Sauer kicks out the jams for kids
By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
Whether playing for one or 30, Randy Sauer said he enjoys entertaining youngsters with music. And it shows.
His audience on Tuesday at the Hays Public Library numbered 10 children between the ages of 7 months and 10 years.
It was obvious from the get-go Sauer, vocal music and band teacher at Holy Family Elementary School in Hays, would have a captive audience at Jamming with Randy on this particular afternoon.
Jenna Schlyer, 6, bounced into the room, announcing Sauer's accomplishments in another activity just a few hours earlier.
Jenna, a Holy Family first-grader, earlier had watched her music teacher finish second in the faculty-staff division of the school's pancake race run annually the day before Ash Wednesday.
"I thought I was training for the wrong thing," Sauer said, jokingly explaining his reason for losing the race. "I thought it was an eating contest."
Jenna and her younger sister, 4-year-old Paige, had come to the library Tuesday with their day care provider, Glenda Knapp, and another youngster under Knapp's care.
Sauer, who has been performing at the library for a couple of years, didn't pull out two crowd favorites Tuesday -- his ukulele and inflatable instruments for the children -- but he didn't need to.
He was able to keep the youngsters' attention by involving them with action songs that involved their input.
Sauer, who writes the songs he sings to the youngsters, said he tries to pick a topic for each performance.
Tuesday's theme was "stories that have sounds with them."
He handed the children instruments that made sounds like a lawnmower, hammer, train, jackhammer and rain.
They sang and danced to songs such as the "Penguin Hop," "Taking a Walk Around Town" and "Shake Your Sillies Out."
"I think it's cute how he writes the songs for them," said Tori Gano, who was in attendance Tuesday along with her two young daughters, 4-year-old Nyla and 9-month-old Lyten.
"He's our friend," Jenna said, pointing to 5-year-old Preston Parr. "And his mom and my mom decided we should hear some music today."
Sauer, a longtime music teacher, said he began writing several years ago when some friends suggested it.
Now, when he isn't teaching school children, he plays at libraries, festivals and parties. More can be found about Sauer and his performances on his website at www.randysmusicjam.com.
"You're going to be at my birthday party," Paige Schlyer, who will turn 5 in April, informed Sauer.
"Well, yes I am," he agreed. "(I) love birthday parties."
From the looks of things Tuesday, that sentiment for Sauer holds true for anything to do with music and children.