April 23 is a special day every year in the Republic of Turkey and for families of Turkish descent. It’s the anniversary of Turkey establishing its own parliament and a day to celebrate the children of Turkey and the world. One special custom that takes place in Turkey is that the children are symbolically in charge in Parliament that day. Since 1979 when the celebration expanded to include children of the world, Turkey has been inviting kids from other countries to stay in Turkish families and take part in the festivities, which include huge stadium concerts.
This year on Thursday morning, April 23 this fabulous new indoor playground, My Kinder Club in Edgewater, will celebrate Children’s Day with a super-fun play day, crafts, treats and live music by Amy and me! An admission price of $20 per child includes full access to the play space and the special concert of children’s music. My family’s original songs will teach your kids about counting, sea lions, ladybugs and the moon. Then there are songs that will tell funny stories, like one about a tightly packed car ride on the family trip. The kids will get to sing and dance along with our fun, upbeat music.
Just as in modern-day Turkish tradition, we’re inviting families of all nationalities to come out and celebrate a fun day filled with live music, active play and more.
Learn more about My Kinder Club at www.mykinderclub.com
When the Jungle Gym Jam brought the house down last summer at Hillsborough, NJ Public Library and the rave reviews spread through the neighboring towns, Jennifer Esposito was paying attention. She reached out to me the next day and asked if I would perform at the grand opening of her new school location in Manville. I was happy to do the honors and even happier still that my daughter, now 4, would get to meet Frozen’s Queen Elsa at the event! My wife Amy, who co-writes lyrics with me, and our daughter, joined me on ukuleles for a performance of “Five Sea Lions.” A wonderful grand opening event and performance led to new ideas. And then Jennifer came up with something truly brilliant…
Jennifer had been learning by experience that the field of early childhood musical learning centers was a crowded one with lots of franchised regional and national programs that are delivered in a consistent way whether you’re in one location or another. She had been under such a franchise which wasn’t working for her way of doing business. So she went 100% independent, coming up with her own curriculum. It was a bold move, but Jennifer was missing a way of helping public easily understand what set her program apart.
Jennifer and I had a few back-and-forth discussions that lead to this breakthrough idea: Every semester of her school would feature the music of a working “kindie” band in the New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania area. She’d give out CD’s and songbooks from that band at the start of the semester and she’d offer special music and movement activities centered around that band’s songs. Kids attending the class would hear a combination of recorded tracks by the featured band and Jennifer covering that band’s songs. Then at the end of that semester, the band would give a live, featured performance in her studio. Brilliant! This was unlike anything I’ve ever seen in an early childhood music learning center and a great distinction to offer the area’s kids & families.
I had the honor of being the first featured kindie artist over this semester that is now drawing to a close and, on Saturday afternoon March 14, I will give a performance at First Roots Music Studio.
More kindie artists will be featured over the coming semester, including Baze and His Silly Friends.
If your family lives in or around Manville, I’d love to see you there!