Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 11:19 AM

Roller Coaster Bed

Had a great time in the quad cities last week. The Bettendorf, IA Public Library hosted a writing workshop as part of my time there. It was fantastic!!

You kids are totally Rock Stars!!!

Check it out:

Click here to hear the song, 'Rollercoaster Bed!'
Friday, June 4th, 2010 9:28 AM

He's just cuckoo!!

If you ask me, He's just cuckoo. If you ask me, his mind is jumping off the plane without a parachute.

What a great metaphor! These kids in Strongsville, OH were particularly adept at writing. But it should be no surprise, because the group of kids I got to work with were the top performers in a reading contest held at Drake Elementary. The more you read, the more you rock...

Click here to hear the song, 'He's Just Cuckoo!'
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 9:59 PM

Candy is my Soul!!

Interesting how similar themes are often repeated in these songwriting workshops by completely different groups of kids. But this working of C-A-N-D-Y into a theme with metaphors is awesome!!

I had a great time today with kids in Venetia, PA. Very bright kids, and the teachers and PTA moms were all incredible.

The kids were full of ideas and moved fast. It was actually tough to keep up with them. Here's what they came up with.

Click here to hear the song, 'Candy is my Soul!'
Monday, May 17th, 2010 7:42 PM

My Video Games are Candy!

Had a great time in Liberty Township Friday! Special thanks to Larry Plummer for making the whole day possible.

This group of 3rd graders were pretty wild and created an interesting metaphor: 'My Video Games are Candy'.

Click here to hear the song, 'My Video Games are Candy!'
Monday, May 3rd, 2010 8:43 PM

Swimmin' in the Summer

LOL! This was awesome. I got to work with kids and their parents all together today. We wrote a song about the summer. Swimming in the summer, in fact. But in this story, the lifeguard drowns!

Listen up to hear the rest...

Click here to hear the song, 'Swimmin' in the summer!'
Thursday, April 29th, 2010 4:58 PM

Softball is a Dirty Dive

Tuesday I had the pleasure of working with some great kids in Toledo, IL!! We had a blast! They came up with a unique metaphor to describe a softball game where everyone is cheating.

Click here to hear the song, 'Softball is a Dirty Dive!'
Thursday, April 29th, 2010 4:54 PM

Summer Eats School

Worked with some great kids in Woodlawn and Waltonville today. I suspect they're very psyched about their upcoming summer break!! It's gonna rock!

Click here to hear the song, 'Summer Eats School!'
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 6:09 PM

Park Elementary in Casper Wyoming

Both of today's groups were hilarious!

My first group (5th graders) wrote a song about watching a 'Fat Man Jump a Fence' which was outrageous. I might have to finish this one up on my own!

Click here to hear the song, 'See a Fat Man Jump a Fence!'

The 2nd group (5th & 6th grade) went a bit more surreal with a song about a Magical Floating Emu who eats kids & lives with Chuck Norris (not sure if Chuck Norris also eats kids - we didn't address that).

Click here to hear the song, 'Magical Floating Emu!'
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 4:02 PM

Band Instruments Attack!!

I got the chance to work with a group of very gifted kids today. We had a blast! But be very careful. Some band instruments in the room attacked us and tried to steal our socks!

Click here to hear the song, 'Band Instruments Attack!!'
Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 2:58 PM

Sagewood Elementary

Had great fun at Sagewood Elementary today. I got to work with small groups this time, which was a treat.

Whether you'd rather be shooting cows out of your cannons or eating moldy cheese, I'm sure you'll find something here for you.

Click here to hear the song, 'Shooting Cows out of their Cannons'

Click here to hear the song, 'Purple Cheese'
Thursday, April 15th, 2010 5:40 PM

The biggest Banana in the World

A story of ninjas fighting Chuck Norris. They're doing it to save their banana, of course...

Click here to hear the song, 'Biggest Banana in the World'
Sunday, April 11th, 2010 4:37 PM

I Love Licorice

I've never worked with such an enthusiastic group of kids. As you'll hear on the recording, they were practically screaming they were so full of energy. Of course, a Friday afternoon on a beautiful day could have something to do with it.

But we had a blast! Also, made a fun song about Licorice. Thanks to the people at 'Teach Like a Rock Star' for funding this event and making the entire day of fun possible. You can check out their awesome teacher development workshops at www.teachlikearockstar.com


Click here to hear the song, 'I Love Licorice'
Saturday, March 13th, 2010 10:30 AM

Peach Plains Elementary

Spent the day in Grand Haven, MI yesterday. Beautiful part of the country. From the name of the school, I'm guessing they must grow lots of peaches in this area. And this is definitely hockey country. It's definitely the favored sport in this school and the kids used it as inspiration in their song...

Click here to hear the song, 'Hockey is a Raging Bull!'
Saturday, March 6th, 2010 3:08 PM

I Once Loved Mexican Refried Beans!!

Heritage Christian School in Bridgeport, WV came up with a kooky song about Refried Beans. And they managed to do the whole thing without any jokes involving passing gas. Which amazed me and all the other grown ups in the room I think!

Click here to hear the song, 'Mexican Refried Beans'
Thursday, March 4th, 2010 7:55 PM

Goodbye my brother... You're so stuck in a cake!

Had a great day yesterday in Florida! You might be laboring under the delusion that Florida is the land of sunshine, a large peninsula sitting between Georgia and the Carribean. But today I discovered the truth. Florida is actually a small village resting about 90 minutes North of New York City. Contrary to sunshine, there were clouds and snow, but the kids were wild.

They wrote a song about a poor man who was stuck in a cake. Turned out to be their brother. Wish you could have been there...

Click here to hear the song, 'Stuck in a Cake'

Day before yesterday, I found myself in Rockaway, NJ. And, as you may suspect, Rockaway Rocks!! It also contains some nasty person who's going around stealing burritos right off people's plates.

Click here to hear the song, 'Flying Burritos'
Monday, March 1st, 2010 6:40 PM

Guitar was Chewed by a Giraffe

This song is so sad... This guitar was so money, but now it's just a chewed up piece of Giraffe chaffe...

Snapped in half and stinky with bad breath!

Click here to hear the song, 'Because it's Broke'
Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 11:06 PM

Explode in Laughter

Had a lot of fun today guys, great work!

Click here to hear the song, 'Explode in Laughter'
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 7:54 PM

Fireflies on Fire

The kids at Palermo Elementary worked in a little alliteration... A lot of alliteration actually!

Click here to hear the song, 'Fireflies on Fire'
Friday, February 19th, 2010 7:56 PM
Thanks to the Target Foundation for making this workshop and song possible!

The kids were inspired by the Olympics! They really wanted to win. Too bad about all those broken belly buttons...

Click here to hear the song, 'I Wanna Win the Olympics'
Thursday, January 28th, 2010 9:38 AM

Hobo Space Monkies!

LOL! Spent the day in Columbia City, IN yesterday at a place called Northern Heights Elementary. It's a very rural, very large school, almost 600 students in a large building surrounded by farms.

First thing in the morning, I met up with the 5th graders and we worked together to write a song. They decided to write about Hobo Space Monkies. The song is very cute, about some poor monkies who live on a distant planet and they realize their little village rests in the mouth of a sleeping giant. He wakes up and sneezes them into outer space.

But the chorus is the best part! I suspect you might find yourself singing along.

Then last night I was able to do a public show for all the school's families. Well it snowed all evening and the roads were slick (and remember we were out in the country) so the attendance was sparse. But this small audience was incredibly enthusiastic and several 5th graders joined me onstage to sing this song for them all.

Thanks to the Dekko Foundation for providing funds to the school that made it all possible. If you know anyone with Dekko, please tell them thanks!

Here's the song we worked so on so hard together::

Click here to hear the song, 'Hobo Space Monkies'
Thursday, January 14th, 2010 6:35 PM
Today was my first Rhode Island Performance ever! Am definitely hoping it's not my last.

America's smallest state treated us well. The kids were savvy, the teachers were kind and the zombies all stayed in their graves one more day. Phew...

The kids wrote a song about a girl knocking on the door. Not sure what the title is. We haven't really made one yet. Let us know if you have an idea. Perhaps you could steal the secret from a ship! ;)

Click here to hear the song, 'Knocking on the Door'
Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 9:54 PM
These guys are hilarious! The younger 2nd and 3rd graders worked on a song called 'Love is Gold', which is a pretty good metaphor.

Then the older kids went with wacky and wrote about Chicken Pot Pie (a pie that made them want to fly, no less). Look forward to seeing you all again soon...

The 2nd & 3rd graders wrote a song called 'Love is Gold'. Nice work on the metaphore guys!

Click here to hear the song, 'Love is Gold'

The 4th and 5th graders wrote a song about Chicken Pot Pie and how much they love it!!

Click here to hear the song, 'Chicken Pot Pie'
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 6:47 PM

Money's a Cherry Pie!!

The kids in Tuxedo were a bit fixated on money today. So fixated, in fact, they wrote a song about it. Now if the song can just make us some money... Remember, the more we make, the less we have to worry about it. At least that's the way it's supposed to work. Not sure it ever does...

Here's their song. Hope you like it::

Click here to hear the song, 'Money's a Cherry Pie'
Saturday, January 9th, 2010 9:33 PM

Crashing into Airplanes

After watching all that's happened in Detroit and New Jersey these past few weeks, you may have developed a fear of flying. This song just might exacerbate the problem!

Welcome to a song about Flying Donuts!! And you better watch out because they're "They're Crashing Into Airplanes!"
Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 5:49 PM

Rapping Turtles!!

Are they Rapping Turtles or Wrapping Turtles??

You'll have to list to figure it out. I wrote this with a group of 4th, 5th and 6th graders at Christian Park Elementary in Indianapolis, IN Friday Afternoon.

So sorry for the delay getting this up. I've been travelling non-stop since Friday and am in Wyoming now, rockin' it with the cowboys!! But I grew up in Indiana and that state will always be my true love... Unless, of course, the state is overrun by Rapping Turtles. Or is that Wrapping Turtles? You've gotta listen to find out...

Click here to hear the song, 'Rapping Turtles Wrapping Turtles'
Thursday, December 10th, 2009 7:40 PM
IPS 42 is one of my favorite schools to visit. They have a program called the B.A.D. club (stands for Be Against Drugs). Mrs. Jackson, the librarian, runs the club. She calls the club members Ambassadors and the students act as my hosts for the day. It's truly fantastic to see the kids take on the responsibility and behave so well.

This year I got to work with all the 3rd and 4th graders and they wrote a song about Christmas. It's sweet. I hope you enjoy it...

Click here to hear the song, 'Christmas Will be Fantastic'
Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 7:43 PM

Life is Viscious

Had a great time at IPS 93 today! These kids often have to deal with a lot, but they are wildly creative. They grasped the concept of a metaphor right off the bat and even put a couple in their song, which was awesome!

Just remember... Life can be viscious... Well, just listen to the song and you'll see what I mean.

Click here to hear the song, 'Life is Viscious'

After we finished recording the song, the kids kept coming up with ideas. They wanted to turn their song into a rap, so we did. Which version do you like better?

Click here to hear the song, 'Life is Viscious (rap version)'
Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 7:58 PM
I'm having a great week in Indianapolis! It's fun to be back in town (I used to live here several years back). I've been able to visit some old friends and am staying in a hotel out by the airport. Well, the hotel used to be by the airport, but they moved the terminal to the other side of the airport, so now there are all these hotels sitting kind of alone, in the middle of nowhere, on the wrong side of the airport, which is odd!

But the kids here are fantastic!! I had a blast at William Penn Elem Monday where we wrote a song about Alvin and the Chipmunks. Check it out:

Click here to hear the song, 'Alvin & the Chipmunks'

Today at Sidener Academy, I got to work with the 4th grade and they wrote a song about... Michael Jackson. He's attackin' a troll with hot wings. Very odd, but fun!

Click here to hear the song, 'Michael Jackson was Attackin' a Troll!'
Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 7:15 PM

Football is Better than Ballet

I had a blast in Polo, IL. Before you ask, no. They do not all ride horses around with those odd little hocky-like sticks. But they do have a creative streak a mile long.

Check this out::
Click here to hear the song, 'Football is Better than Ballet'
Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 4:31 PM

I love Dirt Bike Pigs!!!

Had a great time Sunday in Danville, IL (where I was born!). We had a big show at the arena. Yesterday I was able to visit Bismarck-Henning Elem and work with the 3rd graders. They helped me write a fun song about a wrestling Hippo Clown who loves his Dirt Bike Pig. Hope you enjoy...

Click here to hear the song, 'Dirt Bike Pig'
Friday, November 13th, 2009 11:46 AM

Holland, MI

I've always wanted to go to Holland, with the huge windmills and dutch language (I'm not sure if Dutch Apple Pie comes from there or not, but I'd be happy to eat whatever sweets they have).

My wish came true Tuesday evening, late at night, as I rolled into Holland Michigan. They do have a huge windmill, but I didn't hear much Dutch. No apple pie either this time around. But the kids did write a song about an ornery Television and the woman who fell in love with it... Hope you enjoy!

Click here to hear the song, 'Maybe They'll Marry!'
Friday, October 30th, 2009 2:22 PM

Alien Elvis

Not sure why, but the kids have been writing lots of alien songs recently. Must be the season for treason!! (if treason occurs by way of short green, googly eyed monsters!).

But this week, in Upper Sandusky, OH I met a group of kids who not only wanted to write about aliens. They wrote about an Alien Elvis!

Hope you enjoy...

Click here to hear the song, 'Alien Elvis'
Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 9:40 PM

Love is a Fire Burning

Spent the day at Mark Twain Elementary near Columbus, OH. Worked with a group of about 80 5th grade students who wrote a pretty mature song. Sounds reminiscent of Johnny Cash. Hope ya'll enjoy...

Click here to hear the song, 'Love is a Fire Burning'
Monday, October 12th, 2009 9:32 AM

My Poor Hippo

I had the distinct pleasure of enjoying the children's company at Glenns Valley Elementary in Indianapolis, IN last Wednesday. Several of the 4th and 5th graders joined me for a writing workshop where they came up with a song that incorporates all my favorite elements. Space robots, war, Bazooka Cookies, and of course, that perennial favorite, Blubbernuggets!!

Ok, I may have to re-write this song so it's entirely about Blubbernuggets because that one's pretty crazy. But these kids did great. They incorporated alliteration, rhyming, great phrasing and not one, but TWO metaphors!!!

Check it out for yourself::

Click here to hear the song, 'My Poor Hippo'
Thursday, September 24th, 2009 11:20 AM

Skeleton Scream

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of visiting Killbuck, OH. Definitely an odd name for a town. Odder still, the principal of this small school is a professional Nashville songwriter and longtime friend of Brad Paisley.

The kids managed to write one of my favorite metaphors of all time. They wanted to show the listener how scary this situation really was so created the line, "I am a Skeleton Scream".

Hope you enjoy...

Click here to hear the song, 'Skeleton Scream'

ps - No, the principal did not help with this son. The kids did it all on their own. Not to be confused with Lakeville school (previous entry) where the principal came up with the 'Yellow Snow' line. LOL!
Thursday, September 17th, 2009 6:12 AM

Yellow Snow

Had a great time yesterday in Lakeville, OH. I was bit nervous. This was my 1st school show of the season and I hadn't done a writing workshop in months, but the kids came up with very cool ideas and a hilarious chorus! Hope you enjoy... I think the title speaks for itself.

Click here to hear the song, 'Yellow Snow'
Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 8:53 PM

I Need a Cat!!

Had the opportunity to get back to Indianapolis area a couple days ago. The Target Corporation was kind enough to give the Hamilton North Public Library a grant to bring me and Rock in. Needless to say, we always love the opportunity to perform, especially back in Indiana.

I also did a workshop with the kids after the show (while Rock was napping!). The kids came up with some cool stuff. Here's the song they wrote. Hope you like it (best if listened to while petting a cat - LOL).

Click here to hear the song, 'I Need a Cat'
Sunday, May 31st, 2009 3:34 PM

WWII & Twilight...

Just got back from Pennsylvania. Visited Pittsburgh for a conference, then on to Hughesville, PA for a concert at Ashkar Elementary. After the concert wound down, I grabbed my trusty mp3 recorder and worked with the 4th graders as they wrote a song (titled 'Twilight').

Next up on the hit parade was the 3rd grade who opted to author a song about World War II. Needless to say, both the 3rd & 4th graders wrote sad songs in a minor key. Here are the results:

World War II
Monday, May 18th, 2009 2:49 PM

Boone Trail Elem in Wentzville, MO

Had a great time in Wentzville, MO last week. Thanks to Target for granting this school the funds to have us out!

The kids wrote a wild song about a guitar made out of Tacos. You can listen for yourself right here (My Guitar is Made of Tacos)
Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 9:41 AM

Vampire Vultures

Got home late yesterday from my trip to Dallas City, IL. The kids must've been listening intently during the concert assembly because when it came time for the workshop, the 3rd & 4th graders decided to use a book to inspire their song. They picked Stephanie Meyer's 'Twilight'.

Needless to say, some of the kids were using the movie as a reference, but I read the book. I saw the movie. The movie is a real yawner. To be honest, I wouldn't sit thru that movie again if my life depended on it. I'd rather be stuck in the bog of eternal stench with leeches living in both nostrils than have to sit thru the boring boring movie. Why is it that every time I read a book, then see the movie, the movie is terrible??

Goes to show, it's hard to beat a good book (unless you have a good stick!).

Click here to hear about the Vampire Vultures.
Monday, April 27th, 2009 1:09 PM

This is a Crispy Song

Last Thursday the kids in Palatine Elem wanted to write a song about a mean teacher.

I do my best not to censor the kids for any reason at any time. But because we're in a school, if they come up with something inappropriate I sometimes have to. I figured the Mean Teacher subject would be ok, but they had to write it in such a way that they wouldn't get the teachers mad at me. They succeeded! If there were any mean teachers in the room as we wrote this, I'd have a tough time telling you which ones they were as they all seemed quite nice (except of course for the 5th grade teacher who got hungry and ate 3 kindergartners during lunch... Not sure if that's technically a mean thing to do, but definitely falls well within the realm of the rude!!)

Here's the song about the Mean Teacher. I'll warn you, however, the song wound up being more about fish sticks. You'll just have to listen...

Click here to hear about the Mean Teacher. (It's a crispy song.)
Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 8:15 AM

St. Columban School

St. Columban School in Loveland OH wrote a fine song Tuesday!

Click here to hear about their best friend (who is a Hobo [& in charge of Canada])
Saturday, March 28th, 2009 10:56 AM

Captain Cucumber vs. the Caped Cornstalk

Was in Vincennes, IN yesterday. It was great to be back in Indiana... "When you dream about the moonlight on the water, then I long for my Indiana home..."

I grew up on the river, just 2 hours north. Also, the kids were excited to learn that Lauren Walton, the girl who's poem "Slimy Green & Kind of Funny" inspired my online songwriting contest, also lived in the wabash river valley, a few hours north in Lafayette, IN.

Well, here's the song the kids wrote yesterday. I think I failed to do them justice with my melody, but their lyrics were very clever. Notice how they carried the 'K' sound's alliteration thru most of the song.

Click here to hear the saga of Captain Cucumber and his epic battle with the Caped Cornstalk

Rock on guys!
Monday, March 23rd, 2009 3:48 PM

Cabbages, Grandpa's and The Chicago Cubs!!

The 4th & 3rd graders at Concord Elem in Darien, IL wrote some interesting songs about Man Eating Cabbages and The Chicago Cubs a couple of days ago. Unfortunately, my internet connection was not working all weekend, so these are just now going online.

Today the 3rd graders at Haines Elem in New Lenox, IL wrote a clever song about 'Rapping with Grandpa'. You can hear the songs below:

'The Cubs Are Hungry' (hear it here!)

'Man Eating Cabbage' Hear it!

'Rapping With Grandpa - Click here to hear it!
Sunday, March 8th, 2009 2:24 PM

A Great week in New Jersey!!

I had a great week in New Jersey. I must admit I'm a bit exhausted after 9 days of non-stop shows (with 3 shows on most days!).

I just made it to Indiana and will be back in Chicago by morning. But wanted to stop off and get these songs posted. I wrote songs with kids in Cranford, NJ and Berkeley Heights, NJ. The kids had some great ideas and I was really impressed with all the arts and theatre programs I saw in Jersey. Amazing, the elementary school stages I saw in Jersey weren't used for storage, or for extra classroom space. Their stages were actually used for rehearsing and performing shows regularly for the school and their families. I saw elementary kids rehearsing plays, learning dance, practicing brass and woodwind instruments. We Mid-Westerners have some catching up to do...

Well, here are the songs they wrote. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Fred is a Hilarious Guy (click here to hear it)

We Want to Live in a Chocolate World (click here to hear it)
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 1:54 PM

Walrus Breath Spray

Finally made it out to New Jersey thru some crazy weather and even worse bad weather traffic (I saw 9 or 10 wrecked semis yesterday).  Well, finally made it here and the kids didn't let me down. I'm at Hillside Avenue School in Cranford, NJ, which is just a short ways outside of Manhattan.  They wrote a song about Snuffleupagus, Walrus Breath Spray and a big bad blast!
Walrus Breath Spray - click here to hear it!
Friday, February 6th, 2009 10:52 AM

Songs from kids in Cincinnati area

Wow, what a great time in Cincinnati this week. I thought Chicago new how to handle the cold, but Cincinnati can do it too. They had soooo much snow!!

OK, here are a couple songs I wrote with kids while there. I'm not sure if the kids are getting smarter, or if I'm just getting better at leading them thru the idea process, but the songs are definitely getting better and better. Won't be long and we'll have some hits out there on the radio...

Just keep writing guys. I can't wait to see what else you make up.

Lil' Wayne Loves the Summer

I Saw a Chihuahua Shopping - with kids

I saw a Chihuahua Shopping - solo version
Friday, January 30th, 2009 10:59 AM

Purple Elephants, Loving Video Games & more...

Finally made it back to Chicago. Am enjoying being home for a bit. We're heading out to our Indiana home for the weekend, but in the meantime, I had the pleasure of writing two songs this week with some amazing kids. In Coldwater, OH, the kids wrote a love song about a guy who goes on dates with his video game machine (weird guy - Funny song!!). You can listen to it here:
Me & My Video Games

Then in Fulton, IL yesterday, the kids came up with a real humdinger, about a flying purple Elephant. You have to listen to the song to understand, words can't really explain it... Purple Elephant in the Sky

Monday, January 26th, 2009 7:21 AM

A Bunch of New Songs!!

The last two weeks have been frightful! No internet at my bed & breakfast all last week & the week before I wasn't in one place long enough to get online. So now I have several songs to post here for you. Hope you like 'em! I certainly had fun watching them come together and had the pleasure of working with a lot of clever kids.

Manchester Elementary (Manchester, IN)
'Sports with Warts'
(electric version)
'Sports with Warts'

Dillsboro Elementary (Dillsboro, IN)
'The Colts & the Dolphins'
'The Colts & the Dolphins' (electric version)

Moores Hill Elementary (Moores Hill, IN)
'Zombie Pizza Man'

St. Mary's School (Aurora, IN)
'Cute Bug Eyed Girl'

Aurora Elementary (Aurora, IN)
'We Wear Tight Suits'

Sea Isle City, NJ
'The Eagles Play Basketball'

Wrightstown, NJ
'A Zombie Ate my Brother'
Tuesday, December 16th, 2008 10:45 AM

For Madeleine

Here's a little song for my friend Madeleine who I met in St. Joseph, MO at the Pony Express Museum's Pumpkinfest several years ago.

Merry Christmas!!

Little Madeleine - mp3
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