Mike and Val go on East-coast concert tour.

Mike was in the studio on and off all last winter with Hank Cramer, recording a new album of sea-songs for the USS Constellation. That project was rewarded with a concert tour this past summer. Click this link to read Mike's recollections of some of the high points of that project and the adventure that followed the release of the CD.

Carry Your Own Rainbow goes to Bulgaria.
So there we were in Bulgaria, Val and I, guests of Dr. Mikhail Lazarev and the Russian Ministry of Health.  We were volunteering at a health camp and sharing our music, teaching baseball, English, and Psychology. 
The song, Carry Your Own Rainbow, was being acted out by a group of children who had made paper baskets filled with positive greetings.  A group of older children sang the song while the basket bearers handed out their messages to the audience.  What a moment it was for us - this use of our music to raise peoples' spirits and bind cultural and personal relationships.
Music has long played a role in general education.  Even when school districts cut funds for music programs, the rationale is based on something other than its lack of value in the learning process.  Knowing how to use music in a broad application then becomes the challenge.  You know, more bang for the buck.
Without realizing it, Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse may offer some suggestions in her book, Another Chance. She refers to the whole person model, which is comprised of six " They are: the mental, physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and volitional selves." The songs contained in Carry Your Own Rainbow attempt to help children look at these selves. For example, the title song (Carry Your Own Rainbow), Sharing, Compliments, and Proud of Me each help children look at their mental and social selves.   Loosth Tooth and Scrubby Dubby Bath encourage wellness of the physical self.
Doin' the Slow Moe, Automatic, and Angry Song are written to help address the emotional and volitional selves.  The possibilities are endless.

The strength and meaning of music in education depends on the willingness of creative teachers and audiences to incorporate musical messages into everyday living.  Music is not just a subject to be graded.  It is the key that opens the lock to who we are.  So, loosen up, sing, be.