years back.  This time around they have licensed a song off Come and Make a Circle 3 for a compilation about attitude.  I’ll let you know the official title and release date as soon as I know.  The song is “Every Little Bit of You,” a song I wrote for my husband Jay.  It’s one of my favorites from the new CD, so I was particularly happy that Recess Music chose it for their next project.

At the end of June, I will travel to Washington, DC to perform two concerts for the LPA, Little People of America.  The Executive Director is a mom who hired me to perform at her son’s preschool some years ago in California, and she was kind enough to think of me for a morning children’s concert and evening family concert on Sunday, June 30, 2013.  Check out LPA at

This August my family will be vacationing in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, as we have the last 22 years.  Back in the fall, I was contacted by the head librarian in Myrtle Beach, SC who asked if I am ever “out that way” and would I be interested in giving a few concerts.  I told her that I am always “out that way” in August and was surprised to learn that August is a great time for family concerts in that part of the country — woohoo!  I’ll be giving anywhere from 4 to 8 concerts in the Myrtle Beach area the second week in August, and as soon as I’ve got confirmed dates, I’ll post locations and times to my calendar page.  I’ve long fantasized about performing while in the South, so I am thrilled to have been asked.

My family is good!  Hannah goes back to St. Paul tomorrow to spend the summer, but we’ve enjoyed a wonderful last three weeks together.  Hope is still home and working at Northwestern Law School, studying sketch comedy at Second City and accompanying me to wheel throwing classes at Lill Street.  Our foster son Ali recently  returned home for a bit, and Jay is busy finishing up classes at Whitney Young and fighting the pension battle in his position as President of the CTPF here in Chicago.  Our family has participated in many protests this last year as part of the Chicago Teachers’ Union increased visibility and power as it takes on privatization, school closings, and the bankrupting of Chicago’s poorest and neediest neighborhoods.  Go CTU!

Hoping to make music in your part of the world soon.  In the meantime, you can find my music all over the internet, but CDBaby is a great home for indie artists, so visit there first if you are interested in purchasing my music.  Feel free to contact me at or on Facebook and become my friend.  Safe, happy summers to all of you.


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