Need Holiday gift ideas? We have the #Hunktabunkta answer!

The holiday season can get sooo crazy! Thanksgiving, Christmas and Chanukah decorations appear right after Halloween, shopping starts next with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday and with all the frenzy, it’s hard to find just the right gift for anyone! IMO, there are way important things to think about other than shopping and giving the gift of music would last a lot longer than a plastic toy.  Right? Well, just in time, here’s a suggestion: my newest album, Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta HOLIDAYS.

You can purchase it here from my website:  https://www.hunktabunkta.com, cdbaby.com, amazon.com or stream it on SoundCloud or Spotify.

For other gift suggestions, #Hunktabunkta is proud to be featured in the below guides reviews, blogs and radio programs! Enjoy browsing through some fun and engaging treats!

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All Done Monkey: “I confess it is rather misleading to include Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Holidays: Songs and Stories That Celebrate Global Light in a Christmas list, because it encompasses so much more than just Christmas! Of course, there are quite a few Christmas songs here, but there is also music to celebrate Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and Chinese New Year! So many winter holidays from different religions celebrate light, so this point of unity can be a wonderful avenue to teach children about other beliefs. Tracks on Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Holidays often begin with a brief explanation of the featured holiday and how it is celebrated. We love to put it on in the car when the kids are focused and ready to listen, and it would also be wonderful to use in a classroom. This album is a wonderful way to teach children about the many special days that are celebrated around the world (and in your own neighborhood!).”

Phil’s Picks: “Katherine Dines’ latest HunkTa BunkTa compilation record is a work that will appeal to just as wide a range of listeners as the cultures that it promotes.  That is due in part to its promotion of cultural diversity.  The history lessons connected to the promotion of the world’s varied cultures adds to that appeal.  The record’s music varies just as much as its lessons about the featured cultures, helping it to hold its own even easier against other holiday and even World music records.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this compilation.  All things considered, they make HunkTa BunkTa Holidays a welcome addition to any family’s holiday music collection. ”

Sahm Reviews: Over the past couple of weeks, they have provided several holiday gift guides ranging in ideas, products, age ranges, complexity and theme. This year’s guides with a focus on family games then moved into more gift suggestions including lists of STEM giftsgames for teens and adultsparty gameshome and electronics giftsgames for 2 playersmore family game ideastoys and games for younger kids, and games for tweens.

Mysterious Rambling Gift Guide

Kelly’s Thoughts On Things Gift Guide

Globe Trottin Kids Gift Guide: ” A fun way to introduce holidays to our youngest global citizens….It’s just perfect for sharing during this upcoming holiday season.”

From the  NAPPA Awards, I’m so excited to share our Jingle Holiday Gift Guide

GeekDads: Holiday Hits & Joyful videos from Hunk-Ta-Bunkta Music and Duke Otherwise.

Dragon Moon, WVEW-LP 107.7 FM Brattleboro Community Radio

Funky Kids Radio in Australia Podcast will be available at www.HilltownFamilies.org

As I say over and over… May your holiday shopping carts be filled with love, hope, joy and light:

In gratitude

 

 

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Thankfulness

 

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November is one of my most favorite holidays here in the US.  I like the autumn season, the beautiful colors, and the nip in the air. It makes me think about gratitude as I crunch through leaves and try to be more appreciative for all the goodness in my life.  The song “JOY” from my 12th album and newest release, Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta HOLIDAYS, is all about Thanksgiving and the joyful times that happen when families and friends gather.

What I often forget to give thanks to, is creating: the musical process of writing a song, playing in a band and completing a project.

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Musical Process– Although the ability to write a song may seem like a natural gift, I am most grateful for all aspects of it: the actual process of writing, producing and recording it.  Like many artists, there are a million different way of approaching the process of creating. Melodies, lyrics and rhythm happen simultaneously when I am composing.  And then I hear instruments mostly in my head, so when I get to the studio, I can tell an engineer almost exactly what I hear—and what feeling I want expressed in the song.  Then I get to play the songs live with my band and it’s a whole other level of creativity.  Writing a song and carrying it through to a studio production, and then to a live performance, is both empowering and a thrill. In a way, I have gotten to create something from nothing.

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Playing In A Band– Collaboration is key. When the Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Band plays live together, I feel a sense of belonging! It’s a second family for me. I’m grateful for their partnership and incredible musicianship on stage. Shout out to my teammates who make performing so much fun!

Bandmate #1- Ed Contreras – This guy is a global percussionist and actually brought all of us together.  He and I did a global tour with the US Dept of defense and had the BEST time.

Bandmate #2- Chadzilla Johnson. Bass player, vocalist, drummer, Flugelhorn and all-around awesome musician. Chadzilla’s entire family has a “zilla” in the name.  Like:  Dadzilla, Momzilla, Siszilla, etc. You’ll have to hear us live to learn how they came up with that!

Bandmate #3- Brian Mullins – What can’t he play is what I should ask? Banjo, mandolin, flute, weird wild and wacky global instruments and… he can say “I’m sorry I don’t understand that” in 22 languages.

Above we are pictured after my record release party last month at the Denver Puppet Theater.

 

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Completing A Project – Completing a project is an accomplishment!  When so much time and energy has been spent getting to the final step– the release….it’s a big deal! I had been working on HOLIDAYS for a long time and had to make sure it was the right mix of songs, spoken word and historically accurate. It had to be a unique album—and not just a bunch of Christmas carols. When we had our release party, it was a proud moment. And having it win a NAPPA award right off the bat, was really wonderful!

Having friends, family and children all around the country who support my work is something I am eternally thankful for. Another review is from Jeff Cohen, the geekiest NOT Dad EVER.

To listen to Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta HOLIDAYS and all of my other songs, click HERE.

Listen on Spotify or download the whole album from SongsForTeaching or CDBaby

 

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It’s a RELEASE Party for Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta: HOLIDAYS!!!

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I’m thrilled to announce my latest piece of work, Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta: HOLIDAYS! With the Holiday season in the near future and the official release party coming up on October 18th at the Denver Puppet Theater, I thought it would be great to provide additional background into the making of this CD. It’s with much joy that I am able to share the celebration of light!

From the dawn of human history, people have celebrated and honored life’s transitions through four major events: birth, puberty, loving relationships and death. Yet without Earth, the sun’s rising, moon’s pull on our ocean tides, and stars’ position, life as we know it would not exist so there would be nothing to celebrate.

The world “holiday” comes from the Old English word hāligdæg, (from hālig–holy + dæg day, thus, “holy day”). Back then, hāligdægs were generally very serious religious occasions. But as we evolved, people began associating the hāligdægs with relaxation, and more time spent with families and away from work. Soon, they introduced more rituals that eventually became part of various cultural traditions and today holidays as we know them are joyous celebrations.

The intention of “Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta HOLIDAYS: Stories and Songs that Celebrate Global Light” is to create unity through stories and songs that rise beyond cultural, ethnic, political and religious divides. It was written and recorded in love for all humankind in hopes that we might celebrate some of the major global holidays together on this astounding planet under the same sun, moon and stars.

Please take a listen below and share this project!

To purchase a copy of Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta: HOLIDAYS click here

To purchase digital downloads click here

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Join Katherine Dines and the Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Band for a live musical concert and release of her 12th album for families, “Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta HOLIDAYS (Songs and Stories that Celebrate Global Light).”

The Denver Puppet Theater
3156 W 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80211

Friday, October 18th, 5:30 – 7:30 PM

First 50 to RSVP will receive:
• Free download card of the entire album, • Slice of pizza and apple juice.
• If you bring an LED lightbulb, we’ll donate it to Habitat for Humanity and give you a special candle to light with your family during one of the holidays.

$20 per family; $5 pp and all those under 5 free.

RSVP to kdines@hunktabunkta.com; or 303-298-7122

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Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta HOLIDAYS: Songs and StoriesThat Celebrate Global Light

Katherine Dines Offers 13 Songs about Celebrations around the World;
Available on August 26, 2019

Denver, CO, Fall 2019 – Katherine Dines, a Grammy-nominated independent family music artist, presents a new album of 13 songs and some interesting stories and facts about how people around the world celebrate holidays. Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta™ Holidays is meant for growing families, and it will be available August 26th from CDBaby, and various online music retailers.

As Dines says, “Holidays are essential; they bring people together. And as populations increase, families fracture, and people with different beliefs and customs spread further and further apart, holidays, and their joyous celebrations, are needed more than ever.”

The songs on Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Holidays capture the wonder of light as our planet spins around the Sun, and several spiritual celebrations that sprung up in various cultures. “Our ancestors depended on the sun, moon and stars to guide their lives, from planting and harvesting to their social rituals. Holidays at different times of the year celebrate the waxing and waning of the light as well as a shared faith and community. Dines captures the wonder and joy of these seasonal celebrations with songs that reflect traditional music as well as the stories behind each holiday.

Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Holidays begins with the songs “Somewhere in the World” and “Long Time Ago” and the springtime “Thanks to the Sun.” Dines presents stories along with other songs about familiar holidays like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, as well as celebrations that may not be as familiar: Chinese New Year, Diwali, Kwanzaa and Ramadan. Dines wrote most of the songs, except for “Ramadan,” by educator-musician Nancy Stewart, and “Friendly Beasts,” which is based on a 12th century Latin hymn.

Seven years in the making, and co-produced by James Coffey of Blue Vision Music, this new album adds to the award-winning catalog of Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta music from Katherine Dines.

“Like most people, I sing or hum along with holiday songs at Christmas and other times of the year,” says Dines, who has studied anthropology and traveled the world performing her songs for people of all ages.” As a global traveler, I love listening to traditional music wherever I go. The songs on this album are a tiny glint of a few major global holidays, yet they all have one common element: light. To me, light represents hope–something we all need throughout our lives. So my hope is that this album will help light the way to unite more families and people.”

Katherine Dines is a Denver-based recording and teaching artist who performs throughout the world. Since 1993, her concerts have captivated children and family audiences, and her 12 Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta™ Mjusic albums have garnered more than 34 national awards– including a Grammy nomination and a platinum record.  An advocate for literacy, the arts and education, Katherine serves on several national boards and presents keynote addresses at early childhood and library conferences, including the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Children’s Music Network. She has performed concerts in many countries beyond North America — including Northern Europe, Congo, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Japan, Turkey, Norway – many of them sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense. Her songs have been featured in Build-A-Bear Workshops, Disney albums, Hallmark greeting cards, United Airlines in-flight channels and radio shows internationally.

Dines plans to release music videos and perform family concerts this fall to celebrate the release of Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta HOLIDAYS. Visit hunktabunkta.com or the Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Music Facebook page for the latest information.

Press Contact:
Beth Blenz-Clucas, Sugar Mountain PR (503) 293-9498, beth@sugarmountainpr.com  
Radio DJs (CD and download requests):
Peggy Gansberg, sugarmountainnews@msn.com

 

Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Holidays
Katherine Dines 

Track list

  1. Joy – 2:56
  2. Kwanzaa – 4:36
  3.  Ramadan – 3:16
  4. The Sun Will Rise – 2:32
  5. Forever Evergreen (Traditional Christmas) – 4:32
  6. The Friendly Beasts – 3:38
  7. Eight Little Candles  (Hanukkah) – 4:52
  8. Stars – 3:29
  9. Light Rises Over Darkness  (Divali)– 5:06
  10. Nian (Chinese New Year) – 3:51
  11. Thanks to the Sun – 2:04
  12. A Long Time Ago – 2:50
  13. Somewhere in the World – 3:23

For review purposes only, please visit this streaming listening page on Soundcloud.

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Transitions….

June makes me think of transitions–the rhythm of life and adapting to change. Like music, life soars through ups and downs and the journeys we all take—just living our lives. Different rhythms emphasize highs and lows and paint beautiful stories and songs marking change through beginnings, middles and endings. As Summer approaches, these transitions naturally come to mind.

 

Happy Father's Day greeting card and Happy Mother's Day greeting card. Vector illustration.

Mother’s Day/Father’s Day: This is a holiday where we honor those who have given us life. When we think about all the support systems needed to transition from birth,through childhood and adolescence and into an adult- it’s amazing to think about all the roles our parents and GRAND parents played along the way.

https://www.songsforteaching.com/holiday/fathersdaymothersdaysongs.htm

 

 

 

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Graduations: This time of year brings many graduations that mark accomplishments. As students of all ages either transition from one grade to the next- or out of school completely, it’s a time of celebration and reflection!

Please enjoy some music the celebrates graduation! Thanks to our friends at Songs4Teaching: www.songsforteaching.com/graduationdaysongs.htm

And this is what #SeventeenMagazine deems “35 Tear-Inducing Graduation Songs That Perfectly Sum Up All The Feels” – www.seventeen.com/celebrity/music/a16001/graduation-songs

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Weddings and Babies:  People often choose the month of June to marry their beloveds. The month of June is still the most popular month for weddings and much of  the reason could be based on historical traditions. The name “June” stems from a Roman goddess named Juno– who was said to protect women through all life’s transitions. Also—here in the northern hemisphere, June is the time when flowers bloom, daylight is long, and the temperatures are comfortable. In the Middle Ages, many people only bathed a few times a year, and June was one of those times.  Lastly, if a woman married in June, she was apt to conceive her first child a few months later, then give birth in the spring before they busy fall harvest.

 

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Summer Solstice: With the Summer Solstice we see the passing of Spring and the appearance of Summer. The longest day of the year marks another natural transition and is actually one of my all-time seasonal favorites! In fact, my #Hunktabunkta newest release Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta HOLIDAYS: Stories and Songs that Celebrate Global Light is all about annual transitions—as reflected with end of darkness and beginning of new light.

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/katherinedines2?SourceCode=widgetbaby

 

 

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As our planet turns around the sun again, it’s time for #EarthDay

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As our planet turns around the sun again, it’s time for Earth Day! This year, the global event is celebrated on April 22nd and more than 1 billion people in 192 countries participate. This makes it the largest civic-focused day of action in the world. How awesome is that?

People celebrate Earth Day in a variety of ways. According to EarthDay.org people “march, sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, plant trees, clean up their towns and roads. Corporations and governments use it to make pledges and announce sustainability measures. Faith leaders, including Pope Francis, connect Earth Day with protecting God’s greatest creations, humans, biodiversity and the planet that we all live on.”

The Earth Day 2019 theme is “Protect Our Species.” This theme was chosen because humans have interrupted the balance of nature. According to EarthDay.org “the world is facing the greatest rate of extinction since we lost the dinosaurs more than 60 million years ago!”

There are many many more, but here are a few resources to check out and musicians whose works sing to honor and protect our incredible planet Earth.

Children’s Music Org

Classroom Classics

Folkways

Earth Mama

PreKinders

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Ricky Kej from India, is a person I have admired for several years, since meeting him via FaceBook and the Round Glass Awards. An outstanding musician, (2018 Grammy winner for “Winds of Samara” album, a collaboration with the South African flautist, Wouter Kellerman), he’s a humanitarian and an environmentalist who speaks throughout the globe on environmental issues. He created these songs and videos for children:

Ricky is also an ambassador with The Earth Day Network which is asking people to join our “Protect our Species” campaign. Their goals are to:

  1. Educate and raise awareness about the accelerating rate of extinction of millions of species and the causes and consequences of this phenomenon.
  2. Achieve major policy victories that protect broad groups of species as well as individual species and their habitats.
  3. Build and activate a global movement that embraces nature and its values.
  4. Encourage individual actions such as adopting plant based diet and stopping pesticide and herbicide use.

Although it’s challenging to change our daily routines and habits, here are some things that may not seem important, but can make a real difference in our world, and by doing so, help protect our species.

  1. Take reusable shopping bags with you, and use them for all purchases. And, cut out any and all plastics and extra containers wherever possible.
  2. Build public awareness. Refuse plastic water bottles, and tell people why. Fill, refill and bring your own water bottles wherever you go.
  3. When ordering drinks at restaurants, tell the server you don’t want a straw, and don’t use one if it’s there.
  4. When meeting for coffee use a ceramic mug or bring your own.
  5. Make sure your sunscreens are “ocean-friendly.” Many are not and can harm species.
  6. Buy locally. Cut back on making on-line purchases to reduce waste in packaging, and the energy required for shipping items to you.
  7. Buy in bulk to help cut down on packaging.
  8. Purchase clothes that don’t require dry-cleaning.
  9. Take your own “take home” containers to peoples’ homes or restaurants for leftovers.
  10. Cut back on paper products. Use rags, towels or reusable wipes instead.
  11. Make your home as green as it can be by using cleansing products that are non-toxic and biodegradable

On Earth Day and every day, let’s appreciate our incredible planet. Everyone enjoy some Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta #EarthDay music!

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https://hunktabunkta.bandcamp.com/album/earth-day

Keep our world safe and clean.

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Women Of Note

Happy #WomensHistoryMonth

Originally I was going to highlight a few women who have changed the face of music or have accomplished something remarkable in the space! As I thought about my influences and those who have made an impact…….I thought it would be more valuable to share resources and links of articles who have done just that! But first….lets learn a little more about #WomensHistoryMonth.

#WomensHistoryMonth first started in 1981 as Women’s History Week! Since then, Congress has passed multiple resolutions and designated the entire month to celebrate all the contributions that Women have made to society. Every year, we celebrate a different them to center the month arouns. This year’s theme is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.”

History of Women’s History Month:

Now on to the fun stuff, women that have changed the face of music! First, I want to highlight a woman in music that has had the most impact on me, Joni Mitchell. Her music has influenced and shaped the way I listen, the way I create and the way I produce. She is a true poet and I appreciate her craft so much! Of course, I am not the only one. Check out this awesome article that highlights other musicians who have been deeply influenced by her.

I also wanted to do a huge shout out to an awesome Children’s Artist, Lucy Kalantari who’s album All the Sounds” won a GRAMMY Award for Best Children’s Album!!!

 

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Often, I like to take a look at past present and future influencers. It doesn’t matter their age or genre- these women are changing the face of music and what it means to be an artist. When you look up these musicians, it’s really neat to see how diverse they are as women and how their unique contributions are influencing the craft.

Awesome Change Agents:

  1. Beyonce
  2. Taylor Swift
  3. Madonna
  4. Ella Fitzgerald
  5. Aretha Franklin
  6. Mariah Carey
  7. Kesha
  8. Dolly Parton
  9. Adele
  10. Rihanna
  11. Miley Cyrus
  12. Ariana Grande

Want to know why the above women are notable? Read what each has accomplished and what sets them apart here: https://www.iheart.com/content/2018-03-07-12-influential-women-who-have-changed-music-how-they-did-it/

Other articles:

https://www.cbcmusic.ca/posts/18174/joni-mitchell-lauryn-hill-30-women-changed-music

https://www.loudersound.com/features/50-women-who-changed-rocknroll

https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/articles/6f9d5d38-4e7b-4b82-8bb6-5e35a3c49dbe

 

 

 

 

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New Year, New Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Music!

As some of you know I have a new recording coming out this spring:“Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta HOLIDAYS: Songs and Stories that Celebrate Global Light.” It  features major holidays around the world— and all of them celebrate the end of darkness and coming of light or just plain ole’ light.

Last year, I posted several singles from the album around these special days: Earth DayDivali, (the largest most joyous Hindu festival), Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. And in late December, I released this adaptation of one of the oldest carols written just in time for Christmas:

“The Friendly Beasts (Christmas Carol from 1100).” The gentle folk-style song celebrates the birth of baby Jesus in a manger, surrounded by a few friendly beasts and the special gifts they shared with him.

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Right on the heels of Christmas, I released “Kwanzaa, Kwanzaa! (An African American Celebration).” This song is full of educational content and celebrates “First Fruits of the Harvest” or Kwanzaa, an African American tradition started in 1966 by sociologist, Dr. Maulana Karenga, as a direct response to the commercialization of Christmas.

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If you are interested is hearing more, you can find all my releases on CDbaby.com, iTunes, Spotify and my website, www.hunktabunkta.com. I will be sure to announce when a new song and the entire album is available.

Moving forward into the new year, I can’t wait to complete the “HOLIDAYS” album and write and release more new music! It’s not only cathartic being in the studio, but I’m really looking forward to extending my creativity, focusing on writing and producing and sharing my gift with audiences everywhere. In addition I have been asked to apply to become a national touring/teaching artist with Young Audiences.

I have several tours coming up beyond CO as well: to CA, AZ and UT, so check my website and if you’d like to include a performance in your area. I’m also excited about the Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Band as we are offering a global show with lots of chants, and songs from around the world accompanied by masterful musicians and a full array of global instruments.

As 2019 Begins, don’t forget to check out some of my favorite resources for new songs, programs and events:

  • Children’s Music Network:The Children’s Music Network celebrates the positive power of music in the lives of children by sharing songs, exchanging ideas and creating community. My friend and musical compadre, Alice Burba are co-chairing our international music conference September 20-22.

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  • Songs 4 Teaching:  At SongsForTeaching.com, they listen to all of the music they recommend, selecting music that they hope you (and students!) will find enjoyable and educationally useful. Whenever possible, they try to offer printable lyrics and teaching tips.
  • Think360Arts: Think360Arts is a community that embraces the arts as a fundamental tool to enhance learning. Their goals are to: Nurture creativity and encourage children in life-long arts involvement, Provide opportunities for authentic arts experiences with professional artists, Help students of all learning styles feel a sense of achievement in learning, social and character development, and self-awareness, Aid teachers in developing imaginative and alternative ways of teaching and encourage a school’s deepening commitment to the arts as a key component of the teaching and learning environment.

 

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New Music Release!! Gobble Gobble….Happy Turkey Day!

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NEW MUSIC:

Attn Attn!! It’s a Turkey Day Miracle!! I’m thrilled to share my next single release in honor of #Thanksgiving. This song is NEW and off Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta: JOY

 

Year over year, I’m reminded about how much there is to be thankful for. With this season, it’s truly a time to celebrate family and friends. One of my more favorite parts of Thanksgiving is the tradition and the meal we share. This year our family has a few diet restrictions so we are making gluten-free dishes, lots of veggies and using less sodium. Over the years, my favorite dish has always been mashed potatoes, the making of which inspired the song.

 

 

A FEW THINGS I’M THANKFUL FOR:

Thankful for many gifts

Happy to be able to live my passion

Appreciation of people, places and things

Never losing hope

Kindness toward all

Freedom that many do not experience

Unique ideas and unsinkable spirit

Loving thoughts, heart and deeds

 

VIDEO PLAYLIST FOR THE KIDDOS:

Kids love learning new rhythms and tunes in honor of Turkey Day. Enjoy a variety of video for kids preschool through kindergarten.

Powwow, by Jack Hartmann

A Turkey Dance, by The Learning Station

Do the Turkey Hop, by Kiboomu

Turkey Song, by Kiboomu

Get Funky with Tommy the Turkey, by Jack Hartmann

Little Pilgrim, by The Learning Station

Albuquerque Turkey, by The Learning Station

Thanksgiving Day, by Mother Goose Club

Five Little Turkeys, by The Learning Station

Thanksgiving Feast, by The Learning Station

Turkey Hokey Pokey, by The Kiboomers

Ten Little Turkeys, by The Learning Station

Turkey Dance Freeze

Thanksgiving is a Wonderful Thing, by The Kiboomers

Thanksgiving Dinner, by The Kiboomers

If You’re Thankful and You Know It, by The Kiboomers

Turkey in the Straw, by The Kiboomers

Five Fat Turkeys, by The Kiboomers

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It’s a celebration, Happy Diwali!

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The History of Diwali:

Diwali Deepawali or Divali, (depending on what part of India you are from), is a true festival of lights, and the biggest and one of the most celebrated holidays in India. Diwali’s name is derived from the rows and rows of clay lamps, which symbolize the inner light—the light that protects and people from spiritual darkness. (Avali means “rows” and deepa means “lamps”). It is a time when light and joy triumph over darkness and evil. There are a few different stories about its origin, and all are based in history and/or mythology. Diwali is celebrated by all faiths found in India: Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs. This Hindu epic, is the most well-known:

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The Story of Ramayana: 

Thousands of years ago, a King named Dasharatha ruled over the kingdom of Ayodhya.  He had two wives and seven sons. Prince Rama, the eldest son, had a beautiful and adoring wife, named Sita.  One of King Dasharatha’s wives was jealous of Rama so demanded that the King send Rama, his wife Sita and Rama’s brother Lakshmana to be exhiled in a forest for fourteen years. Since the King had promised both wives he would give them anything they asked, he had no choice but to comply with the jealous wife’s wish. Soon the three of them were banished from Ayodhya. In the forest, there were several ferocious demons and one named Ravana, was a demon king who had fallen in love with Sita.  One day, when Rama and Lakshamana were out hunting, Ravana abducted Sita and hid her away on his own island kingdom called Lanka. When Rama and Lakshamana returned and discovered that Sita was missing, Rama was devastated. He immediately called upon all the monkeys, bears and men of the forest to help in the search. Thanks to all their help and to Hanuman, King of the monkeys, (who could also fly and was incredibaly strong), Rama was able to defeat and kill Ravana and rescue Sita, his beloved wife.  Soon after that, the 14 years of exhile ended, so the brave threesome returned to Ayodhya. The people were so happy to hear of their prince’s homecoming, they celebrated Rama’s return by covering the entire kingdom with light.  Everyone lit up their houses, windows and doors with rows and rows of earthen lamps (diyas). They lit firecrackers that exploded and brightened the night sky and decorated every corner of their city. It is a joyous celebration for everyone.  http://www.kidsgen.com/events/diwali/history.htm

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Diwali is celebrated over 5 days:

  1. On the first day of Diwali, people clean their homes and start to decorate.
  2. On the second day, people put out clay lamps and begin to create beautiful design patterns on their floors from colored powders and sand. These designs are called Rangoli.
  3. The third day is the primary day of celebration! Families gather together to recite prayers, feast on delicious food and set off fireworks.
  4. The fourth day is the first day of the new year. This day is celebrated with friends and family. It’s a day where gifts are exchanged and well wishes for the year are given.
  5. On the last day of Diwali, brothers visit their married sisters. The sisters provide a warm welcome and greet them with a lavish feast.

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Diwali Crafts for Kids:

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Announcement!! Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta released a new song yesterday in honor of #Diwali titled “Light Rises Over Darkness” 

  • Keep your eyes out for new music from Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta: JOY which celebrates the festival of lights from all over the world! Singles will be released in honor of important holidays over the next few months. Which means new music is coming!
  • Listen to Light Rises Over Darkness

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Diwali Songs for Kids:

 

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