Now you support Kid Pan Alley by DONATING online!
Kid Pan Alley started with a brilliant but obvious discovery—kids make the greatest co-writers—especially when you are writing songs for kids. Paul Reisler, songwriter, composer, master songwriting teacher and founder of Trapezoid made this discovery on the first day of an elementary school songwriting residency project in rural Rappahannock County, VA. The songs were funny, touching, goofy, gross and completely enchanting. The songs turned out to be so good that Reisler asked a number of the county’s professional musicians—many of them nationally and internationally known—to choose one song each and record it in their own style. The recording, Tidal Wave of Song, became an expression of the whole community—and of the power of song to inspire a true spirit of community.
Ever since, Kid Pan Alley has created a tidal wave of songs around the country. We’ve now written over 500 songs with over 10,000 children. We’ve just finished a CD project in Nashville in partnership with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra that features some of the city’s top recording artists including Amy Grant, Delbert McClinton, Suzy Bogguss, Raul Malo and Kix Brooks.
Just imagine what it’s like to be a kid living in Nashville and a song you wrote gets recorded by a Grammy winning artist that you’ve heard many times on the radio. You’d be changed forever—seeing yourself as a creator and not just a consumer. You’d learn about teamwork, about embracing diversity and collaboration through the group songwriting process. You’d be able to express your feelings through song and that just might help all the kids understand each other better. It might help prevent some bad things happening in school as the kids write songs to express their feelings rather than striking out in anger. You’d feel really listened to.
You’d get excited about creative writing and learn about rhyme, metaphor, rhythm and melody through the process of writing your song. You’d even learn something that was going to help you on your tests.. As profits from CD sales go to more music enrichment programs, it might make it possible for you to learn more about music.
In 2005, we will be working on full CD projects in Portland, ME, Roanoke, VA and another in the Nashville area, as well as many short-term residencies throughout the country. We are also planning albums on specific themes including peace, the environment and Christmas.
HOW IT WORKS
Songs are generally written in one or two class periods with the students working in a group process developed by Reisler. We guide the students through the songwriting process, from the creation of an original idea to finished song in a fun filled way that honors the input of the children.
The students decide what they want to write about. The subject matter is often surprising—it may be about their cat, but more often it’s likely be about a grandparent with Alzheimer’s, something they are studying in school, social issues or events in the world around them. Always the songs have a twist that can only come from the unrestrained imagination of a child.
The music is written on the spot by the songwriter and it’s always original. The songs come out in a wide array of styles, from country to classical, from folk to hip-hop. Projects can range from short-term residencies and concerts to full CD projects. While we’ve worked with everything from 3-year olds through adults with great success, we prefer working with 2nd through 4th grades.
THE MISSION OF KID PAN ALLEY
download the latest brochure
Copyright © 2006-2011 Paul Reisler
Site Design by Jenny Brodsky