A couple of folks have asked what the deal is with Super Simple Songs 2 (thanks for asking!). Well, as you may have guessed from the red album link over there in the left column, Knock Knock English's latest CD, Super Simple Songs 2, is available now! Check it out.
The story behind the Super Simple Songs CDs is that we wanted some kids' music that our students here in Tokyo (aged 2-10) could easily follow, learn from, and participate with. As much as we love and recommend artists like Dan Zanes, Laurie Berkner, Justin Roberts, etc., most of their songs are simply above the comprehension level of our students due to their age and English proficiency. Artists like Raffi, Dr. Jean, Hap Palmer, Greg and Steve, etc. have several songs that work great, but even those artists are just a little too fast sometimes or not easy enough to understand through gestures for our young students.
So we began to create our own songs, and from the start we loved the process of creating a song, trying it out and seeing the reactions, tweaking the song, trying it again, more tweaks, etc. We wanted to create songs all of our students could sing and/or act out through gestures. Our students really helped us find the fun in each song, and we were able to see very clearly when a song was too fast for students to interact with, not bouncy enough, missing a little oomph, etc. They helped us find the parts where...
Our first CD, Super Simple Songs, got passed around to some English speaking families here in Japan and in the U.S., and parents and teachers started telling us how much their toddlers loved the songs because they could sing and understand and interact with all of them. Everything was at their level. They could handle all of the actions and hand gestures. And they loved the music. The songs were THEIR songs. So we made it available worldwide through CDBaby and iTunes, and to our great pleasure, people responded very well and we won an i-Parenting Media Award in January, 2006, right alongside a couple of our favorite artists, Brady Rymer and Cathy & Marcy. It was a thrill.
We worked on Super Simple Songs 2 throughout 2005 and into 2006, generally trying to make sure that each song got at least a few weeks worth of feedback and revision in our classes before settling on the final version. It was a blast to make and I hope everyone will enjoy it as much as our students have.
So check 'em out! Ideal for kids aged 1-4, and up to age 7 for young English learners. There are classics and originals, all made super simple for toddlers to participate and learn with. We're working on getting #2 up on iTunes and creating a new website when we have some spare time outside the classroom, so there will be no big official release for now...but bear with if I'm back on here in a couple of weeks with another announcement! Thanks!