New York A new CD by Jeremy Plays Guitar called Use Your Words
has won 2010 Awards from Parents' Choice and the National Parenting Publications of America.
Jeremy Zmuda and coproducer/early childhood educator Elizabeth Bicknell, brought in a host of musical talent for Use Your Words,
with musical styles ranging from jazz to rock, pop to country-folk, and lively performances by Madeleine Peyroux
, Kirk Douglas (The Roots), Joy Dragland and Ben and Leo Sidran
The new and original songs present language-based music," giving children the words to use to communicate their feelings and to handle everyday social situations.
Zmuda has gained a loyal following for his popular music programs in NYC, and he is the music director at two schools. All children are inherently musical, and the natural fascination with music is a valuable tool," Zmuda explains. Children have been engaged by music and taught basic language and labeling through songs for generationsThe ABC's," Old MacDonald, and Pat-A-Cake for example. Our music expands this opportunity teach strategies and social language. We aim to teach social skill development, purposeful language, and emotional concepts without compromising the joy and fun of singing and dancing. The music itself communicates the messages of the songs, allowing children to move their bodies and feel the songs they are singing, thereby reinforcing the words and educational value."
Bicknell agrees, saying, The songs on Use Your Words
give the kids phrases to take with them and use, which will allow the parents and educators around them the opportunity to understand and provide what each child needs. So a parent or educator will be able to sing the song in the moment when a child needs help, and give the child of real way to talk about and deal with the situation."
With the title track, and songs like HappySadSillyMad," That Hurts My Ears" and That Food Makes Me Sick," listeners quickly learn effective ways to communicate their needs and feelings. Other songs help children learn social skills, such as the House Rules," how to share Your Turn, My Turn," and how to learn from a mistake ("Wrong's Alright") while yet other songs explore more intricate concepts, like being nervous ("You'll Be Fine), difficulty with transition ("Let Me Know") and body awareness ("I Meant To Do That").
The educational content of Use Your Words
is enhanced by smart musicianship and catchy melodies. For example, the bright and peppy alt.pop sound of Differently" memorably conveys the idea that it's ok if someone looks or acts in a way you're not familiar with. And the slow-cooked, bluesy jazz of Keep My Cool" (featuring Peyroux' sultry-soothing vocals) provides practical ways to stay calm in a stressful situation. While many of these songs provide actual scripting, some of the tunes are more conceptual and offer food for thought, according to Bicknell.
A percentage of sales from Use Your Words will be donated to Kids Need A Melody, a non profit organization dedicated to bringing music enrichment to children in need. The organization works with shelters serving families with young children in need to provide free music classes, instruments and concerts.
Family concerts to celebrate the release if Use Your Words are scheduled, including a Halloween Boo-Yah concert at Lincoln Park Tavern in Brooklyn, NY on October 30th. Visit jeremyplaysguitar.com for more information.