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Mark Galasso | Big Backyard (Montessori Songs for Children)

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United States - Louisiana

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Kids/Family: Educational Kids/Family: Children's Pop Moods: Mood: Fun
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Big Backyard (Montessori Songs for Children)

by Mark Galasso

Created deep down in Louisiana bayou country, these catchy children's songs are imbued with Montessori Method. Delightfully fun, yet sophisticated & built to last with ethical lyric themes woven into playful tapestries of ear candy for all to enjoy.
Genre: Kids/Family: Educational
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Will Mr. Will
1:01 $0.99
2. Armadillo
0:53 $0.99
3. Ferris Wheel
1:00 $0.99
4. I'm so Over It
1:29 $0.99
5. Alligator Instigator
1:17 $0.99
6. Smiles Miles Johnson
0:56 $0.99
7. Get a Grip
0:23 $0.99
8. Stay Occupied
0:51 $0.99
9. That Makes My Times Go Good
0:42 $0.99
10. Role Model
0:32 $0.99
11. Much More Melody
2:01 $0.99
12. Listen Listen
0:33 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Big Backyard was created by Mark Galasso during his tenure teaching music to pre-school children at Montessori Children's House (Circa 1968), the oldest private Montessori School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The songs bloomed naturally from direct experiences working with the children in a joyful and productive environment. Having been affiliated with Montessori since childhood, the songs are imbued with educational and ethical principles of the Montessori Method. Many of them are quite short by design as they were written with pre-school aged children in mind. But, they are also sophisticated enough that adults will like them too.

Lyrically, the songs are infused with linguistic aspects that deal with rhyme, diction and verbal/melodic memory training. For example, in the up tempo song "Armadillo", the lyric requires rapid enunciation and diction:  "There's a kitten with a mitten in my big  backyard. The thing about a mitten is it won't get far. It needs the right hand to be comfy all day, an armadillo's mitten is his shell by the way."

With consideration given to preserve the timeless nature of these special songs, the instrumentation on Big Backyard  was performed with real instruments: Voice, acoustic guitar, brushes/drums, bass, chromatic & bass harmonica, Dobro, Trumpet, Trombone, Flute, Strings, Bassoon, Slide Whistle, Juice Harp and Percussion (Tambourine, Maracas, Shakers, Woodblock, Cowbell, Castanets, Hand Bells).

Big Backyard's production and orchestration is manifest with cohesive and intricate parts woven into playful tapestries of ear candy for children.

Montessori students  have performed all of these songs for music class and graduations for the past five years. It is safe to say the songs have been put to the test; they are a hit with children and parents alike.

The goal with "Big Backyard" was to create some new "standard" children's songs that would endure the test of time and empower children through the liberating philosophical principals of Montessori.


School Library Journal, August, 2014 (One of the Top Library Journals)

PreS-K - Galasso wrote the 12 songs in this collection while teaching preschool at a Montessori school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Several of the songs have silly topics, such as animals having a party in the backyard, an alligator instigator, and a man who made a house out of peanuts and bread. Also included are songs that teach the importance of being a good listener, staying busy, being a role model, and of quickly letting go of mad feelings. Galasso’s voice blends nicely with the minimal instruments used. This, combined with the fact that each song is only about one minute long, makes it easy for children to learn the lyrics and sing along. This album will be welcome in preschool and family settings. -Veronica De Fazio, Plainfield Public Library District, IL

Performed by Mark Galasso. CD. 12Mins. 2013


Offbeat Magazine (New Orleans/Louisiana Music & Culture)

Big Backyard: Montessori Songs for Children

01 October 2013 — by Sam Ferguson

Mark Galasso made Big Backyard during his tenure teaching music to preschoolers at Montessori Children’s House in Baton Rouge. This makes sense when you hear the lyrics, which stress all the tenets of the Montessori Method, including individuality, creativity and keeping busy. And like any good children’s music, Galasso’s songs are bright and well crafted, with hooks for the kids that won’t get on the parents’ nerves. Galasso’s voice is high and soothing as he sings about armadillos and Ferris wheels, and the musicianship is superb throughout. My favorite track is “Smiles Miles Johnson,” which reminds me of something John Prine would come up with if he wrote songs about houses made of peanuts and bread. The only problem is that the album is only 15 minutes long, and the longest track is a mere two minutes. Even so, these songs are good enough that your kids will want to hear them again right away, and you probably won’t mind. You might even catch yourself singing along.




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