Changing the Grammys, Making History
For the first time, all five nominated acts for the 2022 Grammy Award for Best Children’s Music Album are led or co-led by artists of color. This was not an accident.
Let’s Write Universal Suffrage Songs With Children
It’s clear that being disenfranchised is harmful to individuals and groups, so after four years of reading deeply and widely, I believe that age need not and must not be a disqualifier.
Amplifying Black Voices in the Classroom
“It’s late but it’s not too late.” That is what I found myself saying when I was leading the last day of Zoom assembly for my school this past spring. We had decided to celebrate Juneteenth. A student asked a great question: “Why did they wait until now to make Juneteenth a federal holiday?”
Thinking Like a Business: Creating Your Business Plan
“I just don’t have a business mind.” Why is it a common refrain for folks like us at CMN to feel they don’t have the right mind for business? I’m here to tell you: You do.
Black to the Future With Pierce Freelon
What inspires me the most about Pierce is that in every aspect of his work, he looks toward the future and works toward building positive spaces for all kids, especially creative Black youth. Yet he is also so clearly inspired by his own roots: his ancestors, his history, and his community.
Third-Grade Advocacy Songwriting? Yes We Can!
The school listened while many children of color expressed their discomfort with some of the high school curriculum and literature choices and described a lack of responsiveness and sensitivity they perceive from some faculty and peers.
2021 PIO! Scholars Award
The Pass It On! Scholars Award is given each fall to a high school senior, university, or college student. This year we selected two winners out of our talented pool of applicants.
Being Apart, Singing Together
We have recently passed the first anniversary of the pandemic shutdown. At the time, we really thought we’d be back on track in a few weeks, but then the days started to accumulate.
What happens to my music if I am no longer here to sing it? It’s a question for children’s musicians of all ages.
Making Friends With the Elephant in the Room, Part II
One thing I have learned is that educators (myself included) fall prey to many “multicultural” songs and stories that are attributed to a long-ago tribe or ancient storyteller. The intention is good, but the impact may not be helpful.
Where Does Music Reside in the Brain?
As educators and performers, we know that music is a special activity that uniquely connects language, movement, physical senses, emotions, and memory. Each of these functions is centered in different areas of the brain.
The Measure of Success
At the end of each year, I take an account of my own accomplishments. Before I examined it more closely, I felt 2020 had been a complete disaster.
Candles, Salsa, and Song: Sharing Music in Kenosha
What would it be like in our classrooms if we encouraged children to keep developing their innate songwriting ability, just as we encourage other forms of writing?
Making Friends With the Elephant in the Room, Part 1
My graduate school professor casually mentioned that “Five Little Monkeys” and “Miss Mary Mack” were among many children’s songs and rhymes with a racist background. At first, I thought I had misheard her.
Grieving Together in These Times
How can we acknowledge and care for these members of our community in an appropriate way during a time of such personal loss? I have been asking myself questions about grief all summer.
Everything’s a Song: A Conversation With Lea Morris
Lea and I spoke via Zoom (how else?) about the ingenuity and creativity that arises in this time of restriction, about kids and their gifts, and the intertwining of music and spirituality.
Radio Active Life
When I began producing my kids’ music radio show, Radio Active Kids, four years ago, I had no idea quite what I was getting into. I knew that kids’ music had made a positive impact on my life and that I wanted to share that positivity with others.
Because of Fred Rogers
It still hurts to think about Fred Rogers. It’s been seventeen years since his passing, and the thought of him still brings tears to my eyes.
Music in the Time of Corona
As waves of school closings and concert cancellations swept the nation this past March, the CMN member listserv lit up with urgent questions about What to Do. Of course, the community responded by discovering ways to exploit technology and ingenuity so they could temporarily replace the irreplaceable experience of live music making.
Publishing Your Picture Book
Like many educators and artists, I’ve had a few ideas for picture books kicking around in my head for years. I suppose it’s inevitable. This past fall I finally decided to make my long-ignored dreams of authorship a reality.
The Kindness of Sanctuary
We measure our lives through the people we encounter as we make our way. The friendships and personal connections we make are really what gives meaning to our lives.
Social Justice Music For Kids
When Pete Seeger was blacklisted in the 1950s, he was no longer allowed to perform in the kind of venues in which he and the Weavers had been appearing. He discovered a new network of places flying under the radar and brought his music to those schools, summer camps, church basements, synagogues, and more. In the process, he inadvertently created a new career path
Music That Makes Change
Social issues, such as gender identity and racism, are influencing children’s music. This article is about creative ways that two groups of performers address social issues to bring positive change to children’s lives, and to the lives of adults.
A Visit to the Musical Instrument Museum
In a world divided by ethnicity, religion, politics, and so much more, the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix is a strong reminder of the cultural ties that bind us.
In Memoriam: Sol Weber
Longtime CMN member and beloved friend Sol Weber passed away on June 26, 2019, at the age of eighty-five. Sol was best known for his rounds collection, earning him the nickname “Roundman.”
Music, Story, Activism: An Interview With Nancy Schimmel
Planting Seeds of Love in South Sudan
In Demand: Music Specialist for Children With Special Needs
Our Human Legacy: Enhancing Seven Generations
Singing New Stories
The Many Faces of Facebook Groups
Wonder and Surprise
Songwriting Geeks Love Critiques
Make a Rainbow: Musicians of Color Reflect on the World of Children’s Music
Free Music Lessons: Building Community on the Streets
Finding Friends in Many Languages, Thanks to John Taylor
Resources For Renewal, Part III
Stay Awake: Reflections on the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Workshop
Open the Circle
Rituals and Rhythms, Part II
Making Your Audience Part of the Show
Cultivate Our Humanness
Where Music Makes a Difference: An Interview With Kim and Reggie Harris
Walking Each Other Home: Threshold Choir
Doing the Hambone
An Interview With Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates
Seeing Through Music, Part II
Technology Tips & Tricks
The Transition Train
Rituals and Rhythms, Part I
Bringing History to Life in Song
Seeing Through Music: Songwriting at the Maryland School for the Blind
All Around This World
Music With Children Who Have Experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)
I Love My Fluke
Ten Things I Love About You, Kulele
In Search of the Wild Ukulele
We Are All Connected
Passionate People Inspire Extraordinary Songs, Part II
Framing Our Songs
Sally Rogers: No Time to Feel Hopeless
Make a Joyful Noise (More Quietly)
Pounding for Peace
Sharing a New Song
And Peace Runs Through It: From Peace Resources to the CMN Song Library
Resources for Renewal: Part II
Ten Top Performing Tips
Passionate People Inspire Extraordinary Songs, Part I
Safe Spaces for the Audience, the Song, and the Performer
A Musical Pilgrimage: Six Countries, Eight Months, and a Song
Medicine of Music: The Songs of Love Foundation
Everybody Wins! TAFFY PRESENTS Brings Song, and More, to Underserved Families
Resources for Renewal
The Gift of Your Honest Self: An Interview with Fred Rogers
Melanie DeMore: Music as Community Connector and Food for the Soul
The Social Media Monster
In Praise of Organization
Teaching Fourth and Fifth Grade Music, Part II
Rules for Breaking Rules
A Key to the Story Vault
Culture, Connection, & the Magic of Music: An Interview With José-Luis Orozco
Creating Safe Musical Spaces, Part II: Building Inclusive Communities Through the Arts
Can You Stop the Birds From Singing?: The Afghan Children’s Songbook & the Power of Music
Choruses and Song Swaps: A Way to Bring Singing Into Our Communities
Walking the Talk: You Just Have to Have a Big Heart: An Interview With Judith Cook Tucker
Adventures in YouTubing
Music and Sounds From Around the World
Teaching Fourth and Fifth Grade Music
Building CMN: Preserving the History of the Early Years
An Interview with Frankie and Doug Quimby: The Georgia Sea Island Singers
Bedside Bridges: Earning My Bronx Cheer
Creating Safe Musical Spaces: Teaching and Performing for Integrated Audiences
Music and Inclusion: Building a Vision Through Song
Reuse, Recycle, Rejoice
An Interview With Lisa Yannucci
Building Bridges from School to Home
Hearts and Voices of the Pihcintu Chorus
Ten Lessons I Learned About Collaboration
How We Do What We Do
A Conversation With Stuart Stotts
Resources for Teaching the Music of Native American Peoples
Sharing Our Strengths: The CMN Song Library
Brave New World: Twitter for Children's Musicians
Seeking Out the Real Roots
A Continuing Song: Notes on the Life of Ruth Crawford Seeger
An Interview With Katie Wardrobe
In Tune With Babies
Passing On the Love of Music
Strive to Surprise
The Unseen Children's Music Side of an Award-Winning Career
Haunted House: A Guided Exploration
Multigenerational Music Making
Tapping Into Musical Power
Song > Lyric + Melody
Sharing a Musical Vision of Humanity: An Interview with Ruth Pelham
In Memory of Faith Petric
Music—the Universal Language
Farewell and Best Wishes to Jan Graves
A World Class Boys Choir
The Most Amazing Musical Instruments
Break the Barrier
Living in Dynamic Mode