Josh White Jr: On Children

Children are our most important natural resource. Music and fun are what I have to give back to them.

These days, there are so many things that come into a child's life. I'm glad that my shared time with them is not just fun, but a positive experience. I'm trying to bring songs to the kids that will help teach self-confidence, sharing, kindness to others and especially kindness to themselves and their environment. These are traits that, if learned early on in life, will give children constructive tools to carry and use through their lifetime. Thanks to a host of writers like Peter Alsop, Tom Chapin, Ella Jenkins, Tom Paxton, Raffi and so many others, children are being exposed to more positive songs.

My ideas and feelings have been conveyed in many different forums. By participating in several different episodes of "Eureka's Castle", to recording a children's album with Ron Coden, giving concerts from folk festivals in Kerrville, Texas to libraries in New York State, or going directly into elementary schools in Connecticut with talk and song. It's all about children, fun and education. Music is a wonderful communicator!

The title song from our (recorded with Ron Coden) "My Favorite Toy " was written with Randi Douglas. The song was initially written for an exhibition at the Detroit Historical Museum as part of a video describing the evolution of toys. The exhibit ran for two years. That song, as well as others that I co-wrote with Randi, was included in Randi's play "Buster, The Bodacious Bear", in which I played one of the characters.

Another new and exciting avenue for my time with children is "In Role Teaching" through the Living History (formerly Storyliving) program. This is a structured improvisation that involves the student/participant directly within the situation that he or she is studying. If you want to learn about something, make yourself part of it. Learning takes on a new meaning and is a lot more fun.

A very close friend, who has given many years as a kindergarten teacher, "coerced" me on many occasions to sing for her classes. But I came to realize that I was having as much fun as the children were, singing our favorite songs to each other. Entertaining a young audience is fun. Combining music with the constant movement and noise gives that movement and noise direction, and the child has a new and positive outlet for his or her energy. In Michigan, check the Michigan Arts and Humanities Touring Directory for information regarding Touring Program Grants. (Photo courtesy of City Pulse)

Children's Concert, Martin Luther Chapel, East Lansing, MI, March 9, 2002

"A Josh White Jr. children's concert promises fun while creating a positive learning experience that makes heads turn, hands clap, and hearts open to a whole, new world."

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