Recently, I posted about the music that Best Practices trainers use during sessions and mentioned that much of it comes from The Learning Station. That’s not the only source of great music and videos, though! Below are 6 more that will energize your students and liven up your classroom. I’ve included short descriptions and links to their websites, which will also lead you to their online stores, where available. Some of these artists also have music available for download from iTunes.
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – From his website, “Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is the King of Kid Hop! Purveyor of Family Hip Hop at its finest, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo has captivated crowds internationally with his own funky brand of positive half pint party music. Combining deft wordplay, great storytelling and pure positivity on top of thumping drums and sophisticated multi-instrumental productions, 23 Skidoo speaks to kids and parents alike. 23 Skidoo bumps up the volume and kids’ self esteem, while setting the family music bar higher than a hidden cookie jar.”
Laurie Berkner – From her website, “Laurie Berkner has been a professional musician since 1992, but her success as a children’s recording artist was a surprise to her. “It was so unexpected,” says Laurie. “I’d been performing in rock bands and struggling to write original music. Writing music for kids has not been a struggle at all. The more I started working on material for children, the more I realized that it opened up creativity in me that I never knew I had.” These days critics widely acknowledge Laurie’s major contribution toward launching what is now dubbed the progressive “kindie rock” movement – i.e. less saccharine, more rocking music that is not dumbed down for children. But it wasn’t simply an enormous amount of talent that helped create an entire genre and skyrocketed Laurie to her current position as “the queen of children’s music” (People Magazine). It was an ability to gain parents’ enthusiasm for the songs as well.”
Raffi – From his website, “Millions know Raffi for his work as a children’s entertainer whose string of gold and platinum-selling recordings in North America includes his classic “Baby Beluga” song with its beloved melody and lyrics. But a very interesting piece of Raffi’s story is not as well known: Raffi’s pioneering commitment to honouring his young fans changed the way we came to view music made for children. Founding his own record label, Troubadour, then folk musician Raffi set out on a path that rescued children’s recordings from bargain bin pricing and sub-par production values.”
Greg and Steve – From their website, “Greg & Steve’s music says “Let’s Move”! With high energy, participatory songs for children, Grammy nominated Greg & Steve have been entertaining kids, teachers, parents and grandparents alike for over 30 years! Their singable lyrics and catchy melodies set to contemporary beats (blues, country, rock & roll, and reggae) provide a fun way to encourage movement and teach physical education. Greg & Steve’s music also reinforces basic concepts, friendship, cooperation, social-emotional development, cognitive & motor development; addresses multicultural/diversity issues and environmental concerns; and helps acquire language and encourage reading. Greg & Steve make learning fun!”
Dr. Jean – From her website, “Dr. Jean Feldman’s noteworthy educational career has spanned more than 40 years. She has served as a classroom teacher, instructor of adults, author, and consultant. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the National Kindergarten Alliance, and the International Reading Association. Dr. Feldman’s list of degrees include a B.A. from the University of Georgia, a D.A.S.T. from Emory University, and both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Georgia State University. Dr. Feldman inspires teachers across the country with her engaging songs and creative activities that help make teaching and learning FUN!”
Hap Palmer – From his website, “Hap Palmer pioneered the integration of music and movement in the area of early childhood education. His songs enhance the development of motor skills, language acquisition, reading readiness, and math concepts as well as nurture the imaginative process and encourage creative problem solving. His widespread popularity in schools and day-care centers for over twenty years, has made him a living legend within the teaching community for young children. Teachers have used his music for more than two generations to teach letters, numbers, phonics, days of the week, colors, shapes and more. A third generation of children are now learning with his songs and movement innovations.”
Possible GELDS Connections:
PDM1.4b Actively participates in a variety of both structured and unstructured indoor and outdoor activities for sustained periods of time that increase strength, endurance and flexibility.
PDM3.4a Acts and moves with purpose and independently recognizes differences in direction, distance and location.
PDM3.4b Demonstrates spatial awareness through play activities.
PDM5.4a Coordinates movements to perform more complex tasks.
PDM5.4b Demonstrates coordination and balance in a variety of activities.
PDM6.4a Performs fine- motor tasks that require small-muscle strength and control.
PDM6.4b Uses hand-eye coordination to manipulate small objects with ease.
PDM6.4c Able to perform more complex fine-motor tasks with accuracy 50% of the time.
CLL1.4b Listens to and follows multi-step directions.
CD-CR1.4a Uses dance to express thoughts, feelings and energy. Uses dance as an outlet for creativity.
CD-CR3.4a Uses familiar rhymes, songs or chants, and musical instruments to express creativity.