View this: “Man Gave Names” – Aaron Nigel Smith

Great new video from Aaron Nigel Smith‘s recent release Welcome to the Villagefeaturing the children of One World Chorus and some enthusiastic puppets who each land a role as an animal in the song.  Listeners will be entertained as they hear Laurie Berkner, Lucky Diaz and Secret Agent 23 Skidoo rock out with Aaron and the rest of the children, er I mean animals, to a rendition of Dylan’s “Man Gave Names to all the Animals.”


[Courtesy of YouTube]

Check This Out: Welcome To The Village – Aaron Nigel Smith

“Welcome, we wish you peace. Welcome to the village, share a song with me.” Those few words speak volumes on Aaron Nigel Smith‘s latest release with One World Chorus, Welcome to the Village, where over 300 children sing renditions of songs from greats like Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, The Beatles, Jewel and Louis Armstrong. Incorporating an eclectic mix of reggae, classical, world and american folk music, among others, Welcome to the Village welcomes families into a cultural celebration of love and gratitude for the things we have and the people around us.

Welcome to the Village is Aaron’s first release with the children of One World Chorus, a non-profit organization committed to using music as a mechanism to “build bridges” for children, both in the United States and abroad. Aaron and his wife, Diedre, co-founded the chorus in 2009. Over the course of the last couple of years, Aaron spent time traveling around the U.S. between Portland, Oregon, Los Angeles, New York City and all the way to Nairobi, Kenya where 30 kids from the Cura Orphanage participated in the recording of this album. The Cura Orphanage is a special place that offers residency for children who have lost their parents to AIDS. Proceeds from the sale of Welcome to the Village will be donated to the orphanage in hopes of building sustainable music and programming.

Aaron carries an extensive background in music and movement, which began while he studied and performed with The American Boychoir School at age 11. Seeking out his passion and love for music, Aaron along with his wife Deidre, founded FUNdamentals of Music and Movement in 2002. FUNdamentals of Music and Movement serves as a music program for over 100 early education centers nationwide.

As much as it is quite evident that Aaron is a talented musician and songwriter, he has also done an excellent job of selecting songs for Welcome to the Village. On a couple of the songs, Aaron brought in fellow friends and highly acclaimed kindie artists for some sweet collaborations. Starting with a rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Man Gave Names,” Laurie Berkner, Lucky Diaz and Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, each join in as an animal while adding a touch of their personality to the mix. There’s even perhaps a subtle reference to Blue Bear as Lucky sings “…great big furry back with blue hair.” But the real showstopper is when Skidoo jumps in with a quick lyrical jaunt about a Platypus which blew our minds! This strange creature has been of particular interest to my daughter lately. Prior to hearing this song, and in just a few seconds, Skidoo schooled us with way more eloquence than I could have managed. It’s an exciting and well-thought out rendition of this classic, oft covered song.

“Grateful,” one of the originals on the album, features Dan Zanes. The song will warm your heart with Zanes’ Dylan-esque vocals encouraging us to give our “friends a big hug for all that they provide.” It’s oozing with sincerity and appreciation for the people around us, the beauty of the planet we live on and the air we breathe. The song is a prime example of Aaron’s talent to write and compose a deeply meaningful, authentic song.

But the true authenticity in Welcome to the Village is of course, the voices of the children, including Aaron’s duo with his son Zion on the Beatles’ cover of “Mother Nature’s Son.” In fact, it was Zion’s idea to sing the song and include it on the album. There are also traditional African songs which include rhythmic, multi-layered percussion, signature to the sounds of that culture. It’s actually these songs that my 3-year-old likes the best. Starting with “Fanga Alafia,” Em’s absolute favorite and one that she sings on her own even after the album is over. And, when I don’t sing the correct pronunciation (in her opinion) she is quick to correct me. There is also “Che Che Cole,” a fun call and response song to which Em immediately participates as if she’s part of the chorus, while Aaron calls out and the children respond masterfully. The album ends with a traditional choir song called “Siyahamba” which can be translated into a song about unity and peace.

Other notable songs include a slowed down, Dub style rendition of Jewel’s “Hands,” which features the kids from the orphanage. The song fits in nicely with the sentiment behind Welcome to the Village as it was meant to provide hope in the face of misfortune. The song is led by a female soloist whose voice is similar in pitch and tone to Jewel’s. The hauntingly beautiful rendition brings me chills as I hear the innocence and emotion of the children’s voices. There is also the educational “In A Book,” an educational reggae song written by Aaron, featuring his son Zion, as a soloist, along with the kids from the chorus spelling out words. For example: Aaron: “It’s in a book .” Chorus: “That’s right, a b-o-o-k.” Even if your little one can’t quite spell yet, he or she is given the opportunity to learn while singing along with these simple lyrics.

My personal favorite happens to be “Sound the Trumpet” which features Aaron (and a male vocalist from the chorus) flexing his operatic muscles on this short, classic piece. I pretty much just love to roll my r’s along with the guys and pretend I actually am an opera singer.

Welcome to the Village is a true reflection, regardless of age, who, what or where you are, you can experience and participate in the joy of music. Not to mention children love to hear other children sing and Aaron is no stranger to making quality music for families. In addition to being a father of two sons, who both appear on this album (as soloists and part of the chorus), he has received various parenting awards for his first two releases Let’s Pretend and Everyone Loves to Dance. He has also appeared on the PBS Kids Emmy Award winning show Between the Lions and is featured on several new Music for Little People releases, including Buckwheat Zydeco’s Bayou Boogie, and World Travels.

Music is fulfilling, brings people together and is meant to be shared. This is exactly what Aaron and the children of One World Chorus bring with the release of Welcome to the Village. In Aaron’s words, “When kids sing together, I hope that they enjoy sharing the gift of music and learning a valuable discipline that can be used to promote positive change in the world. It’s great to see the light in kids’ eyes as they realize just how many other kids are participating in the project.”

On this album, it literally took a village and then some, to create this special treasure. So kick off your shoes and stay a while; you won’t be disappointed. Ages 2 – 5 will enjoy learning, singing along and participating in the album.

See below for videos related to the making of Welcome to the Village.  You can learn more about and support One World Chorus here, as well as, the Cura Orphanage Home here.

Digital samples and downloads can be found on Amazon. The album is also available for download and purchase on iTunes.

[Courtesy of YouTube]

Disclosure: I received a copy for possible review and was overjoyed to provide my honest opinion regarding the album.

FREE DOWNLOAD: “Falling” – Joanie Leeds

20120924-224711.jpgAutumn is my favorite season! And, as we just passed the first day of the season, it’s only appropriate that we celebrate with a free download from Joanie Leeds. “Falling” is a celebration of what makes Autumn so special. Leeds grew up Miami and is now living in New York City. As a northerner, Leeds was inspired by the seasonal shift in her surroundings. With a golden tone to her voice, Leeds takes us on a whimsical ride as she falls in love with crackling leaves beneath her feet and the beautiful colors in the trees above her head.

If I were to create a personal soundtrack for Fall, I would want this song playing while running through the leaves and tossing them around with my daughter. It’s just that kind of song.

Grab a free download through the Soundcloud widget below and listen to the song while sipping some apple cider, driving to the pumpkin patch or making pie with the bounty you’ve collected from the orchards.

View this & FREE DOWNLOAD: “Take Me To The City Dump” – Caspar Babypants

A FREE Caspar Babypants download and a new video!

The song, “Take Me To The City Dump” was made in honor of the late J.P. Patches.  J.P. Patches was a very popular clown and star of The J.P. Patches Show, a long-running and very popular Seattle children’s program.  J.P. was a great inspiration for Caspar’s frontman Chris Ballew.  In fact, the song was written by Ballew and performed at J.P’s public memorial service. The song is exclusive to this video and will not be on the new album but hey, anytime we can get our hands on some new Caspar stuff it always brightens our day.

Check out the video below and grab a free download of the song here.

Courtesy of [YouTube]

View This: “Arctic Fox” – Elska

We are currently going through the stage in my daughter’s life where she is afraid of the dark.  So, before she goes to bed, we talk about things that are colorful and bring joy into her life.  Often times, it’s things like  ladybugs, rainbows, flowers, puppies, cookies, lollipops, you get the idea.  Recently, we purchased a wooden dog on wheels from Plan Toys that has been sleeping in her room at night.  We have also  been listening to Elska non-stop.  “Arctic Fox” is one of the songs that really resonates with her.  As a result, she has decided that her new friend is an “Arctic Dog” who will bring her good dreams.

“Arctic Fox,” the second video from Elska, provides us with another clue as to what happens on the Island of Elska.  The video is similar to Elska’s first release “Hiddi Hiddi” except we are introduced to the elusive Arctic Fox who sleeps on her head at night and brings good dreams.  Thanks to Andy Biddle‘s stop-motion animation, the Arctic Fox is brought to life and is just as cuddly as the song makes him out to be.

[Courtesy of YouTube]

Putumayo Kids, LeapFrog and Pictures!

Ok, I admit it, a huge motivation for me to drive 30 minutes and pay close to $40 on admission for our local Children’s Museum is because they have a dance room which plays nothing but Putumayo Kids albums. And even though said museum is a great playground for those that toddle, we spend most of our time movin’ to eclectic compilations as they come to life through surround sound speakers. Of course, trying to catch the moving lights on the floor and sparkles from the disco ball is fun too, but it’s all way more colorful when you are surrounded by world beats.

So, I am pleased to announce that Putumayo Kids is partnering up with LeapFrog and will release 4 of its award-winning full-length Playground CDs exclusively from LeapFrog’s App Center ( for Leapfrog’s LeapPad1 and the recently launched LeapPad2 and LeapsterGS.

Three of the four digital releases, European Playground, Jazz Playground and Cowboy Playground, are now available at the link above. The fourth upcoming release, World Sing-Along, includes two songs featuring Dan Zanes, as well as, Frances England’s “That’s What Friends Are For” (originally featured on the Many Hands: Family Music For Haiti release from Spare the Rock Records).  Children from Pihcintu Multicultural Children’s Choir, which features refugee girls mostly from war-torn regions, will sing “Around the World” to close the album. The release will be made available to the general public on October 30th and through the LeapFrog App Center on November 6th.  You can enjoy a free preview the album through the Bandcamp widget below.

Putumayo World Music will contribute $5,000 from sales of World Sing-Along during the period October 2012 through October 2014 to Population Services Internation (PSI) in support of its Five & Alive® campaign to ensure that all children have a healthy start to life, no matter where they are born. For more information about PSI, please visit

Putumayo is also pleased to offer its first photography calendar, Children of the World, featuring images of children from Africa, Asia and Latin America by renowned photographer Jon Kaplan. Ten percent of Putumayo’s sales of the calendar (available October 1st), will be contributed to Seva (, a nonprofit organization which builds sustainable health programs that serve vulnerable populations around the world and help end preventable blindness, that has restored eyesight to more than 3 million people.

Interview: Chat with Raul Pacheco (Ozomatli & OzoKidz)

For 18 years Ozomatli has made quite an impact on the world, gaining much notoriety for their outspoken and passionate political views. Starting from the Peace and Justice Center in Los Angeles, where they began jamming together, the band was quickly recognized and in 2007 they were invited by the U.S. State Department to serve as official Cultural Ambassadors on a series of government-sponsored international tours to Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. Additionally, in 2010 the City of Los Angeles officially made April 23rd “Ozomatli Day,” based upon the band’s efforts for and in support of the city.

Throughout their career, Ozomatli has primarily been blasting out hits for adults and has accumulated quite a fan base over the years. However, about a year ago they decided to put their artistic efforts into creating a full length kids album under the moniker of OzoKidz. Ozokidz still contains the signature cacophony of sound that is part of what makes Ozomatli so thrilling to listen to. You can’t help but be drawn into a dance-induced stupor while moving your body to the hypnotic sounds produced by the 7-piece band.

The careful construction and work put into the album is impressive. Many of the songs contain lyrics aimed at educating kids and prompting intellectual conversations about things like photosynthesis, germs, spelling and planets. It’s been such a pleasure enjoying music with my daughter by a band I have been a fan of for many years. It’s pretty wacky that a band I used to listen to in my “youth” is now making music for an even younger generation. This is a beautiful thing, sure to benefit kids for years to come. Listening to OzoKidz is like listening to a non-stop musical party.

I am pleased to present a conversation I had with Raul Pacheco (Electric guitar, Tres, Jarana, Lead vocals, Background vocals) about the record.

See below for details on where to pre-order your copy of OzoKidz, a sample clip and download for “Balloon Fest” and some information on getting a super special OzoKidz chalk box!

: On the OzoKidz album what song(s) is your voice most prominent on?
Raul: “Balloon Fest” and “Sun and Moon” is me. I also sing the chorus on “Let’s Go To The Movies.”

KCG: Were you guys thinking of targeting a specific age range for OzoKidz?
Raul: I think…under 10. I mean, I think we were really thinking something meaningful like that. Appealing to bodies that are not afraid to act silly, kinda vibe.

KCG: Older kids are probably either listening to Ozomatli or influenced by peers or songs on the radio.
Raul: Yep, definitely.

KCG: I was watching the Summit 11 video that you guys did and some questions relating to OzoKidz popped up for me. You guys have always had an active voice in politics. With regard to OzoKidz, it’s juvenile, very light-hearted and exciting. It seems to really appeal to kids in your targeted age range. Have you thought about supporting causes for kids as OzoKidz?
Raul: Definitely. We have before and we’ll probably continue to do that. Regardless of this CD I mean we’re always doin’ stuff for young people. We support alot of music in our programs in Los Angeles and also in other parts of the country.

KCG: What about things like bullying or guns? Now that you’re doing kids’ albums, is there something that you would think about in terms of representing through song, with regard to bullying or guns or acceptance in terms of cultural or ethnic diversity?
Ra: I think we’d be all for it. When making this music, we weren’t specifically thinking about what causes we would get into. I think we were thinking about making kids music. I think we have a reputation of supporting kind of proactive organizations, highlighting issues that are important to us. I don’t think that would change and I think that this does offer another opportunity for that. But, we haven’t done anything specifically in regards to this CD.

KCG: In your opinion, what is kids music?
Raul: I think it’s music that has kind of a more innocent, lighter, celebratory tone. That’s not every kids life, but I think with the music we were trying to make, it was really about introduction to some ideas that we talk about in the songs. Some ideas of nature, some ideas of conservation, some ideas of health. And some of it’s also just things that resonate with young people. Certain things they can be involved in or like. So when you say what is kids music, to us I think it’s a sound. There’s a traditional kids’ market — which we found out about as we were doing this. We wanted to make it a little more detailed. Essentially we just didn’t want it to be for kids. We wanted parents to enjoy it with their children.

KCG: I think you accomplished that, definitely.

KCG: How long did it take you guys to write the OzoKidz album once you realized it was an idea you’d like to pursue?
Raul: I mean it took us a long time because we were doing it while we were doing other things. So, I think over a year. Around the period of the year…we would work on it alot for a few months, leave it alone and then we’d get back to it. I think it always takes a bit longer to make recordings because we’re always working. So yeah, it happened over a year.

KCG: You guys have done work in an orphanage and for blind kids. During the time that you have done things abroad in the presence of children, had it occurred to you to do something like OzoKidz?
Raul: No, I think it was just an idea that came out of our own, ya know, the passing of time. We’ve been around for 18 years so we ourselves have children and alot of our fans have children. And it kept coming up for people. So it was like “oh well would we even venture to do this?” I think when the idea first came up, people weren’t necessarily into it. But as we thought about it a little bit more people thought is this something that we can pull off and have it be cool and not have it be corny, and could we separate OzoKidz as its own entity away from Ozomatli enough so they don’t overlap. We don’t want them overlapping. We really want a distinct experience with the music and the shows. They’re very different in what they’re geared toward. Once we got over the idea that just because it was a little different or whatever fears we might of had about it being corny, or whatever, we were able to dig in and really make a solid kids album. Like if we were going to do it, let’s make a really good one and we feel pretty proud about it, actually.

KCG: You guys did a really nice job with it. You stayed true to the Ozomatli sound. But then listening to the words I was struck by how detailed you get in the songs. You actually drop some science in some of the songs.
Raul: Yeah!

KCG: Clearly you thought out some of the songs like Germs and Trees and even Sun and Moon. The Tree Song is definitely like wow, you know you go from the seed and even mention photosynthesis. That to me was a nice surprise. And then there’s “Germs” which my daughter seems to be really concerned about these days, especially when it comes to brushing her teeth. Let’s start with “Germs” in particular. You guys go through germs in your body, you go through bacteria in medicine, and you really get deep into the details of it all. How did that come about? Did you do research?

Raul: What was really helpful in that is that we had done these kid songs for PBS Kids first. And they were super adamant about the lyrics. We had to keep it simple but creative, informative. I mean they’re really coming from an educational perspective. And these guys have been doing it for years. It’s their careers, they make kids media for PBS. And PBS has to have a little bit more of an educational purpose in it. So, from that experience we really took that and put that into some of these songs. Like, how to really make a list of things and really put them in a way that was clever but not too petty; enough information where you’re being challenged but not too much information where you’re just overwhelmed. So I think with a few of those we did a pretty good job of really having that balance so that anybody listening to the song can have some kind of relationship to it. If it’s the kid, if it’s their parent. It could be a conversation piece. And musically, they’re all different styles and so there could even be a conversation piece about that. But I think it’s like getting young people to have discussions about it and young people with older people, ya know, who are their teachers or who are their parents can kind of be able to have this shared experience on this music and on these subjects. So I think this experience before of writing songs for PBS in hindsight, was really helpful.

KCG: Typically with Ozomatli there is alot of Spanish. With the OzoKidz album there is some Spanish weaved into certain songs and then there’s Changito. Did you think about balancing Spanish and English for this album?
Raul: Yeah we did, we thought about it. There were some Spanish songs that didn’t make it in the final cut, because I just think that those songs weren’t as good. And I don’t think it has anything to do with the language. It’s just those particular songs were not as well rounded and they just weren’t as good songs. For me, I wish there were more but it’s not the way it came out and, at some point, we just let it go.

KCG: How many people contributed to the writing process on this album?
Raul: Ya know, I think it’s the same way for all of us. Some songs are all of us, some songs are just a few of us. It’s never really like either or. Sometimes it might be one person really spearheading it. Sometimes it’s everyone taking a piece and contributing. It really varies.

KCG: Does the music come first and then the words? Is there a method to the writing?
Raul: There’s no method. I prefer that. There’s no method. Just whatever comes out. We start to gravitate towards what moves everybody.

KCG: Do you have a personal favorite on the album?
Raul: I guess like with all our music, I go through phases. So, on this one…I think the ones you mentioned, “Trees” and “Germs.” I like to play “Germs,” it’s fun. And even though I sing “Balloon Fest,” that was alot of fun to play too. They’re funny, ya know? When you’re singing with these little kids, they’re just staring up at you wondering like “what’s all going down.”

KCG: But it’s so authentic. Kids are pretty honest and you can tell right away if they’re getting into it.
Raul: You have to be better at reading. Cause they get bored quick. When you perform, it’s like you have to be really engaged with them. Our shows are not more than 40 minutes long. But overall the shows are alot of fun.

KCG: I can tell you that my daughter loves Moose on the Loose. When we got the album, she was dancing so hard that I think we only got as far as “Exercise” before she had to stop dancing because she was sweating and exhausted. There is just no other way to enjoy OzoKidz. When you put the album on, it’s nothing but a party. You’re just gonna dance and move your body and get into it.

KCG: Were you influenced by other kindie bands or had you done any research into what other kids’ musicians were doing?
Raul: I think we did it more like finding out if this was even viable for us to do. And then our manager researched it and said “yeah, there was a whole bunch of people doing this.” And we heard some music just to kinda get an idea and then I think part of our own competitiveness was like “Oh we could do this, we could do a good job at this, actually.” When you’re around for as long as we are, we try to do some things that we’ve never done before. And this was alot of fun. I think one of the things is that there wasn’t as much pressure we would put on ourselves as we would with an adult Ozomatli record. So I think there is something that we definitely walked away with from this process that we’ll be bringing back into our own music.

KCG: Did you learn something about yourself that you hadn’t felt or noticed making adult records that you could take back to your work as Ozomatli?
Raul: I think that sometimes we have a constricted view of what we can be as a band. Part of that is practical because you don’t want to alienate the fans you already have. It’s like a business. Part of it is constricting though, also. My particular idea is that I always wanna do stuff different. I don’t particularly want to be bound by our history. But, you know, you are on certain levels. You know people expect something from you. And when you don’t do that, it’s like “oh they’re not the same band.” Well, I aways try to remind people we’ve never been the same band. Like whatever vision you have of us in your head, is really your own. Our first record is very different from the next one, which is very different from the next one, which is very different from the next ones, and so on and so on. We’re all the same people playing on them. I find my own artistic life more interesting to push those boundaries as much as possible. I mean we’re writing music now for an adult record which sounds very different from the ones we’ve done before, and it scares some people and some people really like it. So, who knows what it will be in the end. But, I as a musician, I prefer that. I prefer kinda going through these places that are different for us. And I think the kids record was actually that also. There were some of us that just didn’t wanna do this and it’s like “Why what is this about?” and they sit around and talk about it and you know, you kinda have discussions, then all of a sudden the group seemed to be open to it and then that’s cool. So it’s just another shift; it’s something new. And I think once you commit to doing it, there’s already good value. So overall, like I said, I’ve been really happy with it and people seemed to really like it, which ultimately is what is important.

KCG: Are there still more OzoKidz songs out there that didn’t make it to this album?
Raul: Yeah! Yeah, there are! You know when we write, we write a bunch of songs — and so I have a feeling we are going to do another one, I just don’t know when. But, I’m sure there’s gonna be some more songs coming out.

KCG: Do you think that you’ll play some of those at live shows?
Raul: We really separate these songs from our adult stuff. All the songs on that are on the CD we’ll play at the OzoKidz show, but you won’t hear some of those songs at one of our adult shows. That could always change, but that’s the way it is right now.

KCG: Did you test out OzoKidz on any kids before releasing it? Like your own kids, for example.
Raul: No. I mean there are some songs that we played at kids shows before the CD came out but no we just kinda went for it.

KCG: Do you happen to have a message to kids listening to this CD or anything that you want to say to your audience or their parents?
Raul: It’s really for the kids. Ya know, it’s just really for the kids. And I would say to turn it up really loud and dance all around your house.

KCG: And that’s what I would say as well.

KCG: “Sun and Moon” reminds me of a Yo Gabba Gabba song. Have you considered appearing on Yo Gabba Gabba or have you been asked to work with them?
Raul: We’ve played their live shows in California. We’ve been Super Music Friends on their live shows, which are huge, it’s crazy.

KCG: So, on a more personal level. Are you still dancing to the Jackson 5?
Raul: Oh yeah. I used to get money from the neighbors to show up at parties and then get down. I’d walk out with 5 bucks in quarters and then take it to the store.

KCG: Do you still do that?
Raul: Not for money. But I’d still do it. I heard Jackson 5 the other day. It was rockin’.

KCG: Jackson 5 is classic.
Raul: It’s good stuff.

KCG: Well, Raul, thank you for your time. It’s been a pleasure and we look forward to the official release.
Raul: Thank you

OzoKidz is currently available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon and will be officially released on September 25. You can also listen to digital samples from Amazon.

As a bonus, if you purchase the Ozokidz album at participating independent stores, you will receive a FREE Ozokidz chalk box that includes a link to the bonus track, “Vamos A Cantar.” What’s more exciting is that you’ll be able to participate in the Ozokidz Chalk art contests. All you have to do is recreate the Ozokidz album cover art on your driveway or sidewalk. For the bonus prize, you can create a visual representation of the bonus track “Vamos A Cantar,” using the Ozokidz chalk, send in photos of your artwork and they’ll pick the best ones. Winners will receive an Ozokidz prize pack! Send photos to When sending photos, please include the Ozokidz chalk box in the photo. For a list of participating independent stores click here.

You can enjoy a sample download from the album called “Balloon Fest” below.

Sneak Preview: Blue Clouds – Elizabeth Mitchell and You Are My Flower

Elizabeth Mitchell is on a roll, just coming off of a tribute to Woody Guthrie, and now with an upcoming release in October called “Blue Clouds.”

“Blue Clouds” is another Smithsonian Folkways release and it is sure to be yet another beautifully arranged album.  With some originals, renditions of traditional songs and covers from David Bowie, Van Morrison and even Jimi Hendrix I’d say we’re in for a treat.

Below is a sneak preview of a few songs from the album, which includes the Bowie cover “Kooks”, a rendition of “Froggie Went-A-Courtin” and the title track “Blue Clouds,” a lullaby written by Daniel Littleton (Mitchell’s husband) for their daughter Storey when she was 3 years old.

Sneak Preview – Listen to Selections from Blue Clouds

View This: “Bikeride” – Vered

“Bikeride” is a sweet little video from Vered‘s album “Good Morning My Love.”  It was this album that won Vered the 2012 Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning CD.  A remastered version of “Good Morning My Love” will be released this October.

Beyond being a composer, performer and mother of two young sons,Vered is a music therapist who has pursued advanced studies in clinical psychology and has put her extensive training to good use, leading more than fifty parent/baby workshops each year. For ten years she devoted days to her studies and clinical practice, while singing by night.  Her beautiful voice has been compared to Norah Jones.

Vered’s main goal is to give parents tools to use music in order to connect and communicate better with their baby. She aims to help parents become aware of the use of rhythm and its benefits, certain vowel sounds and vibrations, the use of music to establish routine, to play, and to soothe.

In her own words:

“I am a music therapist with an MA in music therapy from NYU and then I went on to study clinical psychology at City College in NY where I got my MA. My BA isalso from NYU in music and philosophy. I am particularly interested in merging theory from music therapy with theory from attachment research. My main goal is to give parents tools to use music in order to connect and communicate better with their baby. I help parents become aware of the use of rhythm and its benefits, certain vowel sounds and vibrations, the use of music to establish routine, to play, and to soothe.

Music therapy teaches how to use music to communicate in a way that bypasses intellect, and that originates in different parts of our brain than language. Attachment research teaches the benefits of consistency, attentiveness and engagement for a healthy relationship between parent and baby and the healthy development of the baby. My goal is to bridge the two disciplines.”

We introduced music to Em in her infancy and she would kick and squawk and coo with certain changes in inflection or tone in a song.  Even when we read “Brown Bear Brown Bear” by Eric Carle we noticed that she would anticipate the next part simply because of the repetition and rhythm of the story, as well as, the pitch and tonal changes in our voices.

In her video for “Bikeride” you will see just how enjoyable music and movement can be for both mom and baby.  It’s a delight to watch Vered and her baby going through the physical motions of pedaling and a swimming in this video.  It’s sure to bring delight to new parents.  Even my 3.5 year old gets a kick out of playing this game.  And the fact that she can sing along with me now makes it even sweeter.