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August 8, 2013 - Today.com has a cool article out on the "Ten Best Sesame Street Musical Guests", and lists musicians from Paul Simon to Yo Yo Ma. I grew up on Sesame Street, and remember many musicians coming on and helping guide kids with music to good values and bettering the community. JTMP urges our supporters to contact their elected officials and ask them to protect and even increase funding for the arts and public television. Even though he was never on Sesame Street, John Denver had a very close relationship with The Muppets on The Muppet Show, and was a great musician and musical activist. Watch John Denver sing "Grandma's Feather Bed" with The Muppets below from dteeps42 on YouTube, and check out the article with videos of the Sesame Street musical guests on Today.com here. (Photo credit: Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets by Alan Light/CC)
JAN 3, 2013 - Musical activist Cael 8 sent us a great music video called "Ohhhhh" he wrote for "the unfortunate children, the battered children..." and speaks out against childhood abuse and violence and says in the song, "Remember when you was a child...Watching others in the farmyard, Violence which didn't look so hard". He wrote the music and plays all the instruments, check the video out below, and don't forget to "Like It"!
June 18, 2012 - Deana Carter played a benefit concert for the Les Paul Kids Rock Free charity at the Fender Guitar Museum in Corona, California, and sang some of her best songs to help them out in their quest to get musical instruments and lessons to as many children as possible. This is very important especially since funding for the music and arts in public schools is being attacked and cut, so children really need our help.
The show was put on by the Fender Center for the Performing Arts Foundation which was founded in 1997 to get music to kids ranging from 7 to 17. In 2002 they expanded and purchased a 33,000 square foot facility, with a museum detailing the 50-year history of the Fender guitar. Steve Miller is now heavily involved with the charity, and you can watch Steve in a PSA below. Their site offers dismal news, saying that only 32% of the elementary schools offer any arts education to their students. JTMP supports their efforts, and calls on congress to enact more funding for the music and arts in public schools. To learn more about the Fender Center for the Performing Arts, check out their website here.
Here is Steve Miller lending his time for a PSA , and performances by Deana Carter of her 2 great hits, "Strawberry Wine" and "Count Me In", with her PSA for the charity.
June 16, 2012 - Yesterday, in a press conference in the Rose Garden, President Obama announced he had just issued an executive order to halt the deportation of children who were brought by their parents to this country illegally. President Obama has become frustrated with Congress not passing the DREAM Act and dealing with this problem, so he decided to take a bold step and issue the order. He said in his statement It is only a temporary measure, and it is NOT a path to citizenship; it is meant as a humanitarian gesture and to prod Congress into action. Obama said he hopes it provides a "degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people."
This order will protect as much as 800,000 young people from being deported, as long as they "do not present a risk to national security and public safety", and can prove a few things to the government. They have to prove they were brought to this country before they turned 16, and be under the age of 30. They must have lived in the US for at least 5 continuous years, have no criminal record, graduated high school or have a GED. If they served in the military that helps too.
President Obama and the Democrats want Congress to pass the DREAM Act, a path to citizenship for these young people if they go to college. Read more about the order on MiamiHerald.com here. To find out more about the DREAM Act, check out DreamAct.info. Below, watch President Obama's statement in the Rose Garden, including the reporter who interrupted him, from 11MOAX on YouTube.
MARCH 20, 2012 – Just outside of Jerusalem is the Madaa Silwan Creative Center. “Madaa” means “horizon” in Arabic, and was founded by Jawad Siyam, who remains the center’s spirit and director. The community built the learning center so young Arabic kids could escape the daily politics and violence, and serve as a refuge for young Arabic kids. At the center they find a quiet library with thousands of books for children, and a computer room where kids who don’t have a computer at home can surf the Internet. There are always learning activities going on. Part of the center is the Silwan Village Music School, where young kids who once had no place to go and no instruments, now have pianos, guitars, violins, cellos, choir and more, depending on which day you come. In an interview for Hareetz.com Ahmad Qareen, a resident of Silwan said, “Until 2007, the children here didn’t have anything. We, some of the neighborhood residents, therefore decided to set up a cultural center. We rented this apartment, and first of all, we opened the music school. At first, 15 children sat on the floor of the small apartment without any musical instruments. Today, we already have 100 students, and there is also a drama club, a mosaics school, a creative writing class, and a summer day camp. There was also a soccer team, until the field was destroyed. And there are courses in English, math and sewing for women.”
The mission of Madaa is to promote non-violence, promote dialogue and empower the community by providing recreational activities, like music, for the youth of Silwan. Qareen added, “First of all, in the children: We can feel a change in them. They have learned to keep the place nice, to behave politely and to keep quiet; they have learned the importance of sticking to a timetable, and also that there is something called the rights of the child. We established the place for them, so they won’t go doing bad things, [like] smoking, and to keep them away from violence.” To read more check out an article on Hareetz.com, and check out the Madda Silwan Creative Center’s website here.
Kid Pan Alley Works With Children and Music - Conservative Blogger Outraged Over Song Mentioning the 99%
JAN 11, 2012 - Kid Pan Alley, an organization founded on the principles that "kids make the greatest co-writers" of songs, has sparked a controversy over a song containing references to Occupy, but not by any of the kids parents. Kid Pan Alley is a group of musicians specializing in children's songs, and they travel to schools to get kids involved with the songwriting process, and urge them to be creators of their own music, not just consumers of popular cultures. In October of 2011 they visited the Woodbrook Elementary School in Charlottesville, Virginia, and they and the kids wrote and performed a song with the lyrics containing references to the Occupy movement. For instance one line went "Now I'm Part of the 99". Read more here.
The extremist conservative website "Big Government" eventually found out about it, and are now upset what they assert as kids being forced to sing a political song, and in their own words, "Marxist Rhetoric". The blog states, "Remember, these are third graders. The simplistic left wing economic nonsense of this ditty boggles the mind. But to an impressionistic third grader, it plants poisonous seeds at odds with long egalitarian American traditions that disdain class hatred. It mocks American traditions of industry, hard work and accomplishment. It teaches the young to distrust and dislike, which of course is a tactic employed by thug cultures and governments throughout history."
None of the parents of the children involved in the music program are complaining. Probably not wanting to get involved in too much controversy, the founder of Kid Pan Alley Paul Reisler, issued a statement apologizing. He told the local TV station WCAV, "This is a song about being satisfied with what you have, a song about how life has its ups and downs, as so many people in our country are experiencing now. It was my personal mistake to introduce these phrases and I take complete responsibility for it. I will not make a mistake like this again." Find out more about Kid Pan Alley at their website here.
Click Read More to read the lyrics.