• Understanding Sensory Overload in Our Music Spaces

    My son was my first introduction to sensory processing disorder (SPD), as most people with autism also have SPD. Educating myself about this phenomenon, I discovered not only how to help my son but also how to help many of my students who had unusual behavior. All this led me to understand more about the invisible barriers to learning that so many of our students grapple with.

  • Strawbitty Yops: Nurturing Young Hearts Through the Power of Children’s Music

    As a children’s music performer, I aim to create a fun, engaging, and educational experience for young audiences. Children’s music is a powerful tool that can be used to inspire children, igniting their imaginations and fostering their love for music.

  • Becoming Mirror Makers

    If you’ve spent much time around children’s writers, educators, and librarians, you may have heard us talking about mirror books. That’s not just because we’re all big Lewis Carroll fans. Some books, when viewed by the right person, in the right lighting conditions, and from the right angle, can reflect our own experiences back at us.

  • Read and Sing: An Annotated, Recommended Book List

    I have always loved to read books to children and to sing with them. What could be better than putting the two together? Combining singing or music with the written word is so good for young brains and is so much fun!

  • In Memoriam: Patty Zeitlin

    Throughout all the years I have composed and performed for young children, I have been fortunate to have been influenced and mentored by some brilliant songwriters. One of the most inspiring was my longtime friend, the author, playwright, songsmith, and early childhood icon, Patty Zeitlin.

  • In Memoriam: Uncle Ruthie Buell

    Uncle Ruthie Buell and I were pals. We went out to movies and meals, cooked each other lunch, fed the ducks at the park, and most gloriously, exchanged songs at her piano. I sang one for every ten by her—she was hard to stop once she got going, and I did not want her to stop!

  • Music That Heals: An Interview With Stephen Wandu Bimo

    Stephen Wandu Bimo is a musician, artist, student, activist, administrator, and powerful force for good in the lives of refugee children and families. His primary work with displaced people is in the Bidibidi Refugee Settlement in Uganda, where refugees escaping the conflict in South Sudan find shelter, food, and other resources.

  • Reflections on CMN’s DEI Process

    In 2022, CMN began a process of reckoning with the need for greater attention to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the organization. Three members share their reflections on this groundbreaking process.

  • Yeast to Make the Bread Rise

    Folklorists, moldy or not, are watchers; their passion is to observe what people actually do and say, and then to think about it. And they often get particularly interested in those things people do and say that have lasted a long time through many, many repetitions and perhaps become anonymous.

  • Land Acknowledgements and Beyond

    Territory acknowledgement is a way that people insert an awareness of Indigenous presence and land rights in everyday life. All settlers, including recent arrivants, have a responsibility to consider what it means to acknowledge the history and legacy of colonialism.

  • A Place to Grow

    I wasn’t so much drawn to the Children’s Music Network as I was born into it. I know that music has a powerful positive effect on the lives of children because I’ve watched my father bring joy to children and families at his shows for my entire life.

  • Strengthening K’é: An Interview With Radmilla Cody

    Radmilla Cody is an award-winning international performer, activist, and advocate of Diné/Navajo and Nahiłií/African American descent. A former Miss Navajo Nation, Radmilla is passionate about her activism, including bringing awareness to teen dating violence and strengthening k’é/kinship with all oppressed relatives.

  • Had to Stand Up: Using Song to Teach Social Justice

    Julie Be and Mara Sapon-Shevin share the story of their collaboration on the discussion guide for “Had to Stand Up” and how they have applied it to their work with children.

  • Kaleidoscope of Melodies: The CMN 2022 Annual International Conference

    “Reflecting on this year’s theme, I get excited about the beautiful kaleidoscope of colors we will bring to our Annual Conference this September—each of our own unique gifts merging together to form something beautiful.”

  • 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.

  • Archive Alive

    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.”

Fall 2019

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

Ah-Ha! Songs

Spring 2019

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

Fall 2018

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


Spring 2018

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

Fall 2017

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

Padlet Power

Culture Bearer

Ten Top Performing Tips

Passionate People Inspire Extraordi­nary Songs, Part I

Safe Spaces for the Audience, the Song, and the Performer

Spring 2017

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

Sock Talk!

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

Fall 2016

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

Advanced Zippering

Skin Color

Spring 2016

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

Fall 2015

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

Spring 2015

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

Gun Control

Fall 2014

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