Welcome to the Silly Bus Blog!

We hope you enjoy our blog - we try to provide helpful updates about our music, what we are up to and cool things we find to do with music, activities for kids & families, and every day stuff! Stay Silly, Silly Bus



Sunday, August 1, 2010

Silly Bus | Kids Music Back-to-School Sale | 50% off Educational Kid Music

We are so excited to do our Back-to-School. Listening to music is a great way to get kids back into learning and getting excited about things like science, and math. Get 50% OFF full digital albums in August only! Use the code school at check out to get 50% off the digital album downloads during our Back-to-School Sale!

Get kids back in to math with "It's All Just Numbers" and learn about science with one of our fan favorites, "Icky, Icky Insects". Shop with coupon code: school at check out! The sale runs the entire month of August on the full digital downloads of our albums: Silly Bus, Alphabet Volumes 1 and 2. Learn and have fun with our music any time, any where! Songs like "History Hip Hop" and the "Alphabet Eyes" are great to help kids learn and have fun at the same time. Silly Bus develops music with the input of educators, kids and customers - to bring to life music that you can listen to anytime and get your kids ready to get back to school too!

It is interesting to observe how fast children learn when they are young! Research supports our observations that learning experiences must begin in the early years from birth to age five. This is a critical time in a child's musical and cognitive development. The benefits of music and movement in the preschool years have been well documented. Research studies show that music enhances brain development and academic learning. Music affects many areas of brain function and neurological development. Many levels of neurological readiness exist in children, and music is a powerful enhancer at each stage of neurological development. The earlier a child is exposed to music and movement, the better. Research findings include:

-Children who receive early music training score higher on standardized tests.

-The use of music during learning can increase a child's IQ.

-Young children who take music lessons show different brain development and improved memory over the course of a year compared to children who do not receive musical training.

-There is a link between spatial reasoning and participation in music and movement activities.

Preschool children are at the beginning of the learning spectrum. Parents and teachers set learning patterns and attitudes and introduce children to learning by providing the first exposures. These exposures should encourage the joy of participating in music and making music. Joyful experimentation will result in the growth of musical skills and lay the foundation for future music learning as well as for future academic success.

Get your kids ready for school, sing along to our music in the car, at home, cooking dinner - where ever you are!

Take care,
Silly Bus

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Silly Bus | Where is Coach Billy? | Kid Music Winners

We have lots of great, fun summer news! We did our "Silly Summer" contest where fans had to guess where Coach Billy was on his summer travels. It turns out Coach Billy went to some very cool places.

Coach Billy went to:

Santorini, the Parthenon and - places below with some fun facts as hints for the challenge:

the Forum: This place was established in the 7th century BC and served as a key meeting place through the reign of the Roman Empire.

the Coliseum: This place held 50,000 people and was completed in 80 AD. "Wow! Almost 2000 years old."

the Trevi Fountain in Rome: This famous fountain was originally fed by an ancient aquaduc. Part of this fountain was duplicated in Walt Disney World's Epcot in the Italy section. "Now that's a fun fountain!"

Congrats to the winners - who received our kid music downloads free! Whoo Hoo! We love giving back to fans and having some fun at the same time.

Also, Silly Bus and Club Mom team up for a morning of music and fashion! Check out the Back-to School Fashion show and listen to Silly Bus during the FREE Club Mom event from 9-11am on August 3rd.

Visit our site and sign up for the newsletter too: http://www.sillybus.net

Stay tuned for more silly fun this summer,
Coach Billy and Silly Bus

Friday, July 2, 2010

Silly Bus | Donates Portion of Proceeds from New Song | Kids Music Group Sings to Cure and Conquer Childhood Cancer |

Silly Bus is partnering with the Connor's Heroes Foundation to help conquer childhood cancer. Listen to and Purchase "Heroes and Angels" in July, just type "connor" as your code and Silly Bus will donate 50% of the profits of online downloads. The fundraiser starts today, July 1st, and goes through July 31st.

"Heroes and Angels" is the song used in the recent Public Service Announcement as well. Check out the Connor's Heroes PSA on YouTube featuring our song, "Heroes and Angels", along with Connor from Connor's Heroes, Tommy Hilfiger, and Alex Garfield. The PSA is also on the Silly Bus site too.

Thanks so much for your support! Visit our site to learn more about this program and all the great things we have for you and your family to enjoy this summer!

Have a great summer!
Silly Bus

Just a Reminder - you can stay in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter, talk to you soon!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Silly Bus | Silly Bus' Coach Billy at the Parthenon


Coach Billy is traveling a bit this summer and is visiting the Parthenon in Greece. The Parthenon is temple in the Athenian Acropolis in Greece. The temple is dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, who is recognized as their protector.

Coach Billy was very impressed, "wow that is a lot of stone"! No kidding! The Parthenon was built between 447BC and 438 BC. The stone was actually transported 16 kilometers from Athens to the temple! That must have been a long and expensive journey.

Well Coach Billy, thanks for writing us and keep sending pictures and stories for us to share. Safe travels!

Join our newsletter to keep in touch with Coach Billy and other summer news! Have a great week!

Stay silly,
Silly Bus

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Silly Bus | Free Concert at Goddard Was Lots of Fun!

Wow, it was a hot time in this old Richmond town over the weekend! We had a great time playing at The Goddard School in Glen Allen this past Saturday. Not only was the show cooking, but the sun was cooking as well. The Goddard School had plenty of fun events for kids, including the always fun balloon bounce, free popsicles, and a misting station to help keep everyone cool. I went into the misting station for a bit, and it was incredibly refreshing.

The rescue and fire station also had an ambulance and fire engine at the event. They received a call during the event and had to hurriedly rush off to help out whomever was in need. That was quite an exciting but tense moment to see them pack and rush off so quickly. It also brought to mind how fortunate we all are to have such dedicated emergency services to help those in need.

We played a couple of new songs, Red Popsicle and Humpty Dumpty. They were a lot of fun to play. The songs have a great lively feel, and it is always exciting to play new songs out live.

We also got to see several of our friends at the event from partner organizations such as the Annabelle's Angels. And The Goddard School was incredibly hospitable towards us, as always.

If you missed the Goddard show, come check us out at our next event at the Dominion School for Autism from 11 - 2pm. Have a good week!
Silly Bus

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Silly Bus | Silly Bus on the Air in St. Louis | Thanks Musical Merry-Go-Round


We were so excited to meet Grandfather Stark at KindieFest 2010. Since meeting him, and hearing about his awesome radio station that blends classics with kids music, which helps parents enjoy music and also help their kids experience the classics in a fun way, we had to send him a song to play. His show is called the Musical Merry-Go-Round – you can check out his site, and join him on Facebook too. The actual station in St. Louis is: 88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round.

Grandfather Stark played Red Popsicle yesterday! We are so excited and in the next few days you can stream the June 5th show or if you go to his site right now, stream earlier shows and hear his music.

The idea of being able to listen to songs like Ace of Base The Sign, Sam Cooke “What a Wonderful World”, and then kids music is fantastic.

Well, we hope you like today’s blog and find this station fun to listen to – we have a free kids music concert coming up, speaking of listening to kids music. We play at The Dominion School for Autism this coming Sunday, June 13th from 11-2. Come and Rock Along with Us at 4205 Ravenswood Road Richmond, VA 23222.

Request a show at our site
, and sign up our newsletter too. We also have a Facebook page where you can listen to our music! See you soon :)

Also, we are competing in the Pepsi Refresh Challenge, learn more about our project and vote here.

Have a great rest of the weekend, stay silly!

Silly Bus

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Silly Bus | Vote for Silly Bus in the $250,000 Pepsi Refresh Challenge

Silly Bus is so very lucky to have great fans – we need your help more than ever. Silly Bus has made it through the selection process and has been selected for the final round of voting for the Pepsi Refresh Grant. And now we need your help to make it through the final step to win.

Last month Silly Bus entered the Pepsi Refresh Project, which gives way $1.3 million per month to ideas that do good. Our project is about getting kids fit and educating them at the same time through our music. The project is a yearlong, nation wide effort to bring our educational kids music and videos to life in schools to help our kids be healthy inside and out.

Silly Bus is working hard to get one of two awards of $250,000. That would go a long way to making a difference for children all across the country. The awards are made based strictly on the number of votes each plan receives. This project is something we have dreamed about bringing to life – but could not do this without the grant funding.


How to Vote:

1. Check us out at: http://www.refresheverything.com/getkidsfit

2. Click “Vote for This Idea.”

3. Go through the quick, free signup (to prevent internet robots from voting a million times). If you’re signed into Facebook, you can just click the “Connect with Facebook” button.

4. Spread the word! The more people who help us out, the better our chances. Please consider posting on your website, sending to your email list, posting on facebook/twitter/myspace, etc.

5. Come back and vote every day this month. Maybe even make it a habit when you start at your computer each morning. At the end of June, votes will be tallied and we hope to be in the top two!

Thanks so much for your support! Visit our site to learn more about us too: http://www.sillybus.net


Additional background about Silly Bus

Established in 2005, Silly Bus is an educational media company focused on developing music and videos that teach and entertain preschool and elementary aged children. Silly Bus is a two-time Mom's Choice Award winner. The Silly Bus team members are experienced professionals who have worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including MTV and Discovery Kids.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Silly Bus | Silly Bus hits 1,000 Fans on Facebook | Free Chick-fil-A Sandwichs for Fans


We are so excited - this weekend we hit 1,000 fans on Facebook. It is a great milestone and we are very thankful to our fans and to show our thanks - we have certificates for a Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich for the Chick-fil-A at Virginia Center Marketplace and Virginia Center Commons in Richmond (Ashland to be more precise).

Our friends at Chick-fil-A have been fantastic, we really appreciated their Operation Cow Drop show and can't wait to do more shows with them.

If you were one of the first 1,000 Fans - please go to Facebook to check out how to redeem your certificate. Remember it is just for the VA Center Marketplace and Commons locations.

Have a fantastic day!

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Silly Bus | Silly Bus Kids Music Summer Sale | $5 CDs and Kids Music MP3 Downloads


We have a new album coming out soon, so we are running a summer sale on our CDs and MP3 album downloads!

To say thanks for all of your support – this sale is just for our newsletter fans! Sign up for our newsletter to get the discount coupon code :)

All CDs & Albums are $5 each with the discount code! You can also see the lyrics on our site too!

Silly Bus – The fun and engaging lyrics cover educational topics like History, Math, and Civics with musical styles such as pop, blues and rap! Fan favs include Jump Up, Earth and Sun, and Alphabet Eyes!

Alphabet – Volume 1 - This CD is for pre-K and has fan favorites like Chewy Chocolate Chips, Pumpkin Patch and Teddy Bear Boogie!

Alphabet – Volume 2 – This is the last album in the alphabet collection with awesome songs like At the Zoo (just released this video too), X Marks the Spot (Pirates), and Icky, Icky Insects!

We hope you all have a fantastic summer – be sure to check out our latest song all about summer – Red Popsicle!

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Silly Bus | Silly Bus Rocked with Fans at Imagination Richmond | Kids Music Concert


Wow! We had a great time today, playing two sets, and rockin' along with our fans and hopefully new fans too :) The kids were awesome, dancing to hokey pokey, chomp chomping and singing the ABCs. There were several kids who said their ABCs perfectly and corrected Mr. Brian on missing the letter "L" in the song. Very impressive that they caught that given how fast we were all singing.

We had lots of new folks join our email list - thanks for signing up and we hope you like what we send you. Please let us know - we are here for you :)

We also saw our friends from Read Aloud Virginia, who read before / after our sets. We were able to play twice, so thanks to the folks who came twice to hear us! Lite 98 stopped by too - it was great catching up with them. They supported us on TV and radio for the show - it was fantastic. Other folks at the show included the Cat in the Hat, Snoopy and the Flying Squirrels were there too.

We hope you were able to be there and enjoy the show. Today was a bit of a celebration too - our drummer Mr. Lee turned an important birthday (our hint is it starts with a 4...). Mr. Lee has his three daughters there to sing with him, the crowd joined in too which was awesome and appreciated.

Look for video from the show shortly, in case you missed it. We are playing on June 5th at Goddard on Nuckols Road. We hope to see you then. Check out our site for more details. Also - check out our latest single - Red Popsicle!

Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter and join us on Facebook - we are giving away Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwiches in partnership with CFA of VA Center Marketplace when we hit 1,000 Fans. I am happy to say we are less than 25 Fans away!

Hope to see you soon - stay silly,

Silly Bus

Friday, May 14, 2010

Silly Bus | Silly Bus Plays at Imagination Richmond | Kids Music & Festival



Tomorrow we get to play at Imagination Richmond at Willow Lawn. That should be a lot of fun - we have two sets, one from 10:30am-11:00am and the final set from 11:30am-12:00pm. It is likely that we will play one of our new songs, Red Popsicle, as well as do our infamous Hokey Pokey dance off.

Here are some specifics about Imagination Richmond - it is a free event, there is no entry fee to all of the great things below.

Other cool news - we have less than 25 Fans to go before we hit 1,000! That means we get to give away 1,000 Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwiches in partnership with Chick-fil-A at Virginia Center Marketplace and Commons. That is very cool - we also will pick one person to get Chick-fil-A for an entire year :)

We hope to see you at the show - have a great fun-filled weekend!

Stay silly,
Silly Bus

More Information about Imagination Richmond
Imagination Richmond is a FREE day-long, family event featuring fun and exciting children's activities including a meet & greet with Clifford the Big Red Dog and Snow White, Jonathan the Juggler, music by Silly Bus, dancing fairies, Aesop's Fables puppet show, arts & crafts, face painting, balloon art, story time and other favorite children's activities along with Willow Lawn merchant specials and free giveaways. Bring a packaged snack for the Greater Richmond SCAN Snack Drive and a gently used children's book to benefit the Read Aloud Virginia Children's Book Bank.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Silly Bus | Silly Bus Rocks Kids Music at Operation Cow Drop

We had a great time rockin' along with kids, parent, friends and everyone at the Family Fun Event hosted by our friends at Chick-fil-A Virginia Center Marketplace. The event raised over $90,000 this year for 67 non-profit groups and organizations. In addition, there were more charities and organizations that participated this year than last year. This was the 3rd Annual Operation Cow Drop - Silly Bus had a great time performing and really appreciated the opportunity to have Silly Man and the group come out and support the thousands of people and 1500 plush cows that were thrown out of the plane! Check out the video below :) Silly Man helped a lot :)

video
(c) 2010 Educational Media Creations Company, LLC

Mr. John was MC along with Silly Man - throughout the day. We had our usual Hokey Pokey dance off and gave away some CDs to our awesome winners! Silly Man also wished Kim Grimes Happy Birthday (she was their with her 8 kids and her hub). Folks sang along great with our songs - and really got involved with the ABC song and Chewy Chocolate Chips! CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP :)


(c) 2010 Educational Media Creations Company, LLC

Mr. Justin forgot the alphabet, so Silly Man and all of the kids helped him sing the ABCs to make sure he remembered how they went. Thanks to everyone that sang along and helped Justin. Connor and his family (from Connor's Heroes) came out and sang along too!

Silly Bus played from 12:30 to around 1:15pm. Then there was the National Anthem and the wait for the cows. The plane took off and made several attempts dropping a few cows to see how the conditions were. Then on the third drop all of the cows were pushed out of the plane, it was quite a sight.

Thanks to all of the volunteers and Chick-fil-A (WHOO HOO Pam!) for bringing together such a fantastic and fun event!

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Sign up for our newsletter to hear more about our Summer Sale!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Silly Bus | Rested from KindieFest | Rehearsing for Free Kids Music Show | Thanks Teachers!


So let's see - where to begin. I met so many great people this weekend at the KindieFest. Not to mention some great cab drivers too. Cab drivers that taught me about the BMW bridges - if you know what that is - let me know - maybe you will get a FREE CD! :)

I attended several workshops - all of this by the way was made by possible by Tor Hyams, Stephanie Mayers, Bill Childs and Mona Kayhan. Each of these individuals is just amazing - together they really produced a great event for all sorts of family music people to get together, network, learn and perform.

As I mentioned before - I arrived Friday - attended the reception and Key Note speech by Dan Zanes. He was really heart felt and fantastic. I met a lot of great folks that night. Pina from Sing-a-Lingo was just one of the people I met. Also, I met Grandfather Stark - the host of a kids music radio show called the Musical Merry-Go-Round in St. Louis. After the reception, I had a Skype meeting with some of the team and then finally hit the hay around midnight.

Saturday was all about attending panels and shows. Some of the panels covered marketing, distribution, etc. - then shows went all evening and through Sunday.

Now that the weekend is past - this week is all about focusing and rehearsing on our show this coming weekend. It is a free Kids Music Show in partnership with Chick-fil-A of VA Center Marketplace. We are very excited to play and partner for the Family Fun Event. Our show is at noon - but the event goes from 11-3pm. We can't wait to share some new music, set and other stuff (shhh...it's a surprise).

Remember, you can still purchase Operation Cow Drop tickets - which will benefit a local charity(www.CJSTUF.org) at the event, at least early in the day. The stuffed cows will be dropped around 1:30pm. There will be 1500 cows that go out of the plane, I can't wait to see what that looks like! There are also Open Mic performances from 2-3pm - sign up is done already - but you can come see what folks have for talent.

The prizes if your cow hits the cows eye (bulls eye) include things like:

Prizes:

#1. Disney Family Vacation

#2. Garage/Closet Makeover from

Tradewind Tops

#3. 32" Samsung TV from Best Buy

#4. X Box 360 Arcade from Best Buy

#5. Asus Netbook from Best Buy

#6. Two Chick-fil-A Bowl Tickets & Prize Pack

#7. Dinners For A Year

#8. Year of Movie Passes from Regal Cinemas

#9. Golf Prize Pack including 4 rounds of Golf from The Federal Club.

#10. Discovery Flight -lesson/flight

#11. Flying Squirrels Baseball Package

#12. Sports Clips Year of Haircuts

#13. Romp & Roll Birthday Party

#14. Mad Science Week Long Summer Day Camp

#15. The Jefferson Hotel Sunday Brunch

Package & Deluxe Overnight Stay

#16. Victory Lady Year Membership for Two

#17. Four Six Flags Day Passes & Hotel Stay

#18. Concert Ballet Season Passes

#19. Chick-fil-A For A Year

#20. Chick-fil-A Tailgating Party

Also Enjoy Games, Music, Inflatables, Crafts, Vendors, Mad Science, Romp & Roll, Petting Zoo, Clowns, Face Painting, Balloon Animals, Chick-fil-A food, and so much more!

Silly Bus will be there with merchandise and lots of fun! We hope to see you there and also give away some autographed posters! We can't wait to party with you guys and gals this weekend!

If you want to let us know what song requests you have - post your answers on Facebook! Don't forget you can hear our music on Facebook on the My Band page. In case you need the concert info: Saturday, May 8, 11 a.m.—3 p.m., Hanover Airport 11152 Airpark Road, Ashland, VA 23005.

Remember this week is National Teacher Appreciation Week and today is National Teachers Day. We hope you got to tell some of your favorite teachers how great they were/are. We had some great notes on Facebook from our Fans about their teachers.

Stay Silly - have a great week and hope to see you this weekend! If you want to get our email/newsletter - please sign up here.

Silly Bus

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Silly Bus | Silly Bus in New York for Kids Music | Goddard School Concert on 6/5


Hey everyone,

We hope your week has been awesome! We can't believe it is almost May already. April has been great fun, we played at Chick-fil-A, released our new Earth Day song - Red Popsicle - and kicked off a charity drive to raise money for The Autism Grant. Less than 36 hours to purchase the Silly Bus CD and/or Alphabet Volume 1 - 50% of the profits from those sales will go to The Autism Grant.

To end the month, we are going to New York to attend the KindieFest festival - a conference and festival all about kids music. We head up tomorrow and will stay through Sunday. It should be great fun, Dan Zanes is the keynote speaker - can't wait to hear him. The festival is in Brooklyn for the weekend - although we hope to see some of New York City too. We will take lots of pictures all weekend!

In other exciting news, we did reschedule the Goddard show to now be on 6/5 from 11am-1pm. It is an outside show - so come ready to kick off the summer with a great outdoor concert!

Also - we have almost 1,000 fans on Facebook - WOW - it is very exciting. When we hit 1,000 everyone can get a free Chick-fil-A Chicken sandwich from CFA at VA Center Marketplace. In addition, one lucky person will get CFA for a year!

May looks to be very exciting too! There is Teacher Appreciation Week (and day), Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, and so many more great things to celebrate. In our newsletter this month - the best mother's day experience/gift/story that gets sent to our email - busdriver@sillybus.net - will win a free Silly Bus CD of their choice.

We do have a few pictures from people from our Earth Day craft project, we will show those too in our blog and May emails.

Join our newsletter to get the insider news and more free stuff!

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Silly Bus | Silly Bus Rocked at Chick-fil-A | Free Kids Music Tonight!


Mr. Rob played a great show at Chick-fil-A VA Center Marketplace. The place was packed with great turn out for the show, Kids Night & the Rural Point Elementary Spirit Night! We had a great time playing some great tunes - Dazzling Ducks, Icky, Icky Insects, a new Earth Day tune that was played for the first time - and other Silly Bus tunes! Kids were up front dancing, clapping along and having fun!

We really appreciate Chick-fil-A having us out to play, and look forward to playing again May 8th at Operation Cow Drop. There will be 1500 cows thrown out of a plane (plush cows not to worry) giving back to charity and also providing the chance to win prizes!

There were lots of coloring pages that had been wonderfully colored and were on display, remember bring the coloring page to get a Free 4 piece Kids Nugget Meal before May 8th!

We are set to go to KindieFest this weekend - watch out New York!

Sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know and get insider access to coupons, news and great music!

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Monday, April 26, 2010

Silly Bus | Free Kids Music Concert at Chick-fil-A VA Center Marketplace 4/27


We are sooo excited to play at the Chick-fil-A tomorrow night. There is going to be a lot going on - Kids Eat Free night, plus we are playing fun kids music, and there is a spirit night - so we hope to see you there to get in on the good time!

Several members of Silly Bus will be there giving away goodies when kids spin the Chick-fil-A wheel. Some of the giveaways will be CDs, and other cool stuff. Don't miss out!

The Kids Eat Free goes from 5-8pm, we will be there around 600 playing some of our great tunes, like the new song Red Popsicle, Jump Up and lots of others. The show will go just under an hour - it should be a great time.

Thanks to Chick-fil-A at VA Center Marketplace for supporting us, also don't forget that this CFA is making the Family Fun Event on May 8th from 11am-300pm happen. This event has lots of great things for the family to do. It is also the event where the famous Operation Cow Drop happens. You can still get tickets to win prizes and give back for the Operation Cow Drop.

In case you need the address of the event - here you go:
10176 Brook Rd
Glen Allen, VA 23059

Also - don't forget Mother's Day is coming up, it is a very important and special day!

This week we head up to the KindieFest 2010, we hope to see and meet lots of great people and bands. Check out our blog to see how it goes.

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Silly Bus | Silly Bus Launches New Kids Music | Red Popsicle


We just released a new single, Red Popsicle, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day this week! The catchy, summer tune has great imagery and makes listeners want to roll down their windows and drive to the beach (parents driving of course).

We are very excited about the lyrics and melody - they really pull you into the song, making you feel like you are at the beach, and at the same time educates and reminds kids to recycle and be kind to the earth. The song is all about playing at the beach, jumping in the waves and enjoying a yummy red popsicle in the hot sun.

Remember to recycle the popsicle stick when you are done!

Listen and purchase the song at the Silly Bus site.

To sing along, below are the lyrics, have fun!

Red Popsicle

Summer days sitting on the beach
I watch the dolphins playing in the sea
Building castles in the sand
I like to be here with all my friends

Feels like summer this sure is fun
A red popsicle melting in the sun
Don't throw away
Recycle the stick when I'm done

Found some trash put it in the bin
Clean up the beach I'll be the sand crabs friend
Watch the seagulls flying flying high above
I like to bury my feet and toes

Feels like summer this sure is fun
A red popsicle melting in the sun
Don't throw away
Recycle the stick when I'm done

I like to jump in to the waves
And ride them in to the shore again
Picking seashells and, and just having fun
Fun while we explore and then we run

Feels like summer this sure is fun
A red popsicle melting in the sun
Don't throw away
Recycle the stick when I'm done
(c) 2010 Silly Bus

In addition, you can send or 'share' the song from the Silly Bus Facebook page with your friends. Just go to the My Band tab, scroll to the song and click on Share.

This is kids music at its best, Silly Bus hopes you enjoy it!

Stay silly,

Silly Bus

PS. Join our newsletter to get in the know even more!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Silly Bus | Silly Bus attends Kids Music Festival | Kids Music, Volunteering & Earth Day

So - closer to weather that feels like spring - very exciting! As the weather in Virginia is getting warmer, we are heading to New York on April 30th, through May 2nd to attend the KindieFest 2010 event. We are very excited about attending this year - the keynote speaker is Dan Zanes, in addition there are lots of people to meet and shows to watch.

Of course - on either side of this event we have multiple shows, so lots of rehearsing to do and also we have to keep working on our album that is coming out this summer. We hope to see and learn a lot at KindieFest and keep making our shows and music even better.

Speaking of rehearsing - we have a surprise song that we recorded this past week during rehearsal - and hope to share with the fans. It is not finished yet - but we wanted to see what you thought about it. In addition, the music is about the Earth and so appropriate that we share it this month.

Well, we hope everyone had a great weekend, don't forget this week is National Volunteer Week - so please say thanks to the folks that volunteer and also volunteer if you can. This year, volunteering is even more exciting with the volunteer program through Disney. They already closed the program - they reached their goal of getting 1 million people to volunteer - check it out here.

If you do want to volunteer in your area - this website is a great starting point. There are tons of great places to volunteer - you can even start by donating food to a local Food Bank or clothes and other items to the Salvation Army. It is a great way to recycle and reuse things you just have not used in a while.

Stay silly,
Silly Bus

Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter and visit our site for new and exciting stuff!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Silly Bus | Meet the Kids behind the Music | Free Kids Music Concert


We are excited to share more about Silly Bus and what it means to us as a group and hopefully what it could mean to you as fans.

All of our songs are about getting healthy inside and out. We believe in helping our kids succeed through educational and fun lyrics. The Silly Bus group members were (ages ago) part of a rock band and now (later and most of us with kids) are really passionate about blending fun rock-along kind of music with purpose. We want our kids in real life, not just the Sillyville kids to be happy, healthy and groove to our music. Playing this great kids music also brings out the kid in us too.

We can't wait to rock with you at our upcoming shows over the next few weeks and months. We hope to hear from you about what of our kids music you liked and what songs you hope we play. Recently we asked fans on Facebook what their favorite songs were and the top ones mentioned that day were "X Marks the Spot", "Pumpkin Patch" and "Chewy Chocolate Chips"!

By the way - if you do want to listen to our kids music, you can now do so on our Facebook page. Go to the My Band tab to see upcoming shows, hear our music, and let us know which songs you 'dig'.

We hope to see you at our next show at Goddard School on Nuckols Rd. It is FREE and goes from 11am-1pm. Come and have a silly rockin' time!

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Sign up for our newsletter to get insider information on free shows, new releases and cool stuff! We update our site all the time, so keep checking in when you can!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Silly Bus | Free Kids Music Concerts for our Fans

We want to make sure we give back to our fans - so we try to find ways to make it easy to come, listen to great music and have fun!

We have several concerts coming up in the next few weeks and want to make sure that you get to hear our kids music for FREE and Save the Date for these shows.

It is very exciting to play on April 24th at The Goddard School on Nuckols Road - 11393 Nuckols Rd, Glen Allen, VA. The Goddard School is one our Education & Academic partners that we really like having as a partner. The show will be lots of fun, free and is open to the public. It goes from 11-1, we hope to rock along with you there.

Our next show is on April 27th at Chick-fil-A in Virginia Center Marketplace near Richmond (in Ashland). We are playing at the store on Kids Eat FREE night, so lots of reasons to come hear us play and eat yummy, free food. This will be our first show at CFA, we are very excited. We highly recommend becoming a Fan of theirs on Facebook - they have some cool stuff going on there.

The next event is also Free, in partnership with Chick-fil-A. You have heard us talk about this - it is the Family Fun Event on May 8th from 11-3. We will perform at noon, so grab some food from the vendors and swing by! Learn more about Operation Cow Drop and how to buy tickets to support a charity, get a free small milkshake and win prizes on the 8th!

Next is Imagination Richmond, which is at Willow Lawn on May 15th from 10am-2pm. There will be lots of great things to do and see. Live Kids Music by Silly Bus, Jonathan the Juggler, Balloon Art with Butterfly McPeace and He-Haul the Clown, Face Painting by Scarlet the Clown, Storyland with Read Aloud Virginia, Merchant Specials, Free Giveaways and MORE!

Anyways - this is all to say THANKS for your support, we hope to see you there and get ready to kick off summer!

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Visit us at our site to sign up for our newsletter and get insider information for fans!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Silly Bus Loves Their Fans - Read the Love below (Happy Easter!)

Happy Easter! We hope you are having a great weekend.

Fans - as you know we are partnering with Chick-fil-A VA Center Commons and VA Center Marketplace. We have several exciting Fan Giveaways to celebrate you the Fans and get ready for The Family Fun Event on May 8th!

Chick-fil-A for a Year: 1 of the first 1,000 Fans on both the Silly Bus Facebook Fan Page and Virginia Center Marketplace Fan Page will win Chick-fil-A for a year!

FREE Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwiches - each of the first 1,000 Fans on both pages will get a FREE Chicken Sandwich - we will post the link to the coupon on our Fan pages for the day when we hit 1,000 Fans.

Also - you can color the Chick-fil-A & Silly Bus Coloring Page and bring it to the Virginia Center Marketplace location to get a FREE 4-piece Nugget Kids Meal.

We would love to hear from you - join us on Facebook and MySpace - let us know what you think.

Learn More about the Upcoming Operation Cow Drop and Family Fun Day Below:

As you may (or may not) know we are supporting and partnering with Chick-fil-A at Virginia Center Marketplace with their annual Operation Cow Drop event on May 8th. This is such an awesome event - it is a Family Fun Event from 11-3 with us performing at 12 - and then get this. A COW DROP at 1:30pm! No not real live cows :) These are nice plush cows that can be purchased to support non-profits and other organizations in Virginia. You can see exactly which ones at the CFA site. Each cow only costs $10 and you can win prizes like a Disney Family Vacation, 32 inch Samsung TV, etc. When the cows are thrown out of the plane they land hopefully on the "Cow's Eye" and if your cow comes closest you win!

This should be a great day - there will be great kid's songs and music, a petting zoo, clowns, face painting, vendors, Mad Science, Romp & Roll, Crafts, clowns and lots more.

This is our first time playing at this event - but it is awesome. This event raised a lot of money for organizations like Connor's Heroes, Special Olympics and the Goddard School - just to name a few.

We can't wait to come out and party with all of the families!

Check out our website for more fun activities and sign up for our monthly newsletter too!

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Giving Back in April - National Autism Awareness Month


We are so excited that tomorrow is April 1st!!! Besides April Fool's Day - there is an even better reason - April is National Autism Awareness Month.

We are teaming up with The Autism Grant and The Dominion School for Autism to raise money to support families and kids who need help getting help!


We will donate 50% of all profits from the online downloads and online CD sales of our popular Alphabet Volume 1 (ages 2 to 6) and our self-titled CD Silly Bus (ages 6 to 10) to The Autism Grant. The Autism Grant provides tuition scholarships to families in need that may not otherwise be able to receive the specialized assistance needed for children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Scholarships are provided for students to attend the Dominion School for Autism.

For more information about The Autism Grant, please visit their website: http://www.autismgrant.org/ and for the Dominion School for Autism, visit: http://www.dominionautism.org/. The Dominion School for Autism is a 501(c)(3) public charity located in Richmond, Virginia.

We are so excited to have this opportunity to give back, it really means so much to us to provide music, and support in other ways where we can.

Have a great day, don't fall for too many April Fool's Day jokes.
Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Had a great time at the First Market Mile Kids Run yesterday!

As always, the Kids Race was a funfilled event! Not even 30 degree weather could keep away thousands of children excited to exercise and dance with Silly Bus. Sportsbackers has once again produced an amazing event of which Silly Bus is thrilled to have been a part. The race was awesome, Silly Bus had a rockin' time getting everyone warmed up for the race. The Silly Man was very silly before the race too - posing and stretching - getting ready to go!

Coach Billy says "The Kids Race was amazing. Seeing thousands of kids out so early in the morning that are all being so healthy is awe-inspiring. And getting to play songs, entertain and warm up the crowd before the race was a blast. Silly Man did a great job keeping all of the mascots focused and on-the-job although when he brought out the Olympic torch it was clear that he was once again a little confused".
The race had sooooo many people there - there was such energy in the air! This event was great fun and Silly Bus had a great time playing there! We can't wait to play again!"

Our next concert is later in April on the 24th at the Goddard School - who knows what the Silly Man will be up to then! Though the show was a short set to get everyone going - it was fantastic and Silly Man and Coach Billy brought down the house!

These are some of the songs we played - in case you want to listen to them!
-Wacky Wheels(Alphabet Volume 2)
-Happy Homes (Alphabet Volume 2)
-Alphabet Eyes (Alphabet Volume 1)
-Hokie Pokie Dance Off
-Chewy Chocolate Chips (Alphabet Volume 1)
-Outstanding Owls (Alphabet Volume 2)

We hope everyone had fun and enjoyed the show - more pictures to come!

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Supporting Earth Hour

Silly Bus is excited about Earth Hour this year. Last year hundreds of millions of people turned off their lights for one hour, showing their support.

You can go to the Earth Hour website and pledge to turn off your lights for one hour - starting at 8:30pm.

As many of you know we are making a new release and are really looking at ways to be good for the environment. The CD cases we are looking at are using recycled content and not the big plastic cases. We have not figured out how to have the band members play their instruments and create energy to power the studio - but hey, baby steps.

Other earth friendly suggestions are welcome :) In keeping with the Earth theme:

One of our favorite kids songs and videos is "Earth and Sun" - check out the video here or subscribe to us on YouTube.

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Monday, March 22, 2010

Silly Bus excited about "My Family" being available!

I know it seems weird, talking about another band - but hey - this blog is here to also share content that you might find helpful! And let's face it - we are excited too. We write our kids music and make kids videos that hopefully help kids have fun and learn at the same time. We know this band makes great kids music - so here is the exciting news:

For those of you who know of the Laurie Berkner Band - they finally are putting their song "My Family" on iTunes March 23rd! Yes - tomorrow! This song was first heard on Nick Jr. ages ago and has not been available.

So we wanted to make sure you knew as well - hooray for bands that make great music!

Stay Silly and enjoy this great song about loving families,
Silly Bus

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We Are Recording & Rehearsing (Whoo Hoo!)

Well - this week is all about continuing to record for our new album coming out soon! It is great to get together - but tough work getting all of the components just right. It takes a lot of time working through the really cool and various instruments we have on this album. We are really trying to bring something new and different for our fans - we look forward to sharing it with you soon!

In addition, we are rehearsing for our show this coming weekend - March 27th - the First Market Mile Kids Run. Silly Bus will be up on stage and ready to get the "party" or race started!

Whew - well long weekend of working - and getting out and enjoying some weather too! We hope you had a great time this weekend and were able to get out and have some fun.

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Some Spring Ideas!


So I was looking around for some activities to do later in the day after playing outside - or in case it rains - you know April showers are coming soon. Here is one I love! This is from the Kaboose site.

Ladybug Rock Crafts (or any bug really)

Friday, March 19, 2010

What are you doing to get in to Spring?

So at approximately midnight tomorrow it is Spring! We are very excited that the weather this weekend is looking pretty sunny and just what we need to go and play outside. Who knows - maybe some basketball, trampoline jumping - we will see! (just like in our Jump Up video).

What are some of your favorite Spring things to do?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Silly Bus wants to know: What makes a great Fan page?

Hey fans,

We would love to know what you think makes a great Fan page on Facebook. Our page continues to grow and we appreciate it! We want to make sure that our content is relevant, fun and great.

Let us know so we can keep getting better.

Best,
Silly Bus

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Partnering with Charities Leveraging Educational Media

Educational Media opens the doors for several types of partnerships. As a group, it is important to think about your objectives to determine what the right types of partners are and how to have those partnerships come to life.

The easiest place to partner for a musical group is of course through shows. When scheduling shows, it is important to think about what you are getting out of the performance, ala revenue, exposure, good will, practice time for bigger shows. Revenue can show up in actual contract dollars or in free advertising that the host may do for you. Exposure is a great one to think about – because different audiences may spread word-of-mouth in very different circles. So if you do an outdoor event related to sports vs. an indoor school event, the people listening could overlap in your target audience or complement each other really well. Practice time, let’s face it – practice makes perfect. Most times you do a show for lots of reasons and practice/rehearsal for shows is a great way to try out new material and see how the audience reacts. It is relatively safe and helps you work out kinks.

Playing for charity and good will is a great thing to do. There are lots of benefits for both the group and the charity. Hitting back on audience and cross marketing – it is likely that the charity members are a different audience that one typically plays for at a show. So exposure is great – the group will also bring a new membership base to the charity, so it creates a potential group that may donate hours, money or skills to the charity once you market the partnership. It is also great for morale and it is good to show that you as a group care and give back. Sometimes this may mean you play for less revenue, which again can show up in others ways as far as value (ala marketing by the charity, new audience, etc.).

In closing, it is critical to have a partnership strategy on paper and to have thought it through before diving in and going after just anyone. Partners can make the journey a lot easier or frankly tougher depending on how easy they are to work with and how helpful they are in supporting your vision as a group too.

Please visit our website, www.sillybus.net , to sign up for our monthly newsletter, which has more articles and great fun stuff!

Author: Jen Dalton

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From Kid's Music to a Kid's Meal - not that far of a stretch as it turns out


So - today we started our "Let Out Your Inner Artist" email and facebook update. It is very exciting because not only are we saying thanks to our fans for being fans - but we also are making it fun and where you get something free! When you go to our website and download our Operation Cow Drop / Silly Bus coloring page, you can take it to the Chick-fil-A at Virginia Center Marketplace for a free 4 piece nugget kids meal! The store will also post the pictures on the wall and select a winner by May 8th to get a Family Meal! Why May 8th you ask? Well read on about Operation Cow Drop!

As you may (or may not) know we are supporting and partnering with Chick-fil-A at Virginia Center Marketplace with their annual Operation Cow Drop event on May 8th. This is such an awesome event - it is a Family Fun Event from 11-3 with us performing at 12 - and then get this. A COW DROP at 1:30pm! No not real live cows :) These are nice plush cows that can be purchased to support non-profits and other organizations in Virginia. You can see exactly which ones at the CFA site. Each cow only costs $10 and you can win prizes like a Disney Family Vacation, 32 inch Samsung TV, etc. When the cows are thrown out of the plane they land hopefully on the "Cow's Eye" and if your cow comes closest you win!

This should be a great day - there will be great kid's songs and music, a petting zoo, clowns, face painting, vendors, Mad Science, Romp & Roll, Crafts, clowns and lots more.

This is our first time playing at this event - but it is awesome. This event raised a lot of money for organizations like Connor's Heroes, Special Olympics and the Goddard School - just to name a few.

We can't wait to come out and party with all of the families!

Check out our website for more fun activities and sign up for our monthly newsletter too!

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Monday, March 15, 2010

Silly Bus to start off Kids Run with Great Kid Songs!


We are so excited to play at the First Market Mile Kids Run next week! We have performed at this event for three years running (pun intended :) ) and love it. It is great to see thousands of kids with their parents out there getting fit together.

We perform right at the starting line of the Kids Run - which is part of the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K. We play some of our favorite songs for the kids to sing along to like "Fun on the Farm" and "Teddie Bear Boogie". Of course the best song we do is the Hokey Pokey Dance Off, that is a great one that gets everyone warmed up and ready to race.

We are rehearsing and getting ready to have a great show - look forward to seeing lots of people out having fun and getting/staying healthy!

Sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay in the loop on our performances: http://www.sillybus.net/

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Exercise Goal Setting for Kids

Exercise for kids has many positive benefits that can help them mentally and physically in many aspects of their life. Although goal setting may not be the first thing on their mind when playing an entertaining game of basketball, making sure a child continues to be challenged is an important aspect of their physical and mental development. Goal setting for kids is an essential element that can bring about a successful achievement.

Exercise, as with any project a child or an adult takes on, should have goals to be met. Setting these goals is essential in taking steps to reach them. It also gives the child motivation to work harder to progress. An exercise goal for kids could be as simple as being able to do five push ups. It could also be more complex such as working on skills that will help them out on the soccer team.

There are two types of goals to keep in mind when supervising a children’s fitness program, short and long-term. A long-term goal should be the ultimate objective that the child is working for. As an example, it could be to participate in a mile long kid’s road race. When a child wants to run in a race like this, it is a great motivator for them to know they are going to be able to run a whole mile after they are finished! After the long-term goal is set, it is time to implement the short-term goals.

The short-term goals are what will make the seemingly daunting task of running a whole mile attainable. Short-term goals should be set to work on the smaller pieces of the long-term goal. Just getting the child out to go on a fifteen minute walk at the park could be a good starter. After this is accomplished, the walk could extend to thirty minutes. The next progression could be that they jog for fifteen minutes. A good mid level goal would be to run for half a mile. These short-term victories keep the child moving in a forward direction. The accomplishment of the short-term goal motivates the child while always moving them forward. This way the long-term goal is very attainable by putting together the fulfillment of short-term goals.
Proper goal setting is essential for the successful progression of every child’s fitness routine. It takes smaller short-term goals to realize the long-term. It is up to the adult to help lay out a formulated plan for success when a child expresses interest in accomplishing a goal. Although short-term and long-term goals seem academic and calculated, the child doesn’t have to know this! They should be having fun! Never forget to make sure the child is enjoying themselves while putting in the effort to work toward a well earned achievement.

Author: Robert Smith

Sign up for our monthly newsletter at www.sillybus.net to have these sent to you!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Educational Music for Busy Families on the Go

These days, families are busier than ever balancing work, school, activities, and simple household chores. This makes it difficult to find time for additional learning activities outside of school. Additionally, this time constraint makes it challenging to effectively prepare preschool age children with the fundamentals needed for kindergarten.

Families are often faced with the reality of both parents needing to work. Forty years ago, this was not as prevalent since mom often stayed home to raise the kids and could devote the time to supplement educational activities. The time spent at home gave children a boost when it came to preparing for and engaging in elementary school. The foundations put in place at an early age provided the needed head start. This allowed generations of children to begin their schooling successfully and to continue on through high school and college with the same success.
To help parents and guardians solve this challenging issue, parents should consider leveraging educational music and videos for use in the car or during times when there is down time for their children.

There are multiple companies that offer this type of content and media for children. A few things that parents and teachers should look for include:

- Music that focus on storytelling and phonetics to help children learn basic concepts and sounds;
- Images in videos that help children correlate the concepts that they have heard about with pictures, allowing children to learn from both audiation and visualization;
- Media that has repetitive themes which will help children remember content and concepts; and
- Songs that are upbeat to maintain the positive mood and feeling of achievement.

These types of key components can be very powerful for children. Leveraging this type of content can help preschool and early elementary children turn play time into class time and class time into play time.
Parents can quickly implement this type of media into their daily routines by simply playing music and videos while on the way to the store, commuting to and from school, and before and after afternoon activities. By taking a few simple steps now, parents can help give their children a real leg up as they prepare for and begin their educational adventure.

Author: John Henneberger

Sign up for our monthly newsletter at www.sillybus.net to have these sent to you!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Reinforcing Healthy Habits with Kids Music and Videos

Kids music and videos are great tools for teaching and reinforcing habits essential to a happy, healthy life. The invention of the iPod, satellite radio and on-demand programming has made it easier than ever for parents and educators to teach and emphasize healthy choices. Whether in the home, in the car or at school, children can watch, listen and learn. Simply by taking the time to select and share kids music and videos, parents and teachers can enrich the lives of children.

All music and videos, however, are not created equal. Kids music and videos should be chosen based on theme and feel. To encourage healthy living, parents and teachers should select music promoting healthy habits. Habits every child should know and follow include: (i) Getting rest through naps and a good night’s sleep; (ii) Washing hands and regularly bathing; (iii) Brushing teeth and flossing; (iv) Exercising regularly (running, dancing, swimming, playing with friends, etc.), (v) Good nutrition (healthy meals and healthy snacks); (vi) Keeping your room and clothes clean and (vii) Wearing sunscreen. Parents and teachers should instill these habits in their children and students at a young age to ensure a lifetime of health and fitness.

In addition to teaching and reinforcing healthy habits, kids music and videos provide an enthusiastic way for children to be active while playing, laughing and having fun. The feel of the music is what makes this possible. Children can’t help but move around when listening to irresistible, energetic music. Music containing upbeat drumming and grooving bass lines creates the perfect exercise environment. Parents and teachers should encourage movement as often as possible when children are listening to music.

To find healthy habit themed, upbeat music and videos, parents and teachers need not go far. Google, I-tunes and CD Baby have made searching as simple as turning on your computer. Word searches might include “kids songs” or “children’s music.” Examples of such songs include Silly Bus’ “Jump Up” http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/silly-bus/id156493677, “Yawns at Night” http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/alphabet-volume-1/id282427190 and “Healthy Dose” http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/silly-bus/id156493677 . Fun, energetic videos to use at home and in the classroom include Silly Bus’ “Falling Leaves” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GsCuUvpNTk and “Earth and Sun” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM01YJF8xT4&feature=related.

Making small changes today in a child’s routine can yield years of health and happiness.

Author: Justin Laughter

Sign up for our monthly newsletter to get these articles and other great content at www.sillybus.net!


Monday, March 1, 2010

The Magic of Music for Kids

What’s so great about music? We all know that music can make us want to jump, dance, and tap our feet. But did you know that music has been linked to math scores, brain development, and anxiety relief? During the critical young ages of learning while the brain is still developing, the impact of music is at its greatest level. But even beyond the younger years, music can still play an important role, providing instruction for pre-teens, anxiety relief for adults, and even therapy for Alzheimer patients.

Psychologists and Educators are just beginning to uncover the many benefits that music provides for our mental health. While we all may be somewhat familiar with the idea that loud and fast music makes us feel different than quiet and slow music, research is showing that the predictable ways that music can influence us goes beyond altering our moods. Some studies show that we can predictably alter many of our mental states, and even heal damaged brains. Another study has found that students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) were able to improve their focus, given neurofeedback results while listening to background music.

There are many genres of music, and for a student wanting to benefit from the motivational and instructional elements of music, the first step is to appropriately align their age and interest with a particular music genre. Parents and teachers know that pre-teens are not going to be caught listening to music that kept their attention as a toddler. But while there are many genres and songs to choose from for the very young and for adults, there are fewer selections for those in the middle, who could benefit the most from the educational value of music.

Educational music for kids can be influential for teaching values, instructional for memorizing the alphabet, for example, and motivational for wanting to learn more about a topic. Some teachers play “welcoming music” as the children are entering the classroom, which captures their attention and desire to learn more about the subject of the educational song.

Kids are hard-wired to want to learn, and the teaching approaches that work the best are aligned with the natural learning process and interests of the learner. Music for kids is a powerful way to connect, motivate, and teach young students, in a method that is not forced, but yet aligns with their interests and natural desire to learn.

Authored by John Lewis, Ed.D, Explanation Age LLC.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter at www.sillybus.net and get our latest articles!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Repetition and Musical Learning

Mastering musical concepts often requires much repetition. Repetition of patterns in songs reinforces content and retention of words and melodies. Since all children do not learn in the same way or at the same rate, much repetition using a variety of learning strategies is important. When planning repetition strategies, they should be chosen with thoughtful consideration in order to maximize the learning opportunity. Meaningful learning and music-making experiences are the result of well-thought out plans for teaching a song. Avoid mundane drill-like repetition. Add something new and engaging to each repetition. Do it again, but in a different way.
High repetition enables the child to develop an appreciation and enjoyment of a song or musical selection. Repetition reinforces the memory of the listener which, in turn, lays the foundation for comparing new musical material. Repetition aids clarity and understanding of music and words.

Through repetition and multiple applications of their musical learnings, children enhance their abilities to transfer new concepts with understanding from one musical setting to another.

Follow an orderly, sequential plan for high repetition. The process should include modeling, a positive feeling tone, and lots of variety. The repetitions should always be meaningful to the child.

When using high repetition in a group setting, keep an energetic pace to maintain the interest and concentration of the children. Avoid long practice sessions that cause them to become unfocused.

Examples of high repetition strategies include:
• Listening to the song and patting the steady pulse or beat;
• Echo-speaking the words of a verse or section of the music;
• Echo-singing the melody on a nonsense syllable such as “la;”
• Singing song phrases antiphonally, e.g. parent/child; teacher/class;
• Select a repeated word from the song and have the child stand or raise his or her hand when the word is sung.

After the song is learned, sing the song omitting a few key words. Have the child speak or sing the missing words at the appropriate time in the song. Then play or sing a song and have the child “draw” the melodic contour with his or her hand.
Let creativity and imagination be your guide in planning for repetitions of a song or musical selection. Consider the use of visual aids and movement to reinforce the concepts being repeated.

Using a diverse palette of repetition strategies brings freshness and excitement to the learning process. We are the engineers of successful learning for our children through the use of creative and meaningful repetitions.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter at www.sillybus.net and get our latest articles!

How to Find Great Music for Kids

We all know that the internet has become a dominate force in helping find things and answering questions quickly. One of the questions that arise for parents is "how to find great music for kids?"

Ten years ago people took the time to stop by the local music store and search for music. Stores readily provided a highlight of top selling CDs. This provided a good starting point for people to discover new music enjoyed by others. As we have moved farther into the Internet Age, more and more music has become available to anyone having access to a computer. This has been good from a content perspective. However, it can make finding great music for children a challenge given the volumes of songs and artists available online.

To find great kids music online today, the most popular resource by far is to simply utilize search engines like Google or Yahoo and enter key words such as "Kids Music." This will yield pages of results, but you can leverage the first page or two in the same way that the record store was used ten years ago. By reviewing the links that these search engines provide, you will quickly find that these sites are either 1) the most popular music groups for kids or 2) the most popular sites to find great kids music.

The second way that parents can quickly find great music kids is to utilize iTunes. iTunes provides the same search ability so that anyone can quickly search by artist name, song title, or general description. For instance, if a parent enters the words Preschool Music, they will find hundreds of artists listed on iTunes. The good news is that iTunes provides the songs and artists in order of popularity. So again, much like the old record store, parents can quickly find songs enjoyed by the masses and that are typically very good.

As we move forward in the Internet Age, we will certainly find new and exciting ways to quickly and effectively find the music that we want. Over the past few years social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace have grown into popular places for people to discuss and showcase music. These avenues will certainly continue to grow in popularity as people find ways to share information more quickly and as media companies learn to use them as distribution tools for their most popular songs and artists.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter at www.sillybus.net and get our latest articles!

The Benefits of Educational Music for Kids

It is interesting to observe how fast children learn when they are young! Research supports our observations that learning experiences must begin in the early years from birth to age five. This is a critical time in a child's musical and cognitive development. The benefits of music and movement in the preschool years have been well documented. Research studies show that music enhances brain development and academic learning. Music affects many areas of brain function and neurological development. Many levels of neurological readiness exist in children, and music is a powerful enhancer at each stage of neurological development. The earlier a child is exposed to music and movement, the better. Research findings include:

-Children who receive early music training score higher on standardized tests.
-The use of music during learning can increase a child's IQ.
-Young children who take music lessons show different brain development and improved memory over the course of a year compared to children who do not receive musical training.
-There is a link between spatial reasoning and participation in music and movement activities.

Preschool children are at the beginning of the learning spectrum. Parents and teachers set learning patterns and attitudes and introduce children to learning by providing the first exposures. These exposures should encourage the joy of participating in music and making music. Joyful experimentation will result in the growth of musical skills and lay the foundation for future music learning as well as for future academic success.

As a music educator for 40 years, I have seen the positive results of music education for children. At Silly Bus performances, I enjoy seeing the positive reactions of the children to the songs and interactive presentations as they learn a variety of educational skills and concepts. The music and shows have great appeal for children.

As children make music, listen to music, and move to music through a variety of experiences, they develop creative abilities, attention spans, motor and rhythmic coordination, socialization skills, mental agility, and the ability to process aural information. It is very important for parents to expose their children to music and to encourage participation in music and movement activities informally at home and in more organized music education settings.

Movement is innate in children and provides the basis of everything young children learn. It contributes to the growth and coordination of the large and small body muscles. In addition, movement is an important nonverbal learning tool. Preschoolers understand much that they cannot yet put into words. They demonstrate their understandings through gestures and other movements. As we observe the child's movement, we gain insight into what the child is thinking and understanding.
Songs help us to learn as well as express ourselves in a musical manner. Appropriate songs for preschool children include nursery rhymes, finger plays, educational songs that incorporate counting, letters of the alphabet, animals and animal sounds, colors, etc. Songs and recorded music should promote activities such as walking, jumping, dancing, and marching. Clapping or patting the steady pulse or beat of rhymes, songs, chants, and recorded music is a valuable activity and preparation for future music ensemble participation. The ability to perform a steady beat while singing, speaking, or listening to music aids the child's success in reading and other academic areas. Music education is an important aspect for a child's learning process in life. From simple beginning experiences the child is guided to more sophisticated musical and creative activities.

While music is a viable stand alone educational program, music also reinforces and enhances the learning of other skills and benefits learning in many ways. This is especially true for reading and language arts. Music helps children focus on the structure of sounds which is an important aspect in language development and literacy skills. Having a musical vocabulary of melodic patterns and phrases directly transfers to the ability to develop a spoken vocabulary of patterns and sounds-thereby aiding the child's success in reading and communicating.

It has long been believed that brains change as a result of music learning. Researchers in neuroscience, utilizing recent advances in MRI technology, are actually studying the human brain in the act of creating or listening to music. And what they are finding is remarkable.

Perhaps the most exciting news is the evidence that music can actually change the physical structure of the brain - a fact that has critical implications for both education and medicine. Music may even be a major key to unlocking the mystery of how the brain actually learns.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter at www.sillybus.net and get our latest articles!