Compiled by Barbara Rice
Note: These descriptions of new releases are sent in by the CMN members mentioned, but they may have been edited by Pass It On! staff for style, consistency, or length. The materials have not been reviewed. In addition to the sources listed, many recordings are available at local independent children’s book and record stores.
Albert’s New Friendly Everyday Song
Everyone and anyone who enjoys listening to beautiful and foot-tapping music will enjoy this audiobook, an audio story in the form of old-fashioned storytelling that sneaks a musical education in the background. The engaging story encourages discussion about why music makes us feel so good, giving children the opportunity to enrich their lives through the understanding of sounds of music and orchestral instruments. Suitable for children ages 3–7 years, Albert’s New Friendly Everyday Song covers some essentials of musical instruments and basic sounds, as in low-high, fast-slow, loud-soft sounds. It is one of three award-winning audio books produced for parents, children and teachers specifically for children’s music education.
All children’s audio books by Chrissy Tetley are available through Audible.com, iTunes, and Amazon.
The Eensy Weensy CD of Little Fingerplays
Fingers are portable puppets that can be flowers, fish, pussycats, or even teacups, and fingerplays tell stories that offer opportunities for enriching vocabulary, speech, and fine motor skills. They are fun to do alone or with a friend, and a special intimate part of an early childhood music class. The Eensy Weensy CD of Little Fingerplays (formerly The Eensy Weensy Book of Little Fingerplays, with CD) is a collection of new and traditional songs and rhymes for early childhood, produced by Ken Whiteley and Merriweather Records. Eighteen tracks include old favorites such as “Here is the Beehive” and “This Little Piggy Went to Market” alongside original fingerplays like “Ten Little Bats” and “The Wise Mother Duck,” and some traditional rhymes with new tunes added, such as “I Shut the Door” and “This is the Baby.” Teachers, caregivers, parents, and children will enjoy listening and following along with the lyrics and suggested actions in the illustrated booklet.
The CD is available at CD Baby (disc and digital versions), Merriweather Records, and www.debbiecarroll.com.
Don Jordan and the Nutshell Playhouse Band
The Nutshell Playhouse Band invites young people to tap into their imaginations and enter a world of fantasy, a place where the regular laws of nature are suspended and where anything can happen. Collected from Nutshell Playhouse theater performances, these lively and tuneful songs will get the whole family singing along and even making up verses of their own. Meet the Snoof—a detective who uses his five senses to find anything, even if it isn’t there; the Ductionary—the duck who knows every word in the English language; and Taco Caramba—the fiercest pirate-parrot ever to fly the seven seas. Learn to talk “pirate” and dance with a clown.
Available on iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon. Price: $9.99.
Find out more on our website: www.donsongs.org.
We’re All Born Singing
Elise celebrates her 12th studio album of original songs on the independent EMWorld Records label. This collection is about the power of singing to vibrate us individually and to bring us together as community. The Global Village Chorus—students from Afghanistan, Burma, Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iraq, Nepal, Somalia, and Central African Republic—join Elise on “I See You With My Heart,” a multi-lingual musical collage of welcome, and on “Break the Silence,” written for One Billion Rising, to end violence against women and girls around the world. Elise also dives deep into her fascination with language and sound on songs like “Earbone” and “Song Deep in Your Bones.” The majority of these songs have also been arranged for choirs in the Elise Witt Choral Series. See a glimpse of what Elise does in this video.
Purchase the CD and/or digital downloads at www.EliseWitt.com, CD Baby, iTunes, and all major Internet music stores.
For more information e-mail Elise at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I Love to See You Smile
Janie March is an educator and a former nursery school teacher who dedicates I Love to See You Smile to all the students she worked with over the years. This CD includes engaging true stories as well as songs that will lead you through the seasons, such as “I’m a Funny Jack-o’-Lantern,” “I Remember Christmas,” and “Happy Valentine’s Day.” The song “Newy the Newt” helps teach children how to recognize sounds of various musical instruments. It was inspired by Janie’s friend, Ms. Holland, who had a one-eyed newt visiting her classroom. “AKA Harper” is based on a true story about Max, the dog who was rescued after Hurricane Katrina. The songs on I Love to See You Smile are fun, educational, and sure to be enjoyed by kids and families.
The CD is available on CD Baby and Amazon.
Songs can also be downloaded on CD Baby or iTunes.
Keeth Apgar / The Harmonica Pocket
The Harmonica Pocket’s new release, Sundrops, is a super uplifting and organic album made for families with kids. (Think less silly, more dirty fingernails.) Winner of a Parents’ Choice Gold Award and a NAPPA Bronze, the album is full of rich vocal harmonies, inspired musical performances, and sweet songwriting, and was recorded using solar electricity at Keeth’s off-grid recording studio on a tiny island in the woods of Washington State.
More info can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and at www.harmonicapocket.com.
Lisa Sniderman / Aoede
Do You Believe In Magic?
Go on a spellbinding journey to the cursed kingdom of Wonderhaven, where a muse (Aoede) has a secret, and enchanted books and witches break into song! Wonderhaven is under a malicious memory curse and rapidly losing its magic. Aoede, the Muse of Song, believes she has no use or magic, yet she is plagued with a big secret and is the only one who can save magic and the Kingdom. Listeners will embrace the colorful characters, the compelling story, the infectious songs, danceable duets, narration, and full musical score. It is more than mere fantasy; it is about believing in yourself. Do You Believe In Magic? is an award-winning full-length fantasy musical audiobook from quirky folk pop artist and playwright Aoede, aka Lisa Sniderman. Endorsed for ages 8–12, DYBIM will resonate with tweens, teens, families and all kids at heart who enjoy fantasy and YA fiction.
Available digitally from iTunes and Amazon ($11.99). Physical copies available from https://doyoubelieveinmagic.info and CD Baby ($15 double CD).
For more info:
Who Put Mascara On My Zebra?
Who Put Mascara On My Zebra?, Paul Nye’s third children’s recording, is a clever, danceable romp through familyland. Paul’s original songs strike a creative balance between teaching positive values and having some silly fun. Themes include kindness, respect, friendship, positive self-image, and pure simple joy. A multi-instrumentalist, Paul owns his own studio and involves many young people in his community in his recording projects and live performances. Over 200 elementary school kids sang back-up vocals on three songs on this CD. Paul has enjoyed watching his band members through the years grow up and become fabulous musicians in their own right. Emily Widman, who sings on all 17 cuts on Who Put Mascara On My Zebra? and solos on “Gotta Be A Friend,” started singing and recording with Paul in fourth grade. She will graduate in 2016 and plans to major in music at college. Paul calls his music “Adult-Friendly Kids’ Music.” Who Put Mascara On My Zebra? is “Kid Tested and Parent Approved Rock & Roll 4 Kids!”
All of Paul’s recordings are available on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and other online music stores.
You can also access his music through his website, www.paulnye.com.
Jazz for Lil’ Jumpers
This collection of songs is geared to be practical and used by parents, caretakers and preschool teachers for moving motivation. It includes Dixieland versions of Sarah’s “Jump,” “It’s Raining Cats & Dogs,” and “Construction Site,” plus Sesame Street favorites “Ladybug Picnic” and “C is for Cookie.” The gospel version of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” is augmented by a bridge that hints at what makes this spider so resilient. After the dance-off 1920s tune “Happy Feet,” “Goodbye, Sing This Song” offers a special way to handle tough goodbyes.
Jazz Pour Les Bebes (Jazz for Babies)
To a child, “Hello Dolly” is a song about finding a lost toy, “Pennies from Heaven” is about enjoying a rainy day, and “My Baby Just Cares For Me” is a love-my-momma tale. Sarah grew up in a family of jazz musicians, often taking her childhood naps on pool tables in the back of jazz clubs in Manhattan. When her father, jazz composer and arranger Herb Gardner, was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2014, she became inspired to make sure this style of music is shared with the next generation. These songs that she often performs for young children are among her fans’ favorites. A lot of songs have the word “baby” in the title because kids get a kick out of singing about babies. But the album is really for kids of any age who like fun music. “I really hope this is one of those CDs that never comes out of the minivan,” says Sarah.
Both CDs are available at iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.
More info at www.musicwithsarah.com.
I Like to Dance and Sing!
This album features curriculum-based movement songs, including a partners tango song, a right and left dancing song, a counting bubbles song, and much more. Perfect for ages 2–8. Known for her music videos on YouTube, Patty Shukla and her husband Neel write, compose, arrange, record, and video everything on their own. This is their seventh year creating educational music together. All songs on this album are inspired by their children. “Mommy’s Got a Baby in Her Belly” was the official announcement song Patty shared with her YouTube fans when she and Neel found out they were having a third child. It is now one of the highest viewed videos on her YouTube channel.
Available on Amazon and iTunes, and at www.PattyShuklaKidsMusic.com.