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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Episode 42 (Epilogue): Music for Kids and Parents

We had a great time on tonight's show talking about the amazing connection between children and music. Carmela mentioned this study from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, supporting the theory that music instruction can help build intellectual and emotional skills, facilitate children's learning and strengthen academic areas such as reading and math.

Our first guest was one of Carmela's favorite singer-songwriters, Nerissa Nields of the Nields Family. Nerissa and her sister Katryna have four children between them, ages 3 to 11, and have recorded 16 CD's and written three books and seven songbooks. One of these books is All Together Singing in the Kitchen, with over thirty songs (with lyrics, chords, and audio recordings) to get your family singing, musical games to get you dancing, and tips on playing instruments to get you grooving. This book will help you make music a larger part of your family's life, from playtime to bedtime.

The Nields sisters have recently developed a program for kids and parents called Hootenanny, which Nerissa compared to the Music Together program found nationwide. HooteNanny is an early music program for children aged 0-5 and their grown ups. There are nine discrete seasonal curricula, and each one endeavors to contain a mix of uptempos, ballads, familiar and new, songs with different time signatures, languages other than English, major and minor, silly and sublime. Says Nields, "HooteNanny families have been instrumental in helping us to create our curricula. We firmly believe in the folk process. Some of our favorite songs have come from parents in our classes, songs they learned from their grandparents. HooteNanny is all about drawing all of these communities together–– generational, geographical, cultural."

We then welcomed Sandi Grecco from The Drum Studio on the air all the way from Chicago where she was celebrating her birthday. The Drum Studio provides private music lessons for Drums, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Piano, Music Theory, Percussion and Rock/Funk/Metal Band Labs. The Drum Studio All-Stars are students from the Drum Studio and surrounding communities who have performed for many charities and benefits. Alumni from this program are pursuing careers in music via Berklee College of Music in Boston, Full  Recording Arts in Orlando, University of Miami, with nationally and internationally touring bands and various television and theater positions, including Syesha Mercado, American Idol finalist.

Then we shared some of the opportunities for musical education in our own community.
And finally, we shared some websites (and sounds) for the music lover in all of us.

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