The Schelvan sisters write songs about the important things in a girl’s life: muddy puppies, pesky little brothers, and the drudgery of going to school every day.
I am doing a “Question a Day” journal with my oldest daughter Brooke in 2016 and yesterday’s question was, “What would you like to do that you can’t do now?” Her first response was immediately, “Drink coffee!” I laughed. I’m sure to a child that drinking coffee may look and smell glamorous, but what she may not know is that I didn’t start really drinking coffee until I had kids and needed to WAKE UP in the morning. Then Brooke looked thoughtfully at me, still thinking about an answer and said, “I would like to be in high school.” “REALLY?” was my surprised response, “Why?” “Well, I may not know what to do there yet, but I think I will really like it when I’m a teenager,” Brooke smiled at me and I smiled gently back at her. “I’m sure you will, honey.”
It’s the middle of Brooke’s first year in primary school and while she was doing the whole preschool thing starting part-time thing at age three, Brooke really likes school. I, her mother, never really liked school until I started going to college. It wasn’t the work and learning, though, it was being around a lot of noisy kids. I wished that I could be like all the other kids, who genuinely seemed to like being there just to be around EACH OTHER, but alas, that was not who I was and I can’t change the past. I have been happy that my two girls seem to be very social creatures because I certainly am not and it has been a real handicap to me. BUT, and the point I am trying to make is, I was able to bridge lots of hurdles with my social ineptness through MUSIC. Specifically, learning to write songs as a teenager. It was as if I couldn’t relate to people unless it was through lyrics and the creative process of writing songs made me feel part of a group. I played gigs, hung out with musicians, and played my guitar and sang my songs in front of an audience whenever I could starting at age fifteen. While it didn’t make me love high school, it certainly helped me ‘get through’ the experience a little easier.
I thought of all of this as I sat down to listen to a CD with my kids called Schelvan “Deal with It” because it’s music written by kids and the lyrics are geared towards other kids. I don’t think I could write the same songs now that I did when I was younger, and that’s probably a very good thing. Most of what I did as a kid was just ‘deal with it’ and a lot of my songs were a reflection of that. Kids usually don’t have a lot of say about things when it comes to their family lives or school, and those just happen to make up a good portion of your life if you are under the age of eighteen! While being a parent means you have different responsibilities, you are usually the one driving the bus in most aspects of your life, so you can at least understand and make decisions on what to do when there are difficult road blocks, traffic, or any sort of crisis that comes up in your life. Kids, on the other hand, are usually much more insulated on what they can and can not do in their day to day life. Maybe that’s why ‘young music’ appeals to other young children and young adults who are still learning to be more who they are while still being told what to do. I like when my kids like specific music or songs, especially when they can hone in on the lyrics and feel like they can understand them. Perhaps music won’t be as much of a lifeline for Brooke in high school as it was for a kid like me. BUT I do hope that she and her little sis will always appreciate music and if they ever want to write songs as a way to vent, relate, or understand things in life, I am definitely on board!
The two sisters who make up the group Schelvan are from Montana and they like to write songs and just happen to have an album for sale. Their inspiration comes from things in their every day life; like crazy pets, their pesky little brother, and going to school. Their album “Deal With It” covers several genres (rock, pop, blues, traditional) so it could be geared for all audiences, but their perspective is definitely all kid. Their interesting and catchy songs make me laugh but also make me love that these two young girls like to put their lives into song. It’s COOL. I definitely wrote my share of songs that had to do with school, relationships, family, and, yes, even a song about vegetables when I was a teen! Songs like “Little Brother” or “School Daze” are ones that I can relate to but are certainly coming from a place where I have pushed passed the expiration date of writing something like that. However, Brooke immediately ‘got them’ and liked being able to listen to music from and by kids around her age. It’s wonderful inspiration for kids to know that, they too, can make their own music and that it’s not just for people who are older who write songs for them. Schelvan is an album that is BY THEM, and that’s what makes us love it. Check it out!
1. Little Brother
2. Shark Fins
3. Lleno Con Canción
4. Turn the Glasses Over
5. Muddy Muddy Puppies
6. Penguin Party
7. Crazy Dog Blues
8. Robot Girl
9. School Daze
10. Bye Bye Mama
List Price: $ 10.97 (CD) or $ 9.99 (Digital Download)