World Premiere Video: “I Love You More” – Todd McHatton

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Get ready for an epic battle…of love!

 

Today I am happy to premiere a new video by Todd McHatton. “I Love You More” features McHatton and his daughter Hazel going head-to-head in a playful exchange expressing just how much (and how much more) they love one another. The competition is fierce but in the end, they prove that love conquers all.

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What You’ll Love About It: McHatton pours his heart into his work, much of which is inspired by his family. Originally written for Hazel, “I Love You More” marvelously expresses the swell of emotions felt between a parent and their child. Plus, the “I Love You More” game is a classic!

Often, at bedtime, Emily and I will play the same game. As we each throw out all kinds of impossibly giant ways that we love one another it always ends up with one of us saying, “I love you more than the whole wide world plus infinity.”

So forget the Valentine’s Day cards! All you need is this super video valentine to melt your sweetie’s heart.


Behind the Scenes: McHatton usually does all the illustrations, animation and production for his videos. This time, Hazel also contributed by doing the stop motion, the paper cut outs, the clay people and hearts.

Want to learn more? You can purchase the album through the shop on Todd’s official site. Leading up to the release of Super Audio Sunshine McHatton released a comic for every song, like the one you see at the top of this post. You can  find more comics at Todd’s official site.

Video: “Show More Love” – Jon Samson

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Love is unity

Love is family

Love is friendship

Love is a furry companion

Love is playful

Love is music and singing

Love is expressing yourself

Love is in this video!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

How are you and your family showing love?

Jon Samson is a producer, award-winning children’s musician and teaching artist. He will be playing a special show with the dazzling Lucy Kalantari this Sunday, February 15, 2015.

Click here to learn where they are playing and how you can win a ukulele! Plus, there wil be CHOCOLATE!

Love + Joy: A Family Valentine with Lucy Kalantari & Jon Samson! Plus, a ukulele giveaway!

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Award winning children’s artist and music therapist, Jon Samson, has teamed up with the dazzling Lucy Kalantari to deliver a rare and enchanting musical performance for families at ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn, NY, this Sunday, February 15th at 11:00 am. Lucy will be performing with her full lineup of drums, upright bass and clarinet.

While you are being charmed by the music, you can enjoy hot cocoa, valentine’s treats and a chance to win an autographed ukulele!

Want to hear how they sound? Listen through the Bandcamp widgets below.

Make sure to read on for ticket info and show information.

For tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1128853

Show information:
Love & Joy: A Family Valentine
Sunday, February 15th ShapeShifter Lab
18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn, NY 11215
$10 advanced tickets $15 at the door (Free for children under 2)
Doors: 11am Show Time: 11:30am

Artist’s official sites
Lucy Kalantari ­ http://www.LucyKalantari.com
Jon Samson ­ http://www.CoCreativeMusic.com

Alphabet Rockers web series premiere – Food Calculator

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Bridging imagination, education, comedy, and great beats, the Alphabet Rockers bring something special “to the table. “

Thinking up creative snacks and lunchtime meals for school sometimes gives me a little bit of anxiety. My daughter is a picky about food temperatures and textures which makes creating a balanced meal feel like a challenge. Serving up veggies in a little container somehow doesn’t taste as good when it’s packed in her lunchbox. And trying to “educate” her on why she should fill her tummy with healthy food doesn’t always get through the way it’s supposed to. This is especially true when she sees her friends pulling cookies and other sweet treats out of their lunch boxes.

For my daughter, candy, or anything containing sugar, is a righteous culinary choice. That’s the stuff the makes you feel goooood! Sometimes, she’ll ask for a “healthy dessert” which includes cut-up banana pieces and brown sugar. In her mind, she is satisfying my definition of healthy eating as well as hers, which I definitely appreciate (and get a chuckle from).

In the premiere episode of their web series, the Alphabet Rockers introduce young children to the “food calculator,” a helpful nutritional tool. The episode starts off with three friends sharing what they packed for snack. As they consult their “food calculators” they quickly learn which foods are healthy to eat.

WHAT YOU’LL LOVE ABOUT IT: The Alphabet Rockers present educational concepts in a playful and relatable way. They put themselves in a real world situation, sharing snacks, because that’s what kids do at school. As they roll through their healthy choices, one of them has candy. When they consult the food calculator, it bombs. So the friends work together and come up with a successful resolution. The message here is nutrition, and the way the friends were problem solving together is an added bonus. It’s important for kids to see that their friends can make a difference to them.

Following the skit, you will be treated to a music video for the song “Food Calculator” from the trio’s award-winning album Go!

NOTE: Make sure to scroll down to find dance instruction, an art activity, and more educational tools that encourage literacy. You can even print out and make your own Food Calculator!

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: “Food Calculator” is an essential song featured in many of Alphabet Rockers’ workshops. 

WANT TO LEARN MORE? You can extend the fun beyond using the palm of your hand by using their extended curriculum for visual arts and movement activities.  Stay up to date with Alphabet Rockers’ tours, workshops, assemblies and news via their Facebook Page.

LEARN THE DANCE MOVES!

PRINTABLE FOOD CALCULATOR PAGE – CLICK HERE

ART ACTIVITY AND LITERACY TOOL

These exercises can be used in the classroom and at home:

1. Brainstorm Healthy Foods, A to Z.

2. Names: Alphabet Letter: Healthy Food: Have students decide which letters in the alphabet are in the class as first letters of students’ names. Erase those not in the class. [This is a great review tool, or a chance to assess literacy development.]

3. Trace hands on construction paper, have students draw a picture of the healthy food associated with the student, or another healthy food they love. Have students cut out the hands.

4. Add the hands to wipe board, or paper (identified as the “Food Calculator”), with a share out from students.

57th Grammy Nominees – Kindie Music Videos

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In just a few days, we will find out who will triumphantly raise the iconic golden gramophone as the winner of Best Children’s Album. This year’s nominees present a truly eclectic mix, with four of them representing kindie music, and a fifth being an audio book about a girl’s miraculous journey of survival from a Taliban attack. I previously posted an audio playlist featuring all 5 nominees, and today thought it would be great to post some of our favorite videos by the kindie music nominees. For additional info and to listen to the audio clips, including an excerpt by Neela Vaswani for I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, check out this playlist.

There is a live concert featuring the Grammy nominees in Los Angeles February 7, 2015, but for those unable to attend, Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live (ch.78) will be airing a LIVE broadcast of the Children’s GRAMMY Awards Concert along with some artist interviews. Listen in on Saturday at 11:00 pm ET, and again on Sunday, February 8, 2015 at 12:00 pm ET and 5:00 pm ET

**NOTE: The Children’s Album category is not presented during the live show in the evening so make sure to tune-in to the GRAMMY Awards telecast at http://www.grammy.com/live 3p EST/12p PST.

Secret Agent 23 SkidooPillow Fort Pillow Fight


 Okee Dokee BrothersThrough the Woods


The Pop UpsAll These Shapes


Brady RymerGet This Party Started

Watch This: “I Got a New Friend” – Ben Rudnick and Friends

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Ben Rudnick and Friends revive a classic from their album Blast Off with a fresh new video featuring the beloved Sam the Frog and his new alien friend named Tripp. The two go on an excellent adventure that Pre-Kers and school-aged kids will enjoy as they imagine blowing balloons and eating snacks on the moon with their own extraterrestrial buddy.

What you will love about it: Outer Space is cool. Rockstar Aliens are cool, and Sam the Frog is cool. Grown-ups fond of The Grateful Dead will appreciate the musical similarities.

What you should know: “I Got a New Friend” was inspired by Ben Rudnick’s daughter and her experiences in the early years of preschool. Rudnick explains, “Before my daughter got into preschool she was shy and wouldn’t gravitate to other kids in the playground. After a week in this really great preschool, everyone was a potential friend. I also took off on that a little bit with what I think is as subtle as can be commentary on anyone can be a friend. Black, white, green, blue, aliens… we can all be friends regardless of color and all the rest. I grew up in NYC and had all kinds of friends. I genuinely WANT everyone to be friends. Why not!?!”

Behind the Scenes: The video for “I Got a New Friend” was created by Max Litvinov (aka kClogg), a Russian animation artist and illustrator who is actually based in Russia.” Thanks to the Internet, Rudnick and kClogg met through a serendipitous encounter which turned out to be a great success as kClogg’s work very much reflects the concept Rudnick was going for in this video.

Want to learn more? “I Got a New Friend” originally appeared on the 2004 release Blast Off and this video serves as a digital “grand reopening” in honor of the the fact that the single is now up on iTunesThe same “single” can be found in a bundle on CD Baby with two additional songs, including the studio version of “I Got A New Friend,”  a version of “Rocket Ship Man,” and a live version of “I Got a New Friend” from Rudnick and Friends’ Live in Lexington disc. More information about both of those CDs is on the storefront page of the band’s official site.

Note: If you purchase from CD Baby you get 2 Bonus Songs: the live versions of “Rocket Ship Man” and “I Got a New Friend” from the Live in Lexington CD.

Boston-area residents can also check out Rudnick’s Family Works Initiative which provides opportunities for families to support specific charitable organizations in the Boston area.

Music and presence for the holidays

The best part of the holidays is Sharing Presence

The best part of the holidays is sharing presence

When I first saw the above comic, I was instantly struck by the profundity of its meaning. Amidst all of the holiday hubbub, I tend to overlook the true end result as I focus on finding just the right gifts, braving the lines at the post office, and getting ready for travel. Whether it’s being with family, pets, friends, or a larger community, being in the presence of people/loved ones really brings the best kind of presents.

Music is another source of joy, especially during the holidays. We’ve been listening to classics from previous playlists, as well as a few new items mentioned below that have definitely added to the sentiment of presence.

Below you will find a nice mix of Chanukah and Christmas music. Enjoy!

Light” – Lisa Loeb

Sometimes it’s hard for me to come up with just the right words to describe a song. Sometimes, a song’s composition is so striking that I can’t help but first “feel” the song. I hear it, yet the music is so rich, so deep that the sounds take me away.

Lisa Loeb’s new Chanukah single, “Light,” does exactly that. It’s a gorgeous song that radiates like the warm glow of freshly lit candles. Renee Stahl, singer-songwriter and one half of the kindie group Renee & Jeremy, harmoniously echoes Loeb with a quiet intensity, filling the air with a special sense of hope. Loeb wrote the song in honor of Chanukah, and to remind us that we can all continue to shine brightly and steadily, with or without the flame.


All I Want For Chanukah is a Ukulele” – Alison Faith Levy with Karla Kane of The Corner Laughers

What can happen in a matter of two weeks? One of the Bay Area’s finest musicians, Alison Faith Levy, expertly answers that question with grace and ease. Inspired by the ukulele tutorials we have been doing over at Moms Making Music, Levy went out and bought herself a uke, learned how to play it AND wrote and produced an original Chanukulele (Chanukah + Ukulele) song and video! In just 2 weeks! And it’s a great song! If you don’t own a uke yet, you might just be inspired to pick one up after watching this video.

You can sing along with Alison by reading the lyrics she posted on her official site.

Interested in learning how to play the ukulele? Learn along with us through our tutorials at the Moms Making Music Facebook page after you enjoy Alison’s performance in the video below.


Got the SpiritMist a Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips

Back with another holiday jingle, MCJ and the Chocolate Chips come together to spread love, warmth and spirit with a soul-filled throwback to the classic sounds of the 50s. “Got the Spirit” captures the essence of being present during the holiday season by encouraging us to slow down, take a breath, and rock on with our Superbad selves as we soak up the good vibrations of those around us.

Dance because it’s chilly.
Shake until we’re silly.
Slow it down…take a breath.
Now think about the little things
That make you feel so blessed.


One Blue Candle” – Readeez

Michael Rachap, creator of Readeez, produces original songs and pairs them with animated, lyric videos in an effort to promote a better understanding of the quirky “rules” of the English language, i.e. knowing how letter sounds change when they are next to a vowel. By pairing music with lyrics and illustrations learning is reinforced through visual prompts that aid in pronunciation and foster a deeper understanding of basic concepts. We love watching Readeez videos and with each one, I can point out and talk with my daughter about the differences between what we see, hear and speak.

Readeez’s latest video is an original Chanukah (or Hanukkah depending on your spelling preference) song called “One Blue Candle,” which is in honor of the one blue candle that diligently lights each candle on the menorah every night of Chanukah. It’s part counting song, part holiday song. Simple, but like any Readeez video, colorful, informative and meaningful.


Favorite Cousin” – The Pop Ups

The Pop Ups bring a “family jam” to the fold with “Favorite Cousin” which, as the name indicates, is about celebrating with your favorite extended family member(s).


I Walk So Slow Under the Mistletoe” – Walter Martin feat. Kat Edmonson

If this song happened to show up at a holiday party and pour itself a cup of egg nog, it would not be weird at all. “I Walk So Slow Under the Mistletoe,” is a whimsical little song that captures the spirit of tradition sprinkled with just the right amount of kitsch. Martin pairs up with singer-songwriter Kat Edmonson whose unique voice blends in a nice dose of retro sweetness.

Martin explains, “I love holiday music, and I tried to pump up all of its wonderful clichés: dreamy romance, choral singing, sleigh bells…etc. I want people to feel like they’re sitting on a gumdrop sofa inside a gingerbread house while it’s raining candy canes and eggnog.”

Edmonson also appears on Martin’s debut children’s album, We’re All Young Together, in “Hey Sister.” I really love the pairing of these two timeless-sounding voices.


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Bobs & Lolo – Wave Your Antlers (Album review)

I love holiday music that doesn’t try too hard to be holiday music. Sure, most holiday music is covers of covers and renditions of originals but some carry a particularly nostalgic sound that captures the joy of the season in a way that feels authentic and is wonderful to hear on repeat.

British Columbia duo, Bobs and Lolo, created a holiday album called Wave Your Antlers with 15 songs that make things warm and cozy with both originals and classics (“Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” for example). There is a lot of fun packed into these songs which includes the introduction to a Christmas moose, named “Chris Moose,” naturally (see video below). “Go Freeze” offers the opportunity for a family game of freeze dance, while the unexpected rendition of “Dona Nobis Pacem,” which is latin for “Grant us peace,” gives you some downtime and pairs beautifully with candlelight.

Robyn Hardy (Bobs) and Lorraine Pond (Lolo) harmonize in a way that is reminiscent of the Dixie Chicks which is most notably heard on “Old Toy Trains,” a sweet song which is a slight lullaby or soft nudge encouraging little ones to get some sleep in preparation for the arrival of the man in red. Their joy is infectious which is another part of what makes this album so lovely. You can’t help but get happy as you sing right along with them. This album has become a family favorite which I envision being a part of our collection for years to come.

Enjoy the below video playlist which features a selection from Wave Your Antlers, including: “Chris Moose” (official), “Frosty the Snowman” (lyric), “Old Toy Trains” (lyric), “Up Up Up” (official), and “Go Freeze” (official).