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Upcoming video premiere: “Five Sea Lions” – Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam

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Stay tuned for the world premiere of “Five Sea Lions” by Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam starting Tuesday, March 18.

The endearing visuals, animated by Glen Biltz , reinforce the learning inherent in the lyrics:

“Five Sea Lions rolling on the pier
They look like seals but you can see their ears
One rolled off and then swam to shore
And four sea lions were left on board”

Here’s Jason announcing the premiere with some real sea lions in the background!

Skype with Roger Day + Check out Marsh Mud Madness (available in DVD and CD)

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Roger Day is on the move! After last year’s successful releases of his Marsh Mud Madness DVD and CD, Day is now a Skype in the Classroom teacher. Day started teaching through Skype as a way to help kids who were stranded in an Alabama school during a bad winter storm. Shortly after Day offered to “visit” the kids (by posting a message on his Facebook page), he was contacted by teachers and immediately connected to the students via Skype. The students loved singing and playing along with Day, which served as a comforting distraction from the anxiety of being stuck without their families. Skype caught wind of what Day was doing and prominently featured him in a blog post . Day continues to use Skype as a means to provide instruction to kids around the country. Included in his 30-minute lesson, Day teaches the kids two songs, one of which is called “Mosquito Burrito,” a playful song from his DVD, Marsh Mud Madness. For those interested in exploring more of Day’s material I would absolutely recommend Marsh Mud Madness. Read on for full album review.

After spending 5 days exploring Sapelo Ilsand, a barrier island of Savannah, GA, Day began the production of his DVD Roger Day’s Marsh Mud Madness which was filmed live at the Savannah Music Festival and on location at the University of Gerogia Marine Institute. As a compliment to the DVD, Day subsequently released a CD, which contains the live recordings from the DVD plus studio versions of two songs.

Regardless of which type of media you choose for your listening experience you won’t be disappointed. Roger Day does an excellent job of transforming your speakers into an ecological romp as he introduces kids to the critters, creatures and plant life of the Savannah marshland. Prior to launching into the anthemic, “I Love To Study Mud,” Day engages his audience by proclaiming that he is here to talk about “slimy, gooey, mushy mud!” Once he has the audience’s attention, he instructs listeners to put on a sun hat and big boots and get ready to stomp in the mud. And let me tell you, with a little creativity and a sprinkle of imagination, stomping in invisible mud can be just as fun as stomping in the real thing. “I Love To Study Mud” will no doubt stick in your head, in a good way, as the song emphatically celebrates the satisfaction that comes from exploring mud in many ways. I particularly love how Day compares marsh mud to chocolate soup as he sings “you see marsh mud it’s like chocolate soup/ that you can smell from miles around

The beauty of Marsh Mud Madness is that it is interactive. Each song is associated with movement(s) helping listeners visualize what they are learning about. In many ways, Day’s enthusiasm and passion for exploration is akin to that of the Kratt brothers from the show, Wild Kratts, and Ms. Frizzle, the unique protagonist in the popular series The Magic School Bus. Similar to these shows, Marsh Mud Madness is full of scientific facts conveyed in an adventurous way.

What sweetens the experience even more is that Day is a talented musician with tons of charisma who has a natural ability to captivate an audience. By stomping along with Roger Day, whether you are watching at home or listening in the car, you will learn how to groove like the Fiddler Crab, move like a periwinkle snail, learn about the Ghost Crab and mimic the flushing of an estuary. You’ll even come across jumping dolphins! There is so much to love about Marsh Mud Madness, and it has been priceless to hear Em regurgitating facts to friends and family members about how the Ghost Crab is the cousin of the Fiddler Crab and how Alligators were almost extinct.

I am so glad there are two versions of this album because each one is equally gratifying. I would definitely recommend purchasing both together because once you hear the songs through the DVD, you will find yourself singing them randomly and then wishing you could crank them up in your car. You can sample and purchase tracks from Marsh Mud Madness via the Bandcamp widget below. The CD and DVD are also available for purchase through CDBaby.

Bonus: Teachers can access grade specific study guides here.

Women of Aviation Worldwide Week! + Song by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

“Everyone has oceans to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?” — Amelia Earhart

Having a daughter who is bright, strong-willed (read: confident), and fearless has taught me so much. She is small but curious and constantly seeks answers to greater things. One of the many questions that frequently perplexes her is why there are more boys doing things than girls. Some of those things include plumbing, construction, being president, space exploration, even ninjas. And, don’t even get her started on why boys don’t take the girl’s name when they get married or why every classic princess story ends with the princess marrying the prince (or, as she would say, “yeah yeah then they get married, blah blah blah”). I wish I could say that I had a part in provoking this charge in her, other than a result of a crazy combo of genetics, but I don’t. She is a thinker and a seeker and I love that about her. At 5-years-old anything is possible whether you are a boy and especially if you are a girl! As I listen to her questions, sometimes in awe, I try to answer as best I can to the tune of empowering her to follow her passions and to be the one that makes a change.

So this all ties into the fact that it’s Women of Aviation Worldwide week! First, I must say that I am a fan of the site A Mighty Girl. In summary, “The site was founded on the belief that all children should have the opportunity to read books, play with toys, listen to music, and watch movies that offer positive messages about girls and honor their diverse capabilities.” They posted the Amelia Earhart quote, featured at the beginning of this post, on their Facebook page which subsequently inspired my thoughts above.

Secondly, there’s always room to celebrate with a song! “8000 Feet” by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band was inspired by Amelia Earhart. I present it to you in honor of The First Lady of Flight and all the other mighty girls who are seeking out their dreams, whether it is actually flying 8000 feet in the sky or ambitiously seeking out greater things on the ground. It’s awesome!

8000 Feet” can be heard on LDFJB’s most recent release, Lishy Lou and Lucky Too. You can preview the entire album here which I absolutely suggest. It’s brimming with vibrancy, life and as much wonder about the world as my little mighty mouse has. Lishy Lou and Lucky Too is also available via iTunes.

Singled Out: “The Little Big Easy” – Rainbow Beast and the Rock Band Land Rockers

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It’s Fat Tuesday! In honor of this colorful and somewhat mysterious time of year, it seems fitting to post “The Little Big Easy” by Rainbow Beast and the Rock Band Land Rockers.

While people on earth are celebrating, this heroic tale tells of how a fortune cookie prophesy caused one man (Douglas) to save a race of creatures allergic to electric light by constructing an underground city for them. As it turns out, his legacy lives on thanks to Fluffy Joe, who was also a kind soul. You can sample and purchase the song through the Bandcamp widget below.

View This: “Throw Me Something Mista” – Jazzy Ash (feat. Mista Cookie Jar)

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From her debut album, Home, Jazzy Ash delivers a big, brassy dance party in honor of Mardi Gras. “Throw Me Something Mista” is a tribute to the the miscellaneous goodies typically thrown from floats in the New Orleans parade. Add Mista Cookie Jar to the mix and you’ve got a funky carnival celebration! Get ready to shout and laissez les bon temps rouler!

View This: “If I Had a Mariachi” – Andrés Salguero

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Andrés Salguero has released his first video from his upcoming album, ¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés! If I Had a Mariachi” was filmed at La Plaza Garibaldi (Mexico City’s traditional home of mariachi) and other Mexico City locations which gives it a nice authentic feel. Anyone who has been serenaded by a Mariachi band should know how much energy goes into one performance, whether it’s tableside at an amazing restaurant or out in a plaza. The video for “If I Had a Mariachi” definitely exemplifies the spirit of Salguero’s music while introducing kids to an important piece of Mexican culture.

In truth, I was sold simply based on the title of the song. Now, after watching the video, I want a mariachi! I love the introduction of the instruments, included with the spanish spelling of the words across the screen, and the kids’ faces as they are wowed by the beautiful display of mariachi instruments.

¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés! will be released in April to honor El Día de los Niños so tay “tuned,” i.e. polish up your trompeta and tune your guitarras boys and girls./p>

Bonus: You can sample the entire album from at Salguero’s official site!

Video Premiere: “Grand March from Aida” – Dog On Fleas

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Baby it’s cold outside and with each weather report comes the call of yet another battle against nature. Fear not, for Dog On Fleas has come to offer a reprieve! In their video for “Grand March from Aida,” a “triumphal march” takes place as a procession of creatures strut, scurry and float across the screen. There’s even a surprise guest in the mix (Gustafer Yellowgold fans, I’m looking at you)! And what would a triumphal march be without the right ensemble? Thanks to the Backyard Dorkestra, the animal parade is given some regality while being accompanied by a a melange of instruments, including an accordion, kazoo, bassoon, flugelhorn, violin, sousaphone and glockenspiel, to name a few.

“Grand March from Aida” was originally written by Giuseppe Verde for his opera, Aida, and can be found on the Fleas’ eighth album, Buy One Get One Flea, which officially releases today! While the song is completely instrumental, it stays with you, leaving you no choice but to grab a kazoo and create your own grand parade. So sound the alarms, raise a ruckus, stomp around, heat things up and join in the celebration!

Buy One Get One Flea is available for purchase via CdBaby.

For more Dog on Fleas goodness, don’t miss their one-hour Rumpus Room concert this weekend. Details below:

Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live (ch. 78) features a special Dog on Fleas Rumpus Room. The concert will be airing 4X this weekend:
Friday Feb 21 -  6pPST/9pEST
Saturday Feb 22 -  9 am EST / 6 am PST, 5 pm EST/ 2 pm PST
Sunday Feb 23 - 12pEST/9aPST
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