Yesterday, I learned of some news that took the breath right out of me. I learned that two Jewish musicians and songwriters that I greatly admire are no longer married to each other. For the last 17 years, they have been a team…both in their music and as husband and wife. I do not know Peter and Ellen Allard personally, so it may sound silly to all of you that I am so deeply disturbed by the news. For some reason though…it hurts.
I am a logical person. They needed a new path…a new direction, and who am I to question it? I have no idea what goes on in their personal lives, and my head is telling me that they need to do what is best for them. I may not know either of them, but I do want them each to be happy.
Here’s the thing though….the music they created together has had such a profound impact on my life as a Jewish and a secular music educator. Whenever I teach a Peter and Ellen song, I know it will be a hit. I must teach at least 10 songs of theirs regularly and keep pulling out more and more whenever there is a new topic to teach about, too. Their songs are the most developmentally age appropriate and engaging songs for preschoolers that I ever find, and I am just shell-shocked that the duo will now be creating their music separately from each other.
I am sure many of my Jewish song leading friends know Peter and Ellen personally, and perhaps this blog may be awkward for some to read. For me, however, I just want them to know how much their music has meant to me over the years, and how they follow me throughout a school year with their music. Even at the Episcopal church where I teach…the Peter and Ellen songs are some of the very favorites.
So today I’ll leave you all with one of my favorite Peter and Ellen songs. “The Shofar Blast” has even educated me! I never could remember the names of the Shofar calls until I learned this song, and every year when I teach it, the kids are so excited to hold out the longest note….”Tekiah Gadolahhhhhhhhh!!!!” Click HERE for an awesome rendition of the song by the staff at Temple Isaiah (not sure which city) singing “The Shofar Blast,” and you can see just how much fun they are having. That’s what Peter and Ellen songs do, and even though I know each will continue to make great music, I will miss their team work.