Released on February 5, “Happy Feet” is a wonderful take on the “freeze dance” that will get listeners tiptoeing, jumping, and doing the dance and jive around the room. Continuing the theme from the last post about artists creating cross-continent collaborations, after writing “Happy Feet,” Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Ashley Mills Monaghan started brainstorming potential duet partners and immediately thought of New Zealand-based award-winning children’s performer Music with Michal ,and soon a wonderful new partnership was born. Listening to the seamless way that Ashley and Michal’s voices combine, it’s hard to imagine that the entire song was created by simply sending wav files back and forth through email. Ashley and Michal adeptly meet each other note for note, mirroring each other’s energy and joy. The result is an engaging, earworm of a song that is perfect to use during storytime, in preschool classes to burn off a little energy, or at home. Everyone’s feet will be happy after dancing to this tune!
Happy International Women and Girls in Science Day!! As a child, I loved science – especially the wonders of things that couldn’t be seen with the naked eye. My parents were very supportive of my interests and bought me a beginner’s microscope one year for Christmas and a telescope the next. While my drive to officially study science waned, my interest never did. In college (as a French and International Relations major), when forced with taking a science course with a lab, I chose astronomy. I loved those chilly fall nights up on the hill gazing out into the galaxy and to this day, I still own that child’s telescope, carefully packed in its original box from JCPenney’s. These memories from my younger years are just a few of the reasons why I love the new single “Thank You Science.”
Born of the creative minds of Marsha Goodman-Wood of Marsha and the Positrons and Claudia Robin Gunn, “Thank You Science” is a beautiful song full of gratitude and celebration. Chock-full of information, in the span of a few short minutes, Marsha and Claudia manage to include basic facts like the Earth is round, call out things such as the Scientific Method, and shout out to a whole host of famous female scientists. Even though the subject matter of “Thank You Science” has an educational element to it, the poppy melody is uplifting and fun. Marsha and Claudia are joined on vocals by Positron member Ayanna Gallant and when the three voices join together in harmony, the effect is a real delight.
In December of 2021 School Library Journal published a piece I had written about the evolution of children’s music as a result of the pandemic. In that article Claudia spoke about how the virtual realm of the pandemic had expanded the world for children’s musicians and was leading to collaborations with artists they may never have connected with otherwise. “Thank You Science” is an example of one of those collaborations. Marsha is based in the Washington, D.C. area while Claudia lives a bit of a ways away in New Zealand. Through the wonders of Zoom, they were able to combine their interests in the scientific world and love of music to work together and write “Thank You Science.”
“Thank You Science” is available today on your favorite streaming services.
Congratulations to Alphabet Rockers on their first GRAMMY Award!! Learn more about the making of the album here.
Welcome to the fifth and final spotlight on this year’s GRAMMY nominees for Best Children’s Music Album. Today we’re shining a light on Justin Roberts. No stranger to children’s music, Space Cadet marks Justin’s 16th album for families and fifth GRAMMY nomination. As with his previous collections, Justin perfectly captures the voice of young children creating fully developed characters in each song that empower listeners to embrace their differences, feel their feelings, and love one another. Now that he’s a father to his own little one, there is an even deeper feeling of understanding and empathy to Justin’s music that makes this album stand out from his discography. Kids Rhythm and Rock caught up with Justin shortly after the GRAMMY nominations were announced.
This is your fifth GRAMMY nomination. Is there anything that makes this nomination special?
Absolutely! I’m so thrilled and moved to be nominated this year. Having made 16 albums over the past 25 years, there is no greater honor than knowing that my peers think highly of the creative work I’m doing. It’s always scary to put out a new album when you know it will be judged against your entire catalog and I try to make sure I’m pushing myself creatively with every new project. After making a very personal and quiet album a few years ago (wild life), it was amazing to return to the studio with the Not Ready for Naptime Players and make a big rock record and then get this kind of recognition.
Not only did you release a new album in 2022, your latest picture book, I’ll Be Your Polar Bear was also published. How is Justin the musician different from Justin the author?
Watch the GRAMMY’s Premiere Ceremony LIVE on Sunday, February 5 at 12:30 PM PT/3:30 PM ET on live.grammy.com or The Recording Academy YouTube channel to see who wins Best Children’s Music Album.