A former music teacher, Kodaly music educator and award-winning opera singer (still performing), Rufina James has seen the difference a firm foundation in rhythm, music and language arts makes to getting a good start in life. To provide that start, there is nothing better than the natural rhythms and cadence of time-honored nursery rhymes and the melodies, forms and structures of traditional children's songs.
After all, within these three elements rhythm
language lies the basis of reading, writing, math, and most importantly the relationship of each art's interconnectedness with the others... and with life.
Throughout history, these arts were passed from generation to generation in the oral tradition with interaction, movement and lots of personal attention from child to adult. Today, most children are plopped in front of the TV to sit on their bottoms and watch passively while the critical years when they should be developing motor skills, exploring sound and rhythm, interacting and making connections in their bodies and minds passes them by. And we wonder why our country's educational levels are slipping!
That's why Rufina recommends encouraging your child to chant the rhymes along with the recording and to sing-a-long. We're providing a free ebook of all the rhymes and songs so that your child can read, sing, color and do finger plays along with the CD.
Rufina is joined by her husband, Ruben James, who contributes sound effects, character voices and playing guitar accompaniments. Also heard is Becky Firman at six years of age.
Rufina James holds both Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Music from Indiana University. She holds a California Teaching Credential in K-12, music and English as a Second Language and taught in the California school system for 12 years. She has also taught at the college and university levels.
She also performs as a singer nationally and internationally. In 1998, she won the Grand Prize in the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra's International Vocal Competition.