These songs were recorded between 2004 and 2006 as part of my early childhood music teaching practice. I would make cds of the songs we sang and danced to during a 10 or 12 week session of classes, and send them home with the families. Right away the discs became an integral part of the program. Larger franchise programs do this too, but I think it means that much more to both kids and parents if the voice they hear on the recording at home is the same one they hear in class. I had a lot of fun arranging and playing these classic songs, as well as contributing a few original tunes.
All the sounds on this album were either played or programmed by me. That may sound impressive, but it also imposed some pretty strict limitations. Many's the time I would like to have included a part in a song that was beyond my abilities at the time, and both time and budget pressures precluded bringing in other musicians. It was, however, an enjoyable creative challenge to see what I could do with just a few instruments - including many of the percussion instruments the kids played in class - and a little help from the computer.
I want to express my profound and lasting gratitude to all the kids, parents, and caregivers who made those teaching experiences so magical and rewarding. Extra kudos go to the morning class that gave the resounding "hooray" on "Donkey Riding".
Deep thanks go to my teachers in the Orff-Schulwerk teacher certification course: Doug Goodkin, Sophia Lopez-Ibor Alino, James Harding, Rick Layton, Martha Crowell, and Susan Kennedy. Thanks also to Eloisa Tejero, the owner of Playsongs, for the opportunity to teach as part of that program.
Several of these songs were recorded at St. John's Presbyterian Church in San Francisco, CA, where I also held my classes. I am grateful to Rev. John Anderson, Rev. Theresa Cho, and Susie Moore for their kind support during my residency there.
Thanks also to my daughter Chloe, the one other musician on the album, for singing backing vocals on "The More We Get Together".