Grab A Quick (Sound) Bite

I’ve decided to try an experiment in here.  Every now and then I find some music that I just want to get the word out about, so I’m trying out a new feature on the blog today.  In lieu of a full album review, I present to you:

Quick Sound Bites

You know, music features brought to you like a Hershey’s Kiss – short and sweet.

First up, it’s Ella Jenkins’ latest release, 123s and ABCs.

The Smithsonian Folkways album by “The First Lady of Children’s Music” is the perfect album for those of you with small children who are venturing in to the numeric and alphabet world.

Jenkins has been making children’s music and teaching to young children for nearly half a century, and it shows.   Her easy lyrics and chants are delivered in a call-and-response way that allows your children to follow along, working on number and letter recognition, addition, and subtraction.  She tackles counting in English.  And in Spanish.  And Swahili!

The album also includes those classic “nursery rhymes” that I remember from my childhood like “One, Two, Buckly My Shoe” “This Old Man” and “One Potato, Two Potato” as well as the preschool staple “ABCs”

Listening to Ella Jenkins on 123s and ABCs is a lesson in active participation.  You really do feel like you’re in the studio with her.  Prepared to get schooled, my friend.

Ella Jenkins’ 124s and ABCs is available in stores, digital music outlets and from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings on January 28th.


Photo credit: Will Avery

Photo credit: Will Avery

The second delicious bite of the day comes from Will Avery, another educator (and father) who writes music that puts the fun in funky in his latest project, Baby Gonna Holla.

I’m not going to lie.  This ain’t your traditional kiddie music.  Think of it as children’s music for the Phish or the George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic circuit.   His instrumental song “Yeah”, is a pretty groovy tune with a variety of instruments like the flute and horns.  And no, he didn’t forget the cowbell.

“Periodic Elements – Little Things (New)” – reminds me of the Beastie Boys album Check Your Head.  A song perhaps better suited for the older Elementary School crowd, it’s a tad long to hold a little ones attention.   But my older son liked hearing all the elements and what they do.

Find more about Will Avery and listen along to previews at



  1. These sound like they would be perfect for us, cause I really need a break from my sons rotation of the Jake and the Neverland Pirates soundtrack.
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  2. Love the idea of blogging about kids’ music. Keep them coming!
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  3. Wow, I haven’t thought of Ella Jenkins for years! I used her music all the time when I taught 1st grade many years ago. I love her music.
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