Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Vocab Series-BALALAIKA

Our new town has a very interesting history and being a newcomer, I have lots to learn. We are open and interested and I love tagging along on school trips to the museums and such so I can absorb as much as possible. We are so lucky that the boys go to a school where the teachers are passionate about history and art and have the resources to facilitate that.

Speaking of art and history, I just got my tired 3rd grader into bed after his debut on stage with his school. Oh yes. He was dancing. And singing. (I had to refrain from writing "GEEEEEEEE!" here. Sorry.)

Not just any dancing and singing. Russian, dancing and singing. Here is where the new vocabulary comes in; we got to hear the beautiful traditional Russian instrument, the BALALAIKA. Didn't get any good pictures. Drat. I battled with the lighting.

Again though, it was not just any balalaika playing, no no, but The Kodiak Russian Balalaika Players. (Still looking for a good link.) They are internationally known and amazing. I think the balalaika has taken the place of the violin as my fave instrument. It is emotional and lovely. The sound gives me a lump in my throat and makes me suck in my breath like solo violin music does but it has a folky feel. Heading to iTunes to get me some songs ASAP.

Anyway, the students have been practicing for months and Sully was all worried about his costume looking like a dress. It didn't. And he was worried about dancing with certain people and forgetting words. None of the above were a problem and Minna was dancing on the sidelines and we all learned something. Plus I want to make one of those sweet headpieces and a little Russian folk dress for Minna to dance around in at home to my new balalaika music.

Jeff was working but got to run over with a radio and watch the whole thing. The beauty of working right next to the school. Sweet set-up for us.

So! Learn all about the balalaika and you never know when there might be a quiz. I will be throwing new words your way every now and again. Be ready with your pencil and notebook.

Spokoinoi nochi! (Oh please let this be right and not a curse word or something. I don't mean that kind of vocabulary.)


  1. I looked up balalaika music on YouTube and found a bunch of covers of popular stuff. So much fun!

  2. I'm gonna be graded on this?!?!