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Our Collection of Children's Songs


Learn with Music

Playing with Music at Home: Tips to explore music and connect it to children's learning

10 Ways Babies Learn When We Sing to Them: Listening skills, new words, and so much more

 

Featured Artists and Songs

We're excited to feature a small selection of songs from We Stood Up: Reflections on the Civil Rights Movement. The songs we selected highlight the importance of love, the value of education, and lyrics to inspire children to believe they can achieve great things in their own lives! For ideas on honoring social struggle with young children see this excerpt from Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olson Edwards. The full collection and an accompanying guide for teachers is intended for teachers of children grades 3 and up, and is available for free download for teachers and libraries!

Love

Rodney Whittenberg featuring Palatine

 
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About your song (e.g., any unique instruments used, the origins of the lyrics, what inspired you, etc.):

The song is an homage to the protest songs of the early 60s. It's inspired by a story that congressman John Lewis shared with me about how he prepared for the march from Selma, Alabama. He shared that he gained strength to remain strong during that time through love. The lyrics were an answer to my own struggles with coping with fear or anger - take it and turn it into love.

I really wanted thing song to be simple and easy to sing, yet would carry the weight of the words. The music features just acoustic guitar and voices - a contrast to the other songs on We Stood Up.

What you hope children & families will get from this song: I hope families can draw strength from the song and use it as a reminder that when times are hard, love can help you through it. Love takes an unbelieveable amount of strength and it's a practice and discipline, not just a feeling or emotion.

https://soundcloud.com/user-774801037/13-love-song

Education

Rodney Whittenberg: featuring Palatine, Shirley Franklin, John Lewis, and Dr. Bernard C. Watson, The Sprout U School of the Arts Choir

 
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About your song (e.g., any unique instruments used, the origins of the lyrics, what inspired you, etc.):  

This song was so much fun to write, produce and record. I had a feeling that children featured on the song would listen to it and be excited to sign out the words "EDUCATION!", and I was right! They picked up on the message and the fun groove of the music and you can hear their passion in the song.  I love how the samples of the civil rights leaders make up the verses!

What you hope children & families will get from this song: There was one common thread that connected civil rights icons John Lewis, Shirley Franklin, Julian Bond, and Andrew Young together, and that was their thirst and dedication for learning. I hope children will always be reminded that if there something they cant figure out - a challenge or a difficulty in their lives - they they'll do what the song says - "ask a teacher or read a book or two" and together they can figure out what to do.

https://soundcloud.com/user-774801037/32-education-song 

We Stood Up

Rodney Whittenberg featuring Palatine and Mr. Cookie Jar

 
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Tell us about this album: We Stood Up is an anthology album for kids about the Civil Rights Movement, featuring hopeful messages about freedom, opportunity and equality, the enduring issues that the civil rights leaders fought so valiantly for.

About your song (e.g., any unique instruments used, the origins of the lyrics, what inspired you, etc.): This song was inspired by my research on the civil rights era and features many different singers and friends. It's a funky jam with a little bit of rock thrown in. While recording, it became everyone's favorite song, so we decided to name the whole album after the song!

What you hope children & families will get from this song: I hope children will be be inspired by the song and always be reminded that it only takes a small group of committed people to accomplish something positive. Though we all struggle and have hard times, I hope families remember that we can always be there to help others.

https://soundcloud.com/user-774801037/20we-stood-up-song

I-M-A-G-I-N-A-T-I-O-N

Walter Martin

 
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Tell us about your music:

I write music that tells stories. Some stories are from my life and some are imagined. Either way, they are designed to entertain people and make people feel good.

About your song (e.g., any unique instruments used, the origins of the lyrics, what inspired you, etc.):

I-M-A-G-I-N-A-T-I-O-N is about the power of one's imagination. The second verse is about is about a dad singing to a kid as he falls asleep. The dad in the story, like most dads, doesn't have a great voice but the kid feels a warmth in his voice that he loves. But essentially the song is a celebration of creativity (and of making fun of your dad's singing voice).

What you hope children & families will get from this song:

I hope the song will spark a creative feeling in kids. I hope they will listen to the words and picture the images in their heads. I got the idea for the bell-chime solo from a 1920's carousel near my house in Brooklyn and approximated the sound by hitting a glockenspiel with metal butter knives. To me that sound has a magical feeling of innocence and joy. I try to capture that feeling through different means in loads of my songs (not always with butter knives).

Photo © Tom Allen

 waltermartinmusic.com

Magic Elevator

Hot Peas 'N Butter

 
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Tell us about your music:

We make world music for families. We love to use instruments from around the globe and to sing in different languages. A lot of our songs are in Spanish and English and use Afro-Caribbean rhythms as well as other traditional rhythms.

About your song (e.g., any unique instruments used, the origins of the lyrics, what inspired you, etc.):

Magic Elevator is a song that comes from dreams of flying and transporting ourselves anywhere we want to be in a flash! Why take a boring old elevator that only goes up and down when you can be in one that goes every which way? And besides, as the song says, “YOU ARE THE NAVIGATOR!” so this elevator will follow your directions and you follow your dreams ;)

What you hope children & families will get from this song:

We hope anyone who listens to Magic Elevator will feel that there are no barriers, walls, or other obstacles that should stop you from following your dreams getting where you want to go. Be the Magic Elevator for yourself!

Photo © Danny Lapidus  

http://hotpeasnbutter.com/

Dream Too Much

Amy Lee

 
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Tell us about your music:

This album represents a connection to my having a son, being a mother and reconnecting with old own childhood. My 2-year old son Jack was my test audience for these songs. After first recording them, I’d bring them down to him, and we’d listen together. It’s been really fun because a big part of the creative process has been observing his interests, spinning them into songs, and watching this reaction.

About your song (e.g., any unique instruments used, the origins of the lyrics, what inspired you, etc.):

The song literally came from Jack’s words. I was sitting down with a guitar and he was just making these weird combinations of words and phrases like, “monkey in the band” = which became the first line of the song. Then, “muffins are sleeping.” All of this creative nonsense that he really said. It’s been so cool to watch him imagine something, hear it back as a song, and then get to see it visually.

What you hope children & families will get from this song:

I want to inspire both children and adults to dream big.

Photo © Drew Reynolds  

www.amazon.com/dreamtoomuch